Wiesberger braced for Ballantine's defence

Tue 16 Apr 2013

Wiesberger braced for Ballantine's defence

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April 16: Bernd Wiesberger is looking forward to the challenge of defending a title for the first time when he returns to Korea for next week’s Ballantine’s Championship.
The 28-year-old Austrian captured his maiden victory in emphatic style at Blackstone Golf Club last year, sinking a 20 foot birdie putt on the last hole to seal a five-stroke win over Scotland’s Richie Ramsay and claim the €367,500 first prize in the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Korean Golf Tour.
Just 14 weeks later, he added a second win in equally impressive fashion on home soil in the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity, coming from four shots back to card a final round 65 for a three shot victory in his national Open.
Those two triumphs, as well as three other top-10 finishes, helped Wiesberger to finish in 22nd position on The 2012 Race to Dubai, and also earned him places in the fields for the US PGA Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and WGC-HSBC Champions.
As a result of the experience gained in the wake of his breakthrough victory, Wiesberger believes that he returns to Blackstone Golf Club, near the South Korean capital Seoul, as a better player and is relishing the chance to defend his title.
“It’s going to be a nice new experience for me,” he said. “My maiden win in Korea last year was great, and I’m looking forward to having another good week again this year.
“I like the course, I love the tournament and Ballantine’s have been great to me, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“I felt like I could win a European Tour event, but I proved it that week. I was able to be a champion. The win gave me the chance to play a Major and a couple of WGC events, which expanded my view of professional golf, allowing me to perform on a higher level with the top players in the world.
“A couple of months afterwards, I was able to win again in Austria, which meant I was a multiple winner. With those two wins, it was a great breakthrough season for me and the victory at Ballantine’s kicked off everything.”
Wiesberger will have another strong field to contend against in the €2,205,000 Ballantine’s Championship, headlined by World Number Seven Louis Oosthuizen, 2010 US PGA Champion YE Yang, who is an Asian Tour honorary member, and American Ryder Cup pair Dustin Johnson and Zach Johnson.
But he hopes to draw on his recollections from last year when, after an opening round of 72, he carded consecutive course records of 65, followed by a closing round of 68 which included three birdies in the final four holes, for an 18 under par winning total of 270.
“Everything went my way from Friday onwards, and I have some great memories from last year,” he said. “Holing that winning putt and finishing well on the Sunday with a couple of birdies was fantastic. I will really enjoy going back and having the chance to defend the title.
“I had great control over my irons into greens last year. The greens at Blackstone are quite severe. You want to hit the right spots, the right plateaus, and know the contours going into them. That was key for me, and on top of that I also had a great putting week.
“If you just miss your target slightly you can run off and leave yourself in awkward spots and you can three putt quickly, but that was something I did well last year and I holed some putts when I needed to.”
As has become tradition at the Ballantine’s Championship since the event’s inception in 2008, Wiesberger had the opportunity to create his own Ballantine’s Championship Blend, which was another enjoyable new experience.
“I have received the Championship Blend of Lee Westwood, who won the year before me, and it’s on a nice display at home,” he said. “I’m getting mine in a couple weeks hopefully. I did the blending the week after Dubai and it was great experience doing it with the guys from Ballantine’s.
“It was nice getting to know what it takes to blend the whisky and it was a fun experience for me. It is only going to be a ten bottle limited edition but hopefully whoever is fortunate to drink it likes it as well.”
-ends-
About Ballantine’s
Ballantine’s is the No 2 ultra-premium Scotch whisky in Asia, No 1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the range sells over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 129 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by the latest in a tradition of Master Blenders that dates back to 1827.
•          Ballantine’s has been title sponsor of the Ballantine’s Championship since 2008
•          Ballantine’s is an official sponsor of the BMW Masters, The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open & The World Cup of Golf
•          The first Ballantine’s sponsored golf tournament was played in 1960 at Wentworth Golf Club, England
 
About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport Scotch.
For further information, please contact:
Amy Grantham, International PR Manager, Chivas Brothers
amy.grantham@pernod-ricard.com
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.