Australian Rumford takes China Open victory

Last updated 02:01 06/05/2013
Brett Rumford
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GREAT RUN OF FORM: Brett Rumford of Australia celebrates with the trophy after winning the final round of the Volvo China Open.

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Australian Brett Rumford romped to his second tournament in eight days on the European Tour with a commanding victory in the China Open.

Rumford shot a final round four-under-par 68 that gave him a four-shot victory at the $US3.2 million ($A3.14 million) event at Tianjin Binhai Lake Golf Club.

Rumford added the OneAsia and European Tour co-sanctioned title to the Ballantine's Championship he won in Korea last week.

It capped a remarkable fortnight that has seen him bank over a million dollars and soar up the world rankings from 253 to the mid 80s.

The 37-year-old finished at 16 under par, with Finland's Mikko Ilonen (71) alone in second place and hard-charging Frenchman Victor Dubuisson (68) third.

It was Rumford's fifth career win in his 15th season on the European tour.

Before last week he had played 121 tournaments over five years and 231 days since his previous win at the European Masters.

"It's surreal," said Rumford.

"I'm more than pleased, but it's not my doing completely - I have a great team around me."

Rumford started the day a shot ahead of playing partner Ilonen, and they went at it hammer and tong until the tournament was effectively settled in a three-hole stretch starting at the 12th.

Rumford made three birdies on the trot while Ilonen -- perhaps pushing too hard -- had a pair of bogeys that left him resigned to second place.

"The one on the 12th, well that was one of the best shots of my career," said Rumford, of the tricky up-and-down he had to pull off from the edge of a bunker.

The margin of victory could not have contrasted more with his effort in Korea.

At that event Rumford broke a near six-year victory drought only after enduring a nail-biting three-way playoff that he forced his way into after a birdie on the last following a 17th hole double bogey.

"Mikko certainly put the pressure on me through the turn there, and obviously he was driving well but it's amazing this game, how quickly it can turn," said Rumford.

"Last week on 17 it turned for the worst and here, in the space of just three or four holes, all I had to do was finish it off."

The twin successes lifted Rumford to the No.1 ranking in the tour's season-long Race to Dubai standings and he's set to achieve a career-best world ranking on Monday.

His scores of 68, 67, 69, 68 marked just the third time in his European tour career he's played all four rounds under 70, and he's won two of those times.

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He's the first Australian since Jack Newton in 1972 to win back-to-back on the European tour.

- AAP

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