Less than a year after making his comeback from a career-threatening injury, Bernd Wiesberger is closing in on becoming the first Austrian player to be crowned European number one.
Wiesberger was sidelined for seven months of last season following a wrist operation and missed the cut in five of his first seven events after returning to action in the Mauritius Open at the end of November.
However, the 34-year-old has since won three times on the European Tour – including two lucrative Rolex Series events – to lead the Race to Dubai from Spain’s Jon Rahm and Open champion Shane Lowry with just three tournaments remaining.
While Lowry will sit out next week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City and Rahm will only contest the season-ending DP World Championship in Dubai, Wiesberger is playing all three events as he looks to add his name to the Harry Vardon trophy awarded to the winner of the money list.
“It would be fantastic,” Wiesberger said ahead of the Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya.
“Given the quality of players that have been able to win the Race to Dubai, to have the chance to be amongst them gives me a bit of goosebumps there.
“It’s an unbelievable list of legends of European and world golf that’s on that list, and to have the chance to put my name amongst them would be amazing. Being in that position is tremendous and hopefully we can have three more great weeks.”
Wiesberger was ranked 378th in the world before winning his fifth European Tour title in Denmark in May, but reached a career-high of 22nd after further wins in the Scottish Open in July and last month’s Italian Open.
“When we were in position (to win), we’ve done really well to grind it out and make that one more putt and hit that one more great shot and get the result in,” added Wiesberger, who will partner Lowry and defending champion Justin Rose in the first round at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal.
“In general, I felt like I was quite comfortable in position to play for a title and that’s kept me calm and it’s quite enjoyable. I really enjoyed those moments and then success came with it.”