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Dubuisson Rolls to First Victory
Victor Dubuisson closed with a 3-under 69 to hold off a stellar field and log his first career win in the Turkish Airlines Open.
The 23-year-old from Cannes, France, finished at 24-under 264 at Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Antalya, Turkey for a two-stroke victory despite a 9-under 63 by hard-charging Welshman Jamie Donaldson.
Justin Rose closed with a 65 to end up tied for third at 268 with No. 1-ranked Tiger Woods (67). Ian Poulter (69) and Raphael Jacquelin (68) took fifth at 269.
Bernd Wiesberger (64), Mac Warren (65) and Henrik Stenson (69) shared seventh at 270. With his high finish in Turkey, Stenson retained his lead in the Race to Dubai heading into this week's European Tour finale, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
"I don't realize I have just won such a big tournament," Dubuisson told reporters. "Tiger, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose were all in contention with me so it's a really great feeling and I'm really proud of what I did because it was the toughest golf day of my life." (See below for Dubuisson's full post-round interview.)
Stenson has been bothered by a sore right wrist and it continues to cause him trouble. He's concerned about next week. "I feel like I've left a ton of chances out there," the Swede said.
"If it gets a whole lot worse there is a chance I might not play. I might pull out of the pro-am and just play nine holes of practice. I know the course pretty well. I'm in desperate need of rest."
As for his time in Turkey, Woods - who received an appearance fee for a reported $3 million - said, "I enjoyed it. Just had to be so aggressive all the time and make a lot of birdies. I said 20-plus was going to win. It ended up that way."
For all the scores, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2013/tournamentid=2013088/leaderboard/index.html.
After signing his scorecard and accepting the winner's take, Dubuisson met with reporters for the following Q&A.
MODERATOR: I suppose have to start by saying many congratulations, Turkish Airlines Open champion, how does it feel?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: It's so great. As I said, I don't realize that I just won such a big tournament. Tiger, Stenson, Justin Rose, they were all in contention with me today. So it's a really great feeling, and I'm really proud of what I did because it was the toughest golf day of my life. I'm playing great the front nine; I was struggling on the green - on this course, level par is a good score but with this level of players, Tiger, Stenson, you cannot whip a tournament with a level par score, even with a five shot lead. So on the back nine, I tried to do my best to make some birdies, and I had this great putt on 17. It's one of those putts that you make to make a dream come true.
Q. This win moves you into the top 40 of the World Rankings, opens a lot of doors, and you're probably going to get a Masters invite; could you talk about what it means for your career?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: I did not know about this (smiling). Well, playing the Masters would be - of course, it's a dream. Today is a dream coming true, and if I played the Masters next year, is it would be so great. Does it really make me top 40 now?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: I didn't know I could make such a big step in one tournament. Wow, it's amazing what you just told me.
Q. What was more harder to do today, Victor, fighting yourself or fighting guys like Tiger, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: No, fighting myself of course. I'm very proud of the way I fight myself today, because I really made a few difficult shots, I holed a few good putts for par, and you know, this putt on 17, yeah, it's the kind of put you make to win a big event. And I would love to be comfortable over this putt it was like ten meters, left to right; I don't like this putt, and I probably pulled it, and yet it went in. So it's kind of a sign, I don't know. Yeah, it was just a little bit of luck, and kind of a sign that I had to, that I was going to win this tournament.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the noise when Jamie made his hole in one and how aware or not you were about that and what effect it had?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: I didn't know he made a hole in one. I was thinking he was on the 15th hole and he made eagle. Didn't it was a hole in one. But when I saw his name on the leaderboard one shot behind me, then it did put some pressure on me, of course.
Q. You made a bogey at almost the same time Jamie Donaldson made that hole in one, and you were both tied for 21 under on top of the leaderboard at that time. On the 15th hole, you've been using your driver every day; did you have any thoughts of changing your game plan because you just made a bogey and he made a hole in one?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: No, no. I do not have the distance to hit the green on the 15th hole, and today the flag was easier than the other days. So I knew something had to happen now at this moment, so I decided to not change my strategy. I did change my strategy on a few holes on the front nine, and it did cost me because I didn't make any birdies. So on the last few holes, I said, okay, now I have to make some birdies and be aggressive if I want to win this tournament. With so many great players here, if don't make birdies, you're not going to have a chance.
Q. What was your distance to get to the green on 15?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: 275 meters or 270 meters.
Q. I was going to ask you, how much did it help having RaphaŽl in your group today, and how much encouragement did he give you towards the later stage of the round?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: He gave me a lot of encouragement on the last few holes. He was in contention with me at the beginning of the round, so of course, he was not helping me. But in the end he did speak to me a few times on the last three holes, and it did help me a lot because sometime I would just go on my inside, you know, when I feel stress and I have some pressure on me, I just close, you know, myself. And the fact that RaphaŽl spoke to me a few times did help me.
Q. When did you know that you were tied with Jamie and Justin Rose?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: When I arrived on the green on the 15th, just before my chip.
Q. And secondly, since now that you know where your status is in the world, how much will that change how much you'll play outside of Europe next year?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: Sorry? How much?
Q. Will you play more outside of Europe next year, maybe on the PGA Tour, because of what your status is now in the world?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: You are asking me if I will play on the PGA Tour?
Q. Well, yes.
VICTOR DUBUISSON: Yeah, I don't know what I got with this win at the moment, but I'm top 40 in the world now, so it will change my schedule. I will focus on big tournaments and probably change my way to practice because I will have to play probably more events next year and do a lot more traveling, long travel. So I think this winter, I need to prepare very well for this and to practice a lot.
Q. Have you played in the U.S. before?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: No. I never played a PGA Tour event. But I really hope I will play next year, like maybe if I get one or two invites, it will be like a dream.
Q. Will you be coming down to South Africa now for the next couple down there?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: You mean for the Alfred Dunhill? I think I will play the Dunhill after the World Cup in Australia. And then, I don't know what will be my schedule. I don't know yet because I don't know - am I in the Nedbank?
MODERATOR: We'll have to check.
VICTOR DUBUISSON: Yeah, we'll play a few events in South Africa, because I like to spend time there, and we will also take time to visit more of South Africa and to spend time there like holiday probably between tournaments.
Q. How are you looking forward to next week in Dubai?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: I'm really looking forward to next week (big smile). It's a course I like. And after this win, you know, as I said, I don't really realize that I won such a big event, but tomorrow, when I will wake up, I will probably have more confidence in myself. And I'm really looking forward to be in Dubai and to start practice on Tuesday.
Q. Have you played in Australia before at Royal Melbourne and what is your thinking about playing the World Cup?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: No, I've played in Perth a few times but I've never played Royal Melbourne. I've heard it's one of the best courses in the world with the faster greens, so I'm really looking forward to play this tournament.
Q. Did you have any golfing heroes, and could I ask you, what do you think of what they are trying to do to promote golf, to develop golf in Turkey?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: It's really good what they are doing. I mean, giving us the opportunity to play such a big tournament with those great players, it's very good for the European Tour and for guys like me, you know, who try to make points for the World Ranking and try to be in the top of this ranking. It's very good that we have the opportunity to play tournaments that gives us as much World Ranking points than they have on the PGA Tour or in big tournaments over there. So what they are doing is really good, and this winter, I will come - now that I discover this place, I will come here to practice with my coach.
Q. What about your golfing heroes?
VICTOR DUBUISSON: My golfing heroes? I was playing in front of one today (laughs). They were both playing in front of me.
MODERATOR: And you beat them all. Victor, many congratulations, well done.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.
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