Rumford wins in playoff at Ballantine's Championship

Brett Rumford surrendered a 2-stroke lead with two holes to play, but recovered with an eagle on the first playoff hole to win the Ballantine's Championship.

Rumford carded a 4-under 68 on Sunday to finish four rounds at Blackstone Golf Course at 11-under-par 277 and earn his fourth career win on the European Tour.

"I'm really pleased with the result and I owe a lot to Ronnie my caddy and I've got a great team around me," said Rumford.

He was joined there by Marcus Fraser and Peter Whiteford, who shot a 68 and 69, respectively.

Romain Wattel (69) took fourth place at 9-under and world No. 7 Louis Oosthuizen (69) captured fifth at 8-under.

South Korean native Hyung-sung Kim was among a group of five players tied for sixth place at minus-7.

Rumford sat at 13-under for the tournament as he stepped up to the 17th tee, but he hit his drive into the trees and was forced to take a drop, resulting in a double bogey to drop him into a tie with Fraser and Whiteford.

"I battled with my driver constantly and I guess that's what keeps me out of most golf tournaments," Rumford said.

After Rumford and Fraser each closed with a par at the last, Whiteford, who was playing with the final group, had a chance for the win with a 4-foot birdie putt at the 18th.

He could not convert, however, to force the second three-way playoff in as many weeks on the European Tour.

Rumford then atoned for his earlier mistake by hitting his second shot on the first playoff hole to within six feet of the pin and rolled in his eagle effort for the victory as both of his opponents failed to reach the green in two shots.

"It was an absolute rollercoaster ride of emotions out there this afternoon, obviously my last five holes yesterday and front nine today got me in a great position to take this tournament," said Rumford.

Rumford entered the final round two strokes behind third-round leader Alexander Noren, but quickly joined him atop the leaderboard by opening his final round with back-to-back birdies at the first and second.

Whiteford then made it a three-way tie for first place at 9-under with a birdie at the third, and followed with another birdie at the fourth to take the outright lead.

Noren, meanwhile, opened with a par before he was issued a 1-stroke penalty at the second hole when his grounded putter caused the ball to move, dropping him to minus-8.

But he recovered with consecutive birdies at the fifth and sixth to meet Whiteford at 10-under.

Rumford then was able to pull ahead of the pack with a streak of four straight birdies from the sixth to hit the turn at 13-under.

Whiteford followed with a birdie at the seventh to stay within striking distance at 11-under, while Noren recorded a pair of double bogeys at the 10th and 13th around a birdie at the 12th to fall off the pace.

Fraser was able to join Whiteford in second place as he poured in four birdies -- at the fourth, sixth seventh and 10th -- and six pars over his first 10 holes.

Whiteford pulled within a stroke of the leader with a birdie at the 11th, but stumbled to a bogey at the 12th to again fall two strokes off the pace.

Rumford traded a bogey at the 13th with a birdie at the 14th to remain at 13- under until his gaffe at the 17th dropped into the three-way tie.

Fraser parred his final eight holes to close out his final round.

NOTES: It was Rumford's first win since the 2007 Omega European Masters ... Magnus A. Carlsson hit a hole-in-one at the third ... Thaworn Wiratchant withdrew prior to the start of the fourth round ... Raphael Jacquelin birdied the record-tying ninth playoff hole to defeat Maximilian Kieffer and Felipe Aguilar at the Open de Espana last week.