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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 25, 2010

Golf: Fraser breaks 7-year title drought at Ballantine's

Associated Press

JEJU, South Korea Australia's Marcus Fraser broke a seven-year title drought Sunday, shooting a 3-under 69 to complete a wire-to-wire win with a four-stroke victory in the weather-shortened Ballantine's Championships.

Fraser had just one bogey going into final round and added only one more, on the 18th hole. He finished at 12-under 204 at Pinx Golf Club, where the tournament was shortened to 54-holes after fog delayed the first day of play for nearly seven hours.

The 31-year-old Australian last won a European Tour title in a playoff at the 2003 Russian Open.

"I've had so many chances to win over the last seven years," Fraser said. "So to go out there and play like I did today and this week is a big relief."

Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin (72) held a share of the lead at the turn, but went 3 over on the back side and finished in a tie for second with Brett Rumford (71) of Australia.

"I didn't play the back nine great, so a few things need a bit of improvement, but overall I'm happy enough," Maybin said.

Ernie Els surged to a share of the lead after birdies on his first two holes Sunday, but three bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine ended his chances of adding to his two victories worldwide this year.

The South African finished at 5 under to tie for ninth in a group of five that included defending champion Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand (75).

The day's low round came from 18-year-old Noh Seung-yul of South Korea, who shot a 68 to finish in a tie for fourth with Oliver Fisher of England.

Noh became the second youngest winner on the European Tour last month when he won the Maybank Malaysian Open. He moved to the top of the Asian Tour's Order of Merit following his performance this week, ahead of Australia's Andrew Dodt.

The $2.9 million Ballantine's Championship is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Korea PGA.

Anthony Kim of the U.S. ground out a 71 to finish at 1-over and tie for 16th.