Rumford wins Irish Open

Updated: July 25, 2004, 6:34 PM ET
Associated Press

DROGHEDA, Ireland -- Australian Brett Rumford fired a 5-under 67 for a four-shot victory at the Irish Open on Sunday.

Irishman Padraig Harrington and Raphael Jacquelin of France also shot 67s and shared second place, four shots behind. Overnight leader Peter Lonard was another shot behind after closing with a 73.

Rumford finished with a 14-under 274 for his second win on the European Tour, earning him $382,000.

"I can tell you I'm really burning inside," he said. "There's no feeling like this."

The Perth native, who will be 27 on Tuesday, birdied the second, third and fourth holes to pass Lonard on the leaderboard.

"Your stomach just grinds the whole day," he added. "There's not a stage out there where you can relax and feel you have the tournament in the bag.

"I just tried to play my own game and keep the rest of the field out of my mind. That got me through the week."

Rumford's only other success on the European Tour was in last year's St. Omer Open in France. It came against a poor field and was played the same week as the U.S. Open.

Rumford's victory earns him a European tour exemption until the end of 2006 and gets him into the field for the NEC-World Championship event at Firestone in Akron, Ohio, next month.

After his three early birdies put him in front, he bogeyed the short fifth but birdied the sixth, the 10th and the 12th to take control. He made two birdies and two bogeys over the last six holes, which included a 35-yard chip-in for birdie on the par-3 15th.

Rumford, the first Australian to win on the European Tour this year, has four top-10 finishes in 2004.

Harrington, who started slowly during the first three rounds, birdied the first three holes and the sixth. But a bogey at the short seventh halted his momentum.

"I could see the error of my ways from the first few days," Harrington said. "I can look back at the first three rounds and say I threw away a lot of golf shots."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press