An Austrian who's better at golf than skiing

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 9, 2014 at 7:35 pm •  Published: August 9, 2014
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Most Americans will see his name near the top of the leaderboard — Bernd Wiesberger — and wonder whether they've stumbled onto a ski race.

Try the PGA Championship.

"Well, yeah, we're not too many Austrians out on tour," the 28-year-old European Tour member said.

Wiesberger, it turns out, is an accomplished skier. But at the moment, he'd like to be better known for his golf. After following up back-back-to-back 68s with a 65 in the third round to reach 12 under, Wiesberger will get the chance when he goes off in the final pairing Sunday with leader Rory McIlroy in the season's final major.

"I've not been in contention in a major championship, so I don't know how it's going to turn out," he said. "I'm just trying to enjoy as I did today. I was in a great situation going into the round this afternoon and I felt quite calm.

"I'm friends with Rory and I'm sure it's going to be a nice situation out there tomorrow again," he added. "Hopefully do the things well that I did today. Yeah, just enjoy myself. From now on, it's just a bonus, really."

Wiesberger was introduced to golf as a toddler in Oberwart, a small town (population: 7,000) about an hour and a half east of the Austrian capital of Vienna, where his father owned a sporting goods store. By age 8, he was roaming the practice range at a nearby golf course, then started playing seriously in his early teens, when he segued in the nation's junior development programs.

Wiesberger won several amateur tournaments, but broke his collarbone in a 2003 skiing accident that nearly derailed his golfing career. He still gets out on the slopes when his schedule allows.

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