Sunday, 16 July 2017

Scottish Open: Cabrera-Bello claims title in play-off

Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello, pictured June 2017, broke a five-year drought when he won a Scottish Open playoff, his first European Tour win in half a decade

Rafael Cabrera-Bello claimed his first European Tour title in over five years by edging out Callum Shinkwin in a play-off to win the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links on Sunday.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello claimed his first European Tour title in over five years by edging out Callum Shinkwin in a play-off to win the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links on Sunday.

The world number 31 birdied the final two holes in a stunning eight-under-par course record of 64 to put the pressure on Shinkwin, who just needed a par at the par-five 18th hole to win the tournament outright.

But the Englishman took four shots from the edge of the green to drop into a tie with Cabrera-Bello, 33, on 13 under par overall.

And the Ryder Cup player hit a fantastic shot into the final green when the two returned in the play-off to set up a tap-in birdie and seal the third Tour title of his career.

He also made it back-to-back Spanish winners after Jon Rahm stormed his way to success in last week's Irish Open.

"I am extremely happy," he said.

"I've won before and I have been up there so many, many times, and things not really working out for myself. I was starting to feel a little bit of pressure every time I was up there contending.

"So, really, really happy how I played today. I mean, in the play-off, I really gave it a go and extremely pleased it worked out for me."

Shinkwin's disappointment was eased by earning a place in Thursday's British Open, along the assurance of securing his Tour card for next year.

"It's been a very good week and at the end of the day, I'll be more than happy to finish second but the win was on my mind and didn't happen," he said.

"This result is massively important for me not only to be in the Open but hopefully later in the year I will qualify for the Race to Dubai finals."

Frenchman Matthieu Pavon fired a 66 to finish third, three strokes behind the leading duo, and secure the second of three spots for Royal Birkdale.

It will be a first major championship for the 24-year-old, who is halfway through his rookie European Tour season.

"I played great yesterday and today, but badly I finished with a double-bogey on 18 yesterday, so it was a bit kind of revenge today, and I started well and everything was going in the right way," he said.

"And to now being playing in my first Open, my first major and in my first full season is going to be very special and I am very happy."

Australian Andrew Dodt, who was planning to travel with his wife to New York on Monday for a five-day holiday, secured the final British Open place and his maiden appearance in a major by carding a final-round 73 to end in a five-way share of fourth at eight under.

"Yeah, tomorrow morning my wife and were meant to be off to New York, but pretty happy to be going to Birkdale and my first major," he said.

"I am over the moon. Over the moon. It's been a big goal of mine, sort of the back end of last year and this year to play my first major, and yeah, next week, bring it on."



from pulse.ng - Nigeria's entertainment & lifestyle platform online

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