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Dublin: 2°C Monday 25 January 2021

Top-10 finish for Caldwell as Otaegui wins Scottish Championship, Lowry finishes strong in Vegas

Rory McIlroy is still in action at the CJ Cup, while Padraig Harrington finished tied for 14th in Scotland.

Jonathan Caldwell at the Scottish Championship.
Jonathan Caldwell at the Scottish Championship.
Image: PA

ADRIAN OTAEGUI CARDED a blistering final round of 63 to win the Scottish Championship title ahead of a chasing pack dominated by British talent at Fairmont St Andrews.

Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Caldwell landed a top-10 finish after ending the week nine shots off the lead, while Dubliner Padraig Harrington, who had been in contention after the first two rounds, finished in the top 15 — a tie for 14th — after a final round 68 to sit on 12-under overall.

But it was Otagui who turned on the heat on day four to dominate, and ultimately win.

The Spaniard started the day four shots behind Matt Wallace but, as the Englishman faded in round four, Otaegui made 10 birdies to get 23 under and claim victory by four shots.

Aaron Rai won in Scotland two weeks ago and a closing 66 saw him maintain his good form and finish third at 17 under, a shot clear of two more Englishmen in Chris Paisley and Garrick Porteous.

But Otaegui stole the show, bookending his round with birdies to go with eight more gains in 11 holes from the fifth and a single dropped shot on the 10th.

The win is the 27-year-old’s third on the European Tour but his first at a stroke play event, having won the Paul Lawrie match play in 2017 and the Belgian Knockout in the medal match play format the following season.

He also becomes just the third Spaniard to win a European Tour title on Scottish soil after Seve Ballesteros and Rafa Cabrera Bello, and lifts the trophy just down the road from the famed Old Course.

“I’m in very good company,” he said. “Seve is one of the best golfers I’ve seen and Rafa is a great friend of mine. I know he won the Scottish Open three years ago and I’m in great company.

“I feel so happy. To be able to win in Scotland, especially here in St Andrews, the home of golf, it means a lot to me.

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“I had no expectations this morning, really. I just wanted to go out there, play well and shoot as well as possible. If you told me I was going to shoot 63 this morning, I wouldn’t believe it. Everything went well, I played very well, I felt very well, I was very focused and I holed some good putts.”

Meanwhile, the CJ Cup is into the final stages, with Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry both in action there. Offaly man Lowry carded a brilliant final round of 67 to finish on a high, though well down the leaderboard, after rounds of 72, 74 and 70 respectively.

He bows out on five-under.

McIlroy is still playing, currently on nine-under with three holes to go. He carded a disappointing 73 on day one, followed by a 69 on Friday and a sizzling 66 yesterday.

It’s tight at the top with Jason Kokrak and Xander Schauffele — both on 19-under — battling it out for the prize. Talor Gooch, Tyrrell Hatton and Russell Henley are further back, but remain in the hunt in Vegas.

View leaderboard here.

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