RAFA CABRERA BELLO produced a stunning final round to claim a first win since 2012 on the European Tour, after Callum Shinkwin threw away the lead in agonising fashion at the Scottish Open.
World number 405 Shinkwin was on course for victory when he stepped up to the 18th tee a shot clear of the clubhouse leader, but the 24-year-old came up agonisingly short with what would have been the winning putt, producing his first bogey of the day at the worst possible time and forcing a play-off.
That mistake came after Shinkwin’s approach had landed in an awkward spot next to the bunker. Much to the Englishman’s frustration, he found almost the exact same spot when the play-off saw him tackle the 18th once more.
Cabrera-Bello’s approach, by contrast, was near perfect, and he left Shinkwin with a pressure putt from around six foot. This effort again matched his previous attempt, finishing centimetres short of keeping his hopes of a first Tour win alive.
Spaniard Cabrera-Bello had gone eight under for the day – the best performance at Dundonald Links on Sunday – to finish 13-under overall, birdying the last two holes to put the pressure on Shinkwin in the closing stages of his round.
Shinkwin’s ill-timed bogey opened the door for Cabrera Bello, with the 33-year-old taking full advantage to become the first Spanish winner of the tournament.
There was a consolation for Shinkwin, as he – along with third-placed Matthieu Pavon and Andrew Dodt – secured qualification for The Open, which gets under way on Thursday.
Dodt and Ian Poulter, who held a share of the overnight lead with Shinkwin, finished tied for fourth and ninth respectively after disappointing showings on the final day.
Padraig Harrington, who had been well in contention until a disastrous third round on Saturday – which saw him card a seven-over par 79, finished strongly and put up an excellent display.
His six-under 66 was the third-best tally of the day and it ensured he finished in joint-fourth overall, five shots behind the Spaniard.
Graeme McDowell finished on five-under for the tournament after shooting level par for his final round while Paul Dunne was one shot further back.
Additional reporting by Eoin O’Callaghan.
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