The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - STEVE DOU­GLAS IRVINE, SCOT­LAND —

Rafa Cabr­era Bello birdied the first hole of a play­off with Cal­lum Shinkwin to win the Scot­tish Open on Sun­day, se­cur­ing his first ti­tle in 5½ years. The 405th-ranked Shinkwin, of Eng­land, left short a four-foot par putt for vic­tory on his 72nd hole to shoot a 4-un­der 68 in his fi­nal round and drop into a play­off with Cabr­era Bello of Spain. Bello shot a course-record 8-un­der 64. Both were 13 un­der par over­all. Re­turn­ing to the par-5 18th at Dun­don­ald Links, Cabr­era Bello sent a 3-wood from 275 yards to within eight feet. His ea­gle putt came short but he tapped in for birdie, leav­ing Shinkwin a seven-foot putt for birdie to force a sec­ond hole. Again, his putt didn’t reach the cup. “One of the shots of my life,” Cabr­era Bello said about his 3-wood on the play­off hole. The last of Cabr­era Bello’s pre­vi­ous two ti­tles on the Euro­pean Tour came at the Dubai Desert Clas­sic in Fe­bru­ary 2012. “I have been fight­ing for this win for many years,” he said. “Some­times I did mis­takes, some­times it didn’t work out for me. This is un­be­liev­able.” In his fi­nal round, Cabr­era Bello made eight birdies and didn’t drop a shot. On his 72nd hole, his ap­proach landed on the bank and nearly fell into the burn. He chipped out and made a birdie that ul­ti­mately forced the play­off. His win con­tin­ues a stun­ning year for Span­ish golf, with Ser­gio Gar­cia win­ning the Masters for his first ma­jor ti­tle and Jon Rahm — a ris­ing star of the game — win­ning two ti­tles, most re­cently at the Ir­ish Open last week. Shinkwin, who started the fi­nal round in a share of the lead with Ian Poul­ter and An­drew Dodt, led by a shot go­ing down par-5 18th for the first time Sun­day and only needed a par to be as­sured of vic­tory. His ap­proach went left be­hind a green­side bunker and, af­ter a long wait for his play­ing part­ner to play, Shinkwin chipped short of the green and the ball rolled back near the bunker. He three-putted from about 15 feet. Shinkwin missed out on a first ti­tle of his ca­reer and set­tled for earn­ing a place in next week’s Bri­tish Open, along with Matthieu Pavon of France and An­drew Dodt of Aus­tralia. “Un­der the gun, I didn’t miss a shot un­til the last hole,” said Shinkwin, whose only bo­gey came on the 18th. “I learnt I can com­pete with the best.” Poul­ter was seek­ing a 14th world­wide win — and first since Novem­ber 2012 — but was al­ways play­ing catch-up af­ter three-putting Nos. 1 and 4 for bo­geys. He tied for ninth place along­side 2015 cham­pion Rickie Fowler, who shot 70.


Rafa Cabr­era Bello of Spain won the Scot­tish Open on Sun­day. Ser­gio Gar­cia won this year’s Masters for his first ma­jor ti­tle and Jon Rahm won the Ir­ish Open last week.

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