Sutherland surge is the perfect pick-me-up
GREIG HUTCHEON’S unwavering competitive instincts were highlighted again at Royal Dornoch yesterday as the Tartan Tour stalwart surged to a six-shot victory in the Northern Open.
The 43-year-old, who captured one of Scottish professional golf’s oldest titles back in 2010 when the event was shortened to 36 holes due to bad weather, won over the full distance this time as he closed with a four-under 66 for a 13-under aggregate of 267.
Hutcheon, who led by three strokes overnight, coasted over the finishing line with a bogey-free round and finished ahead of the defending champion, Chris Kelly, with Greg McBain two shots further back in third.
Three weeks ago, Hutcheon was sitting on the fringes of the top 20 heading into the final round of the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and was on course for the biggest pay day of his long career until he slithered backwards with a closing 82.
This surge to success in Sutherland was a perfect pick-me-up. “I’ve had a fantastic week and it’s one of my best four-round totals,” said the former Scottish PGA champion and three-time Challenge Tour winner.
“I had a tough day in the last round at Wentworth, so it was really good to go out there and shoot 66 to win the tournament.”
Hutcheon, who has been the dominant force on the Tartan Tour over the past few years, earned the prize as well as the plaudits from those who were trying to reel him in.
“I can’t complain about second place,” said Kelly, who was aiming to become the first player in more than 20 years to claim back-to-back titles. “Congratulations to Hutch, who was on a different level this week. He played flawless golf, as he did in all four rounds, so hats off to him.”
Kelly closed with a 69 for his sevenunder tally while former European Tour winner, Alastair Forsyth, also signed off with a 69 to claim a share of sixth on a one-under 279.
One of the best rounds of the day was produced by Heather MacRae, the sole woman in the field, who zipped round in 66 to share 22nd.
FULL DISTANCE: Greig Hutcheon