Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Cabrera-Bello triumphs in Open tune-up

Cabrera-Bello triumphs in Open tune-up

SCOTTISH OPEN: Rafa Cabrera Bello needed the best round of the week and one of the best shots of his life to end his 5½-year wait for a victory on Sunday.

Ian Poulter had shared the lead going into the final round but fell away with a 74 and a tie for ninth place.

Having made the cut by a stroke, the Northern Irishman went into day four in a share of eighth place and picked up two shots, including a birdie at the 18th, as well as recording two bogeys, on Sunday.

Cabrera Bello, 33, who ended a five-year winless run, had birdied his closing two holes in a new course record with an eight-under-par 64 before being joined on 13 under par by England's Callum Shinkwin, who horribly missed a tournament winning par putt on the last hole in regulation and his round of 68. "And out here, I can't get technical at all about where I want to hit it, what flight I hit, where I want to land it on the green".

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He also secured himself a spot in the field for this week's British Open.

"And that second shot on 18 was one of the best shots of my life". I have struggled with it, but today I just felt it was a good day.

Two shots further back is fellow Englishman Sullivan, a three time Tour victor two years ago, who finished bogey, birdie and eagle in his score of 67.

"If I were to qualify for The Open my wife and I will be glad to change the holiday in NY and head south instead to Birkdale", he smiled.

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The 33-year-old struck a flawless second shot on the extra hole, the 18th, and holed out for a birdie four before Shinkwin left his putt just short.

Matthieu Paven posted a six-under 66 on Sunday to end up solo third at 10-under-par and secure the other spot at Royal Birkdale next week along with Shinkwin and Dodt, with Dodt having to cancel the trip to NY he'd planned with his wife to take up his spot at his first major tournament. End of the day, I am more than happy to finish second even if the win was on my mind.

"When we got to the 10th, probably through the 14th, 15th, it started raining and it just got so hard". He was unable to get up-and-down and the resulting bogey saw him finish 72 holes tied with Cabrera-Bello. I think I was overdue.

Poulter was seeking a 14th worldwide win - and first since November 2012 - but was always playing catch-up after three-putting Nos.

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But each was saved and when Watson flashed wide a smash, all that was left was for a booming Murray serve to finish off. Murray and Hingis share the winners' cheque of £100,000 while Watson and Kontinen split the £50,000 runners-up prize.

It does mean Dodt's wife is going to have to purchase woollens and water-proof attire after her 31-year-old husband qualified for this week's 146th Open Championship overnight. I knew the Open spot was right on the line.

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