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Cabrera Bello seals stunning play-off win at Dundonald Links

Sunday, July 16th, 2017
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Rafa Cabrera Bello sealed the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open title in stunning fashion after a brilliant final round 64 gave him the chance to defeat Callum Shinkwin in a play-off at Dundonald Links.

The Spaniard clinched his third European Tour title – his first in more than five years – and became the fourth Rolex Series winner, with a birdie on the first play-off hole.

Cabrera Bello had started the day four shots behind the leading group of Shinkwin, Ian Poulter and Andrew Dodt, but surged through the field on Sunday, carding eight birdies en route to a course record 64, to sit just one shot behind Shinkwin at 13 under par. He then watched anxiously on TV as the Englishman suffered a late slip, bogeying the 18th to set up the sudden-death shoot-out.

Both players hit fine drives at the first extra hole, but after Shinkwin’s approach found an awkward, downhill lie by the greenside bunker, Cabrera Bello hit a superb approach shot into the par-five from 275 yards, and was able to two-putt to victory.

Shinkwin’s consolation prize is a place in The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. He will be joined by Frenchman Matthieu Pavon, who came third on 10 under par and Dodt, who was two further back at eight under alongside Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, Matt Kuchar of the USA, Englishman Anthony Wall and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox.

Dodt’s challenge for the title faded after four bogeys on the back nine and he finished in a tie for fourth on eight under with a 73, although he took the third Open spot, edging out England’s Anthony Wall by virtue of his higher world ranking – 193 to 245.

Cabrera Bello is the first Spanish winner of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, and follows Alex Noren (BMW PGA Championship), Tommy Fleetwood (HNA Open de France) and his compatriot Jon Rahm (Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation) as a Rolex Series champion.

Player quotes

Rafa Cabrera Bello:
“I have been working really hard to try to get the third win. Sometimes I felt that I have made mistakes and I end up not winning. Other times, I felt I’ve given a good charge, but other people deserved the win.

“This time, I really felt I played some of the best golf of my life today. I had an unbelievable Sunday, and I really went for it on the play-off. So I’m extremely pleased that today everything worked out my way.

“Knowing that I performed well in The Ryder Cup, that’s one of the most pressured situations in the world, really. That just proves to yourself that you can play good in any condition, in any golf event. Obviously a play-off is one of those situations. You draw back from those memories, really trust yourself and go for it. I mean, this time it worked out great.

“I was watching on TV, yes. Obviously it was all in his (Shinkwin’s) hands. It must have been frustrating for him because I felt he got unlucky with the ball not rolling back to the bunker. Otherwise it would be him sitting here instead of me today.

“But I know from experience, as well, how difficult it is to close events. I don’t know if he has ever been in the same position as he was today. Sometimes things, don’t ask me how, but things do go wrong. I’ve felt that in my own bones more than once, unfortunately.

“The spectators have been fantastic. Even seeing yesterday the rough day it was, having so many people for the conditions we had. I mean, golf in Scotland is huge and we always feel great support from the local crowd, and I think the venue has proven to be a very exciting venue.”

Callum Shinkwin:
“It’s been a very good week. At the end of the day, I’m more than happy to finish second but the win was on my mind and didn’t happen.

“Of course I had a few nerves but to be fair it was nothing like what everyone probably thinks. I hit a great second shot in and finished in a divot on a downslope of the bunker. I had no shot, really. But it’s all a learning curve and obviously if you win, you have to have luck on your side. It wasn’t there for me.

“Now I’ve got enough ranking points to hopefully be in The Race to Dubai at the end of the year and hopefully I can carry on into next week.”

Matthieu Pavon:
“I played great yesterday and today. I finished badly with a double-bogey yesterday, so it was a bit kind of revenge today. I started well and everything was going in the right way. So that’s a great card. Very happy with that.

“I made a few birdies when I started the round, so I just tried to keep going and going and going. Today I played the 18th more aggressive and tried to find the green. I did it and just had two putts to make a good birdie.

“It’s a big jump (in points). My card is secure for next year I think. I have new objective to try to qualify for the Race to Dubai at the end of the year.”

Final scores
275 R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 70 72 69 64, C Shinkwin (Eng) 67 68 72 68,
278 M Pavon (Fra) 69 74 69 66,
280 M Kuchar (USA) 68 70 73 69, A Wall (Eng) 71 71 69 69, R Fox (Nzl) 72 69 69 70, A Dodt (Aus) 67 69 71 73, P Harrington (Irl) 67 68 79 66,
281 R Rock (Eng) 73 69 73 66, L Slattery (Eng) 75 68 70 68, S Kjeldsen (Den) 71 72 70 68, A Sullivan (Eng) 70 72 67 72, I Poulter (Eng) 67 69 71 74, R Fowler (USA) 67 70 74 70,
282 B Grace (RSA) 75 67 72 68, B Ritthammer (Ger) 72 69 70 71, T Bjørn (Den) 72 71 72 67, J Carlsson (Swe) 73 69 68 72,
283 G McDowell (Nir) 75 68 68 72, N Colsaerts (Bel) 70 67 78 68, A Otaegui (Esp) 73 66 73 71, A Johnston (Eng) 73 68 70 72, R Bland (Eng) 69 74 68 72, R Sterne (RSA) 73 69 71 70, P Peterson (USA) 67 76 75 65,
284 A Knappe (Ger) 70 65 76 73, J Campillo (Esp) 72 69 73 70, P Dunne (Irl) 68 73 69 74, A Levy (Fra) 72 66 76 70, H Stenson (Swe) 72 69 75 68, R Wattel (Fra) 72 69 77 66,
285 A Lahiri (Ind) 76 67 76 66, T Aiken (RSA) 69 73 74 69, G Havret (Fra) 71 66 76 72,
286 K Broberg (Swe) 69 70 76 71, R Ramsay (Sco) 68 74 72 72, R Fisher (Eng) 69 74 74 69, A Scott (Aus) 69 71 78 68, J Scrivener (Aus) 72 68 75 71, S Brazel (Aus) 72 69 74 71, A Björk (Swe) 73 70 73 70, M Carlsson (Swe) 68 74 73 71,
287 D Horsey (Eng) 71 68 77 71, A Chesters (Eng) 71 70 77 69,
288 B Hebert (Fra) 68 72 74 74, A Cañizares (Esp) 71 72 72 73, S Gallacher (Sco) 68 72 79 69, R Karlsson (Swe) 69 74 73 72, M Kieffer (Ger) 71 72 72 73,
289 L Haotong (Chn) 70 71 74 74,
290 P Waring (Eng) 73 70 78 69, B An (Kor) 72 71 74 73, B Wiesberger (Aut) 73 69 75 73, S Lee (Kor) 71 72 72 75,
291 D Stewart (Sco) 71 70 78 72, G Stal (Fra) 74 69 75 73, R Gouveia (Por) 70 72 78 71,
292 M Ilonen (Fin) 65 74 77 76, L Donald (Eng) 70 72 81 69, J Smith (Eng) 72 71 75 74,
293 R Paratore (Ita) 69 73 81 70, S Gros (Fra) 72 71 74 76, L Bjerregaard (Den) 69 71 75 78,
296 D Howell (Eng) 70 73 75 78, P Hanson (Swe) 69 74 81 72,

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