Cabrera Bello snatches Scottish Open title after play-off drama

Rafa Cabrera Bello. Pic by Getty Images.
Rafa Cabrera Bello. Pic by Getty Images.

Sport can quite often be a game of fine margins, and nobody knew that better on Sunday evening than Englishman Callum Shinkwin.

A ten foot putt at on the 18th at Dundonald Links was all that separated Shinkwin from his maiden European Tour win.

With it comes a host of playing privileges, a hefty winner's cheque and his tour card guaranteed for a couple of season.

The 24-year-old was in a position he could only have dreamed of at the start of Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, but things turned into a nightmare as he rolled his putt a matter of millimetres short and bogeyed the hole.

It was a dramatic late twist on what was a quite superb four days of golf at Dundonald and forced a play-off with Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello, who had shot a final, bogey free, round of -8 to not only record a course record 64 but also reach -13 along with Shinkwin and force a play-off.

Chasing his third European Tour win in 293 appearances, the experience of Cabrera Bello shone through in the first of the play-off holes and he punished Shinkwin's earlier short putt in the most clinical way possible.

On the par 5 18th the Spaniard took a massive stride to picking up the Scottish Open title with a stunning approach shot from 275 yards.

He tidied up for a birdie with Shinkwin only managing a par.

The win saw Cabrera Bello become the first Spanish winner of the Scottish Open since it became part of the European Tour in 1972.

Dundonald had proved to be a worthy adversary to the sport's biggest names across the week.

Rory McIlroy arrived looking to move in the right direction ahead of next week's Open Championship at Royal Birkdale but ended up missing his second cut in as many weeks.

Rickie Fowler briefly threatened the top of the leaderboard but failed to build up any sort of momentum over the weekend.

Pádraig Harrington surged into the lead on Friday but saw his chances blown away in the rain and gales on Saturday with a 79.

The Irishman did show his class on Sunday, though, and a -6 round saw him finish in a tie for fourth.

But the weekend belonged to Cabrera Bello, who showed he can master links golf ahead of next week's Major.