Gareth’s eagle putt in play-off 
ensures Scottish PGA title

Scottish PGA champion Gareth Wright

Scottish PGA champion Gareth Wright

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West Linton Golf Club professional Gareth Wright is the Scottish PGA champion for the second time in three years.

The 34-year- old won the event’s 100th staging in style at Gleneagles when he eagled the par-5 18th on the King’s Course from six feet to beatPaul O’Hara in a play-off after the pair had tied on 16-under- par in the £50,000 M&H Logistics-sponsored event.

With closing 68s for 268 totals, Wright and O’Hara finished five shots clear of the field in Perthshire.

The victory in the Tartan Tour’s flagship tournament earned Wright a £9000 pay-day while, in addition to a runners-up cheque for £6500, O’Hara secured a place in next week’s PGA Play-Offs in Devon along with Greig Hutcheon and Graham Fox.

Locked together at the start of the day, Wright and O’Hara fought out an enthralling ding-dong battle in the final round and came to the 72nd hole still sharing the lead.

It was advantage Wright after the pair had hit their approaches but 30-year-old O’Hara, who is based at Lochview Golf Centre in Coatbridge through an attachment to North Lanarkshire Leisure, got down in two putts from fully 120 feet to make a birdie, which his title rival matched.

‘‘I expected Paul to make his six-footer as he’d putted well all day and is very good around the greens,’’ admitted Wright afterwards.

Returning to the same hole for the play-off, O’Hara was a lot closer in two and made birdie once more despite racing his first putt six feet past, but Wright had hit a majestic six-iron from 201 yards to six feet and rolled it in for a title-winning eagle.

‘‘We both played really good golf all day,’’ said the champion, who plays under the Welsh flag but lives in 
Edinburgh.

‘‘We didn’t set the world on fire, but it was good, sensible golf and a good game between us.

‘‘It’s been a very strange year for me as I’ve been playing my golf in lots of different places. In fact, I’ve probably only played in four or five Tartan Tour events.

‘‘But this is a nice cherry on top of the cake at the end of the year and I love it up here - Gleneagles is one of my favourite places in the world.’’

The trio now head to Devon, where the PGA Play-Offs started on Monday, with 10 spots up for grabs in next year’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth as well as three automatic places in the team that will defend the PGA Cup at Foxhills in Surrey next September.