Golf

Donald wins storm-hit Open

2011-07-10 19:25
Luke Donald (File)
Castle Stuart - Luke Donald enjoyed the perfect warmup for next week's British Open by shooting a flawless 9-under 63 to win the Scottish Open by four strokes, his first victory since becoming the world No 1 in May.

The 33-year-old Englishman started the third and final round on the Castle Stuart links course a shot behind a trio of joint leaders but collected nine birdies in a majestic bogey-free display. Donald romped home with a winning total of 19-under, ahead of Sweden's Fredrik Andersson Hed (62).

His eighth professional title - and third this year - didn't just cement his top ranking, which he secured for the first time nearly two months ago when he beat compatriot Lee Westwood in a play-off for the PGA Championship on his last appearance in Europe.

It also provided the ideal tonic ahead of the British Open at Royal St. George's starting on Thursday, where he'll attempt to land his first major.

Andersson Hed, ranked No 128, began the third round tied for 44th on 5-under, but came from nowhere to overhaul a host of forlorn chasers behind Donald. His 10-under 62 was the lowest score of a rain-affected week in Inverness.

British Open hopefuls Scott Jamieson of Scotland and Mark Tullo of Chile finished in a seven-way tie for third. However, it was the No 203-ranked Jamieson - who sank a birdie at the last with the final shot of the tournament - who grabbed the last qualifying spot for the year's third major, by virtue of having a higher ranking than Tullo by 29 places.

Colin Montgomerie had also been looking to qualify for his home major for the 22nd straight year but could only card a 70 to close on 10-under, and a tie for 31st.

Montgomerie briefly shared the lead in the final round after a birdie at the sixth, but dropped four shots at the start of the back nine to shatter his hopes.

No player has ever won the Scottish Open and gone on to win the British Open the following week but Donald - a model of consistency this year - looks in good position to become the first.

Donald completed his second round in overcast conditions early on Sunday with a second straight 5-under 67, giving him a good platform to make a charge for the title in his first Scottish Open since 2007.

With the tournament reduced to 54 holes following the wet and stormy weather that swept across Inverness on Friday and Saturday, he had to hit the ground running in the final round with Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell and Scots Peter Whiteford and Jamieson a shot clear.

Donald - wearing Tartan trousers for the occasion - did just that with a birdie on No 3, and then drained a 40-footer across the slope on the short fourth to share the lead with Jamieson.

Two more birdies made it four in a row and, although he was briefly joined in front by joint first-round leader Mark Tullo of Chile, the relentless Donald sank a 15-footer to pick up another on No 9 and then benefited from a free drop out of a waterlogged bunker on the 10th fairway to make a sensational up and down to go two strokes ahead.

He closed with three birdies from the last four holes to finish with three straight rounds in the 60s.

Scottish Open final-round scores at the par-72 course in Inverness on Sunday: (tournament reduced to 54 holes).

197 Luke Donald (Britain) 67 67 63 201 Fredrik Andersson Hed (Sweden) 73 66 62 202 Martin Wiegele (Austria) 69 68 65

Lorenzo Gagli (Italy) 68 68 66

Mark Tullo (Chile) 65 71 66

George Coetzee (South Africa) 66 69 67

Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium) 69 66 67

Angel Cabrera (Argentina) 71 64 67

Scott Jamieson (Britain) 67 66 69 203 Robert Coles (Britain) 70 69 64

Matt Kuchar (U.S.) 70 66 67

Jamie Donaldson (Britain) 67 68 68

Peter Hanson (Sweden) 66 67 70 204 Robert-Jan Derksen (Netherlands) 71 67 66

Retief Goosen (South Africa) 67 71 66

Paul McGinley (Ireland) 69 69 66

Romain Wattel (France) 70 67 67

Shane Lowry (Ireland) 69 70 65

Lee Westwood (Britain) 65 71 68

Mark Foster (Britain) 69 67 68

Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 69 67 68

Justin Rose (Britain) 69 67 68

Barry Lane (Britain) 67 67 70

Jose Manuel Lara (Spain) 68 66 70 205 Simon Dyson (Britain) 68 70 67

Carlos Del Moral (Spain) 67 72 66

Ernie Els (South Africa)
68 69 68

David Lynn (Britain) 70 67 68

Paul Lawrie (Britain) 71 64 70

Alastair Forsyth (Britain) 70 70 65 206 Richie Ramsay (Britain) 70 68 68

Richard McEvoy (Britain) 67 70 69

Michael Jonzon (Sweden) 69 68 69

Colin Montgomerie (Britain) 67 69 70

James Morrison (Britain) 71 68 67

Danny Willett (Britain) 69 70 67

David Dixon (Britain) 71 65 70

Richard Finch (Britain) 67 68 71

Christian Nilsson (Sweden) 68 68 70

Robert Rock (Britain) 75 65 66

Peter Whiteford (Britain) 67 66 73 207 Soren Kjeldsen (Denmark) 69 69 69

Hennie Otto (South Africa) 72 67 68

Markus Brier (Austria) 68 68 71

Jeev Milkha Singh (India) 70 70 67

Graeme McDowell (Britain) 69 64 74

Damien McGrane (Ireland) 73 67 67

Ross Fisher (Britain) 72 68 67 208 Gregory Bourdy (France) 69 69 70

Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (France) 72 66 70

David Horsey (Britain) 71 67 70

Raphael Jacquelin (France) 69 68 71

Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 68 71 69

Edoardo Molinari (Italy) 67 69 72

Stephen Dodd (Britain) 70 70 68

Greig Hutcheon (Britain) 68 72 68

Simon Wakefield (Britain) 74 66 68 209 Christian Cevaer (France) 71 68 70

Ryan Palmer (U.S.) 71 69 69

Johan Edfors (Sweden) 70 70 69

Phil Mickelson (U.S.) 73 67 69 210 John Parry (Britain) 71 68 71

Martin Laird (Britain) 70 70 70

Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark) 66 74 70

Lloyd Saltman (Britain) 70 70 70 211 Richard Green (Australia) 69 70 72

Chris Wood (Britain) 67 72 72

Anders Hansen (Denmark) 70 69 72

Darren Clarke (Britain) 69 67 75

Bradley Dredge (Britain) 71 68 72

Marc Warren (Britain) 67 72 72 212 Oscar Floren (Sweden) 70 69 73

Oskar Henningsson (Sweden) 68 71 73

Lee Slattery (Britain) 68 72 72 213 Peter Lawrie (Ireland) 68 70 75 215 Matt Haines (Britain) 71 69 75

Read more on:    scottish open  |  luke donald
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