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Otaegui claims special victory in St Andrews

Adrián Otaegui. © Getty Images
Adrián Otaegui. © Getty Images

Adrián Otaegui produced a brilliant closing round of 63 to storm to his first 72-hole stroke play victory on the European Tour at the Scottish Championship presented by AXA.

The Spaniard has shown himself to be an expert at head to head battles, winning both the 2017 Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play and the 2018 Belgian Knockout for his first two European Tour victories, and he showed all those skills again as it came down to a three man contest with playing partners Matt Wallace and Garrick Porteous at Fairmont St Andrews.

Otaegui entered the day four shots off the lead of Wallace but eight birdies in 11 holes from the fifth helped him finish at 23 under par, four clear of the Englishman.

Aaron Rai continued his recent excellent form to finish at 17 under par, a shot clear of fellow Englishmen Chris Paisley and Porteous, with the latter challenging for the title until falling away down the stretch.

After an opening round of 62, Otaegui’s Sunday 63 bookended his week beautifully and saw him get over the line after three runner up finishes in stroke play events, including this season’s English Championship.

Player quotes

Adrian Otaegui: “I’m very happy to win here in Scotland, the home of golf, next to St Andrews. It feels like a very special win for me.

“Stroke play is my favourite way of golf, I think it’s the proper way. You have to play very solidly and very consistently all four rounds, which I think I did. I’m very happy to be able to win stroke play as well, my third win on the European Tour. I have no words.

“The whole week went very well. Started with a very good round and I just tried to do a reset after every day and start from zero. I felt very good on the golf course, hit some very good shots. Today again I just wanted to give myself some opportunities, chances. I think I did, I hit some very good iron shots into the green. I holed some very good important putts, so I’m just very happy.

“I didn’t really (look at the leaderboard). I knew more or less how Matt (Wallace) and I were, but I just tried to do the best I could. If I played my best, I knew I was going to be up there. You can’t control what others are going to do, but I just tried to focus on myself, tried to feel confident and tried to feel good, and that’s what I did.”

Round four scores