Warren's nightmare lets Singh in
SCOTTISH OPEN: Indian Jeev Milkha Singh won the Scottish Open after beating Italian Francesco Molinari in a play-off at Castle Stuart after home hope Marc Warren suffered the disappointment of blowing a three-shot lead over the closing stretch.
Singh, who also qualifies for the British Open, overcame the brother of 2010 champion Edoardo with a 12-foot birdie putt at the first hole of their play-off, leaving a stunned Warren joint third with Swede Alex Noren one shot back.
The 31-year-old Glaswegian double-bogeyed the 15th, then bogeyed the next two for a one-under-par 71.
Singh had set an early target of 17 under with a 67 and overnight leader Molinari then forced sudden death by holing a nine-foot par putt on the last for a 72.
Warren, whose collapse also saw him miss out on a place at the British Open, said: “I might need a little help to get to sleep tonight.”
After playing the first 14 holes in a brilliant five under par in the first windy conditions of the tournament it all started to go horribly wrong on the 423-yard 15th. He faced a 15-foot par putt after finding rough off the tee, but three-putted it for a double bogey six.
His next drive found gorse and after a penalty drop led to a bogey five, then he chipped far too strongly on the short 17th and let yet another shot go.
Suddenly he needed to birdie the par five last to be in the play-off, but into the wind he needed three to find the green and then missed from 25 feet.
Noren was equally gutted minutes earlier as he had taken a bogey six there to finish one behind Singh.
Molinari, who started with a course record 62 and led after the second and third rounds as well, required a closing birdie to win and so emulate his brother Edoardo. But he left himself having to hole from nine feet to keep his title hopes alive. He made that, but he could not match Singhs four when they played the hole again
Shane Lowry finished best of the Irish in a tie for 11th place on 13 under after closing with a one-under 71.
Pádraig Harrington matched that score to finish on 12 under. His round included an adventurous bogey six on the second when his drive was found on the beach under what looked like an abandoned door.
Peter Lawrie could only manage a 74 to finish on 11 under.
* WOMEN’S TOUR: Caroline Masson held her nerve to win the South Africa Open by one stroke at the Selborne Park Golf Club in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday.
There was a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard heading into the final day.
However, France’s Joanna Klatten was unable to recover from a double-bogey five on the par-three fourth and another dropped shot before the turn, while England’s Danielle Montgomery and home favourite Ashleigh Simon both faltered over the back nine.
Ireland’s Rebecca Codd finished nine shots behind the winner in 20th place after shooting a closing 75.
* CHALLENGE TOUR: Colm Moriarty sealed his first top 20 finish of the Challenge Tour season after a level par final round of 71 left him in tied 19th spot and three under par for the tournament, eight shots behind eventual winner Gary Stal.
* EUROPEAN BOYS: An agonising defeat on the fifth extra hole by Alex Gleeson prevented Ireland from finishing the European Boys’ Team Championship on a high at Lindingo in Sweden at the weekend.
That meant Ireland lost 3-2 to France and finished sixth in the European rankings.
* EUROPEAN GIRLS: Ireland overcame Belgium in style at the weekend to finish ninth in the European Girls’ Team Championship – the best position they could achieve after failing to make the top flight following the 36 holes of strokeplay.
Meanwhile, Sweden won the title when they beat Spain 4-3 in the final with England finishing in fifth spot.