Aaron Rai sees off Tommy Fleetwood to take Scottish Open

European Ryder Cup captain Pádraig Harrington secured top-10 finish with Sunday 67

Tommy Fleetwood congratulates Aaron Rai after he won the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open after the first play-off hole at The Renaissance Club. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Tommy Fleetwood congratulates Aaron Rai after he won the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open after the first play-off hole at The Renaissance Club. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

 

England’s Aaron Rai won his second European Tour title in dramatic fashion by beating compatriot Tommy Fleetwood in a play-off in the €5.9m ASI Scottish Open.

Fleetwood birdied the last hole of regulation to match Rai’s total of 11 under par, but then missed from three feet for par on the first extra hole.

European Ryder Cup captain Pádraig Harrington enjoyed a good final day as he signed for a round of 67 to finish at seven under in a tie for ninth.

A bogey at the first was not the start the Dubliner wanted but he responded with birdies at the third and fourth before a bogey at the eighth completed a front nine of level par, 36.

However, the back nine saw the three-time Major winner move his way up the leaderboard with birdies at the 10th and 14th before an eagle at the 16th capped an encouraging week in what was only Harrington’s second tournament appearance since March.

Rai, who finished second in the Irish Open seven days ago, said: “It’s hard to sum up. It wasn’t nice in that fashion, Tommy had finished off incredibly and it’s not nice to see him miss that but it feels incredible.”

Rai had set the clubhouse target after a superb 64, the 25-year-old from Wolverhampton recovering from a bogey at the second to birdie five of the next six holes before picking up three more shots on the back nine.

Overnight leader Robert Rock looked set to match Rai’s total after he birdied the 10th, 13th, 15th and 16th, only to bogey the last after a clumsy chip from just short of the green.

Playing partner Fleetwood had missed from three feet for birdie on the 16th but bounced back to hole from 15 feet on the last to take the event into extra holes for the third time in four years.

Both players came up short of the green on the first extra hole, Fleetwood from the middle of the fairway and Rai from a bunker.

Rai’s pitch left him three feet for par and Fleetwood’s putt around the same distance, but after Rai safely holed Fleetwood surprisingly missed to hand Rai the title.

Rock, who began the day with a two-shot lead, finished alone in third on 10 under, with Australia’s Lucas Herbert and Scotland’s Marc Warren a stroke further back.

Warren briefly held a share of the lead when he followed birdies at the 12th, 13th and 15th with an eagle on the 16th, but playing partner Rai birdied the 16th to edge back in front and Warren bogeyed the last after a wayward drive.

Herbert held a one-shot lead at the halfway stage but slumped six shots off the pace following a third round of 79 in miserable conditions on Saturday.

However, the 24-year-old surged into the lead with six birdies in the first 10 holes and recovered from a bogey on the 12th with further gains on the 15th and 16th, only to crucially drop a shot on the 17th.

Collated final round scores & totals in the European Tour Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, The Renaissance Club, North Berwick, Scotland (British unless stated, Par 71)

273 Aaron Rai 70 69 70 64 (Rai wins play-off at 1st hole), Tommy Fleetwood 69 68 69 67

274 Robert Rock 65 67 72 70

275 Lucas Herbert (Aus) 66 65 79 65, Marc Warren 70 69 70 66

276 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 66 69 71 70, Ian Poulter 67 66 73 70, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 71 69 71 65

277 Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 73 68 67 69, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 65 70 74 68, Eddie Pepperell 68 70 71 68, Matthew Southgate 68 71 71 67, Pádraig Harrington (Irl) 71 70 69 67

278 Haotong Li (Chn) 68 70 74 66, Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 73 68 70 67, Robert Macintyre 74 67 68 69, David Horsey 70 67 72 69, Victor Perez (Fra) 69 69 74 66

279 Alexander Bjork (Swe) 63 75 72 69, Joost Luiten (Ned) 63 72 76 68, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 69 70 70 70, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 66 70 70 73, Grant Forrest 71 66 72 70, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 70 70 69 70, Lee Westwood 62 71 76 70

280 Adri Arnaus (Spa) 75 66 67 72, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 70 67 76 67, Andy Sullivan 67 72 69 72, Garrick Higgo (Rsa) 72 67 72 69

281 Matt Wallace 70 71 72 68, Callum Shinkwin 69 70 70 72, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 68 70 72 71, Thomas Detry (Bel) 71 69 77 64, Ewan Ferguson 69 70 73 69, Min Woo Lee (Aus) 66 74 72 69

282 Maverick Antcliff (Aus) 69 70 75 68, Julian Suri (USA) 70 70 72 70, Jeff Winther (Den) 71 69 69 73, Jordan Smith 70 70 72 70, Sean Crocker (USA) 73 68 70 71, Scott Jamieson 64 73 73 72

283 Craig Lee 65 71 76 71, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 66 76 73, Gavin Green (Mal) 70 71 67 75, Francesco Laporta (Ita) 71 70 70 72, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 71 70 73 69, Matthew Fitzpatrick 69 72 72 70

284 Connor Syme 70 69 71 74, Ashun Wu (Chn) 70 70 77 67, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 71 67 75 71, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 69 67 75 73, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 68 70 72 74, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 70 69 77 68, Rasmus Hojgaard (Den) 68 70 73 73

285 Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 68 72 74 71

286 David Howell 72 67 74 73, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 69 69 77 71, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 74 67 72 73

287 Scott Hend (Aus) 71 70 77 69, George Coetzee (Rsa) 71 69 75 72, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 72 64 76 75

288 James Morrison 72 67 74 75

289 Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 68 72 75 74, Sami Valimaki (Fin) 68 69 78 74, Calum Hill 71 70 73 75

292 Chris Wood 69 71 79 73

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