Caldwell claims top-10 finish as Otaegui wins in Scotland

Spaniard powered through the field on final day with a round of 63 to win by four shots

Adrian Otaegui of Spain poses with the trophy following his victory at the Scottish Championship presented by AXA at Fairmont St Andrews. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Adrian Otaegui of Spain poses with the trophy following his victory at the Scottish Championship presented by AXA at Fairmont St Andrews. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

 

Adrian Otaegui carded a blistering final round of 63 to win the Scottish Championship title ahead of a chasing pack dominated by British talent at Fairmont St Andrews.

The Spaniard started the day four shots behind Matt Wallace but, as the Englishman faded in round four, Otaegui made 10 birdies to get 23 under and claim victory by four shots.

Aaron Rai won in Scotland two weeks ago and a closing 66 saw him maintain his good form and finish third at 17 under, a shot clear of two more Englishmen in Chris Paisley and Garrick Porteous.

Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Caldwell finished a further shot back in a tie for seventh after a closing 70 while Ryder Cup captain Pádraig Harrington completed another good week with a round of 68 to finish in a tie for 14th place.

But it was Otaegui who stole the show, bookending his round with birdies to go with eight more gains in 11 holes from the fifth and a single dropped shot on the 10th.

The win is the 27-year-old’s third on the European Tour but his first at a stroke play event, having won the Paul Lawrie match play in 2017 and the Belgian Knockout in the medal match play format the following season.

He also becomes just the third Spaniard to win a European Tour title on Scottish soil after Seve Ballesteros and Rafa Cabrera Bello, and lifts the trophy just down the road from the famed Old Course.

“I’m in very good company,” he said. “Seve is one of the best golfers I’ve seen and Rafa is a great friend of mine. I know he won the Scottish Open three years ago and I’m in great company.

“I feel so happy. To be able to win in Scotland, especially here in St Andrews, the home of golf, it means a lot to me.

“I had no expectations this morning, really. I just wanted to go out there, play well and shoot as well as possible. If you told me I was going to shoot 63 this morning, I wouldn’t believe it. Everything went well, I played very well, I felt very well, I was very focused and I holed some good putts.”

Otaegui had carded a 62 in round one but Wallace headed into the last day with a three-shot lead and looked the man to beat before an opening bogey set the scene for a closing 71.

That was not sufficient to keep Otaegui at bay, with Porteous providing the main challenge for much of the day before he followed a double bogey on the 16th with another dropped shot in his 71 as he fell back.

Rai finished with a bogey-free 66 and Paisley carded a 68, with another Englishman in Marcus Armitage and Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Caldwell ending the week nine shots off the lead.

Scottish Championship, Fairmont St Andrews, Scotland (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

265 Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 62 70 70 63

269 Matt Wallace 65 67 66 71

271 Aaron Rai 66 67 72 66

272 Garrick Porteous 66 69 66 71, Chris Paisley 66 71 67 68

273 Adrien Saddier (Fra) 67 67 71 68

274 Marcus Armitage 70 68 70 66, Jonathan Caldwell (NIre) 70 66 68 70

275 Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 72 68 70 65, Jamie Donaldson 70 70 69 66, Matthew Baldwin 70 72 68 65, Sean Crocker (USA) 70 66 67 72, Oliver Farr 73 67 70 65

276 Pádraig Harrington 66 69 73 68, Lee Westwood 67 70 72 67

277 Brandon Stone (Rsa) 67 70 70 70, Ashun Wu (Chn) 67 71 71 68, Matthew Southgate 69 68 70 70, Ben Stow 70 70 67 70, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 65 72 72 68, Justin Walters (Rsa) 71 69 74 63, Eddie Pepperell 68 70 66 73, Alexander Levy (Fra) 70 71 70 66, Ewan Ferguson 67 72 71 67

278 Matthew Jordan 71 68 68 71, Marc Warren 67 69 72 70, Paul Waring 68 67 71 72, Calum Hill 70 72 66 70, Martin Simonsen (Den) 69 69 68 72

279 Wil Besseling (Ned) 71 69 73 66, Justin Harding (Rsa) 75 64 73 67, James Morrison 72 69 69 69

280 David Law 73 67 72 68, Richie Ramsay 74 68 68 70, Darius Van Driel (Ned) 72 69 72 67, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 67 73 70 70

281 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 71 72 70 68, Kristoffer Reitan (Nor) 73 64 74 70, Connor Syme 70 70 69 72, Renato Paratore (Ita) 68 73 73 67, Daniel Gavins 70 68 75 68, Scott Jamieson 67 75 71 68

282 Craig Howie 70 68 74 70, Joel Stalter (Fra) 70 72 71 69, Sam Horsfield 74 69 68 71, Oliver Wilson 72 68 75 67, Pedro Figueiredo (Pt) 70 70 72 70, Lars Van Meijel (Ned) 72 70 70 70

283 Ashley Chesters 72 70 70 71, Steven Tiley 69 74 73 67

284 S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind) 69 69 76 70, David Drysdale 69 71 73 71, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 68 70 74 72, Hurly Long (Ger) 69 73 73 69, Tom Gandy (IOM) 70 73 73 68

285 Lorenzo Scalise (Ita) 71 71 74 69, Benjamin Poke (Den) 71 71 72 71, Dave Coupland 68 69 75 73, Robin Petersson (Swe) 71 71 72 71

286 Ben Evans 69 72 75 70, Jens Fahrbring (Swe) 72 71 73 70, Gregory Havret (Fra) 69 70 77 70

287 Philip Eriksson (Swe) 73 67 73 74, Ricardo Santos (Por) 71 71 74 71

288 Damien Perrier (Fra) 70 70 75 73, Marcel Schneider (Ger) 73 70 73 72

289 Zach Murray (Aus) 69 73 72 75

290 Daniel Young 72 71 76 71

293 Joel Sjoholm (Swe) 72 71 77 73

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