Scotland’s Grant Forrest secures emotional win on home soil in Hero Open

Forrest becomes first Scottish player to win on home soil since 2012

Scotland's Grant Forrest produced a grandstand finish to hold off a brilliant challenge from James Morrison to win his first European Tour title in the Hero Open.

Forrest birdied the last two holes at Fairmont St Andrews to finish a shot ahead of Morrison on 24 under par, the Englishman having surged through the field with a superb 63 to set the clubhouse target.

A final round of 66 means Forrest is the first Scottish player to win on home soil since former Open champion Paul Lawrie won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in 2012.

And it was an emotional victory in front of around 30 friends and family members for Forrest, who won the Scottish Amateur Championship in the same year, just three weeks after the death of his father, Graeme, from cancer.

“There’s so many emotions,” Forrest said. “To do it in front of everyone that’s come up to support me – the last year and a half has been a real challenge, on and off the course.

“We’ve been through quite a lot as a family. To do it here it’s what I’ve always dreamed of to win a European Tour event.

“Losing my dad in 2012 was a big change in our lives. It’s not an easy thing to deal with and we’ve all dealt with it in different ways. I think I’ve just put a lot into golf and obviously wish he was here to see this; he would be so chuffed.

“He’s been the big inspiration and a lot of the reason that I’ve really knuckled down and kept going when times were tough. It will take a while to sink in. I’m just delighted. I think there’s a big party at the in-laws tonight so we’ll enjoy that.”

Forrest began the day tied for the lead with compatriot Calum Hill, who moved two shots clear with birdies on the third and fifth and an eagle on the par-five sixth.

However, Forrest recovered from a bogey on the second with birdies on the third, fourth, sixth and eighth to close within a shot before Hill surprisingly three-putted the ninth from 12 feet.

Hill’s bid for a first European Tour title suffered an even bigger blow on the next when he followed a pulled drive by hitting his second shot into a gorse bush.

The 26-year-old eventually signed for a double-bogey six and with playing partner Forrest making a birdie on the same hole, the 28-year-old suddenly enjoyed a three-shot lead.

Another birdie on the 11th briefly took Forrest four shots ahead, but the chasing pack had certainly not given up hope and Morrison made five birdies in a row from the 11th to get within a shot of the lead.

Forrest’s three-putt bogey on the 16th dropped him back into a tie for the lead and moments later Morrison birdied the 18th to edge in front, but Forrest responded with a superb tee shot to three feet to birdie the 17th and then two-putted the par-five 18th for another to seal victory.

Spain's Santiago Tarrio birdied the 18th to secure third place on 21 under, with Hill and David Law another stroke back.

An error-free 66 propelled Dubliner Niall Kearney into the top 10 on the final day as he carded six birdies to finish in a share of eighth position alongside South Africa's Justin Walters.

Jonathan Caldwell went in the other directionon Sunday, a one-over 73 seeing him finish on 11 under. Gavin Moyniahan closed with a four-under 68 to finsh the week on seven under.

Final leaderboard

British and Irish unless stated, par 72

264 Grant Forrest 68 68 62 66

265 James Morrison 69 66 67 63

267 Santiago Tarrio (Esp) 67 65 67 68

268 David Law 67 67 66 68, Calum Hill 63 68 67 70

271 Matthew Jordan 67 66 68 70, Chase Hanna (USA) 65 68 69 69

272 Justin Walters (Rsa) 68 64 71 69, Niall Kearney 71 69 66 66

273 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 67 62 71 73, Chris Paisley 66 72 69 66, Garrick Porteous 69 69 68 67, Svn-Hwan Kim (USA) 69 65 73 66, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 67 69 71 66, Berry Henson (USA) 67 67 67 72

274 Matt Ford 70 66 68 70, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 67 67 73 67, Callum Shinkwin 69 68 69 68, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 73 68 69 64, Alvaro Quiros (Esp) 66 69 73 66, Toby Tree 67 68 69 70, Hugo Leon (Chi) 67 70 70 67

275 Richard McEvoy 70 66 70 69, Jordan Smith 68 68 66 73, Yi-Keun Chang (Kor) 70 67 72 66, Craig Howie 75 65 67 68, Daniel Hillier (Nzl) 69 70 67 69

276 Richie Ramsay 67 69 71 69, Eduardo de la Riva (Esp) 68 67 74 67

277 Jonathan Caldwell 64 70 70 73, Oliver Farr 71 69 68 69, Wil Besseling (Ned) 72 71 66 68

278 Matthew Southgate 72 68 74 64

279 Jorge Campillo (Esp) 72 70 70 67, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 74 69 69 67, Jamie Donaldson 73 67 70 69, Nicolai von Dellingshausen (Ger) 66 72 69 72

280 Alexander Levy (Fra) 69 74 68 69, Marcus Armitage 72 69 70 69, Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 67 70 75 68, David Drysdale 71 67 73 69, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 76 67 68 69, Robin Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 65 68 71 76, Bradley Dredge 75 67 68 70, Lee Slattery 68 74 73 65, Tyler Koivisto (USA) 69 71 71 69, Daniel Gavins 71 72 70 67

281 Andy Sullivan 73 67 73 68, Ashley Chesters 71 71 71 68, Lars van Meijel (Ned) 76 67 70 68, Gavin Moynihan 70 73 70 68, Damien Perrier (Fra) 72 68 73 68

282 Darius van Driel (Ned) 71 67 74 70, Kristoffer Reitan (Nor) 67 73 73 69, Daniel Young 75 68 72 67

283 Scott Hend (Aus) 72 69 71 71, Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 74 68 72 69, Renato Paratore (Ita) 75 67 66 75, Ross Fisher 65 75 70 73, Carlos Pigem (Esp) 74 69 72 68, Marcel Siem (Ger) 70 73 72 68, Matthew Baldwin 75 67 74 67

284 Frank Kennedy 72 71 73 68, Ricardo Santos (Por) 72 69 72 71, Pedro Figueiredo (Por) 68 71 74 71, Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 77 66 75 66, Anton Karlsson (Swe) 72 70 72 70

285 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 71 71 68 75, Dale Whitnell 73 68 74 70

286 Alejandro Canizares (Esp) 73 70 73 70, Jake McLeod (Aus) 75 67 72 72

289 Austin Bautista (Aus) 72 70 74 73, Rhys Enoch 72 69 71 77, Gary Stal (Fra) 69 74 74 72

296 Shiv Chawrasia (Ind) 76 67 75 78

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