Rickie Fowler wins the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in style, the week prior to the British Open. Gullane Golf Club was awash with stars of the game, as well as a host of European Tour players trying to claim their place in next weeks Open Championship. However it was the brightly coloured American who captured a decisive birdie down the final hole, to finish ahead of fellow countryman, Matt Kuchar and Frenchman Rafael Jacquelin.
This was the Oklahoma graduate’s first win on the European Tour International schedule in 45 attempts and it is looking possible that he will jump to fifth in the Official World Golf Rankings. “It's been a special week and I'm looking forward to taking this form over to the Open.” he told BBC Sport.
This was a late surge and saved his best swings for the last hole, where a great drive combined with a fantastic wedge shot, set up the decisive birdie chance. Jacquelin gave as much as he could and “gave [Fowler] a scare on 18” but it wasn't meant to be for the Frenchman.
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Home Favourite Comes Close
Marc Warren finished behind the American duo and the Frenchman, having been clubhouse leader, after carding a final round of 64. He would have felt the home crowd willing him on and I'm sure it will be no different next week at St Andrews.
"The beauty of playing at the Scottish Open is you can relax a little bit, hit certain shots into the wind, chip and runs, putting from around the greens, see where your game is and you've got Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare.” said the Scotsman to BBC Sport.
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The guys making last minute plans
Three players who were ineligible to play at St Andrews last week, will be hastily booking hotel rooms and changing flights, thanks to a good week at the East Lothian course. This is thanks to the Open Championship's diverse qualifying strategy which gives lots of opportunities to players across the globe, to qualify for the biggest tournament of the year.
Both Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar have already qualified due to their place inside the World’s top 50 players, but Jacquelin earned more than just his runners up prize money. Not in the starting line up at the start of the week but by his second place finish allowed him to be the first qualifier.
Overnight leader Daniel Brooks would have been distraught with a string of bogeys which cost him the title. But the Englishman would be happy enough knowing that he will be teeing off next week, with Rikard Karlberg for company.
The Englishman and Swede finished for a tie of seventh and tenth place respectively. Both gentleman will be at next weeks Open Championship.