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17.07.2017 - Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, Fourth Rolex Series tournament of 2017, Dundonald Links, Final report Playoff-Sieg für Rafael Cabrera Bello

Rafa Cabrera Bello sealed the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open title in stunning fashion after a brilliant final round 64 gave him the chance to defeat Callum Shinkwin in a play-off at Dundonald Links. The Spaniard clinched his third European Tour title – his first in more than five years – and became the fourth Rolex Series winner, with a birdie on the first play-off hole.

Rafa

Rafael Cabrera Bello seals stunning play-off win in Scotland. © Getty Images

Rafael Rafael Cabrera Bello had started the day four shots behind the leading group of Shinkwin, Ian Poulter and Andrew Dodt, but surged through the field on Sunday, carding eight birdies en route to a course record 64, to sit just one shot behind Shinkwin at 13 under par. He then watched anxiously on TV as the Englishman suffered a late slip, bogeying the 18th to set up the sudden-death shoot-out. Both players hit fine drives at the first extra hole, but after Shinkwin’s approach found an awkward, downhill lie by the greenside bunker, Cabrera Bello hit a superb approach shot into the par-five from 275 yards, and was able to two-putt to victory.  He said: “I have been working really hard to try to get the third win. Sometimes I felt that I have made mistakes and I end up not winning. Other times, I felt I've given a good charge, but other people deserved the win. This time, I really felt I played some of the best golf of my life today. I had an unbelievable Sunday, and I really went for it on the play-off. So I’m extremely pleased that today everything worked out my way. Knowing that I performed well in The Ryder Cup, that's one of the most pressured situations in the world, really. That just proves to yourself that you can play good in any condition, in any golf event. Obviously a play-off is one of those situations. You draw back from those memories, really trust yourself and go for it. I mean, this time it worked out great."

Shinkwin's consolation prize is a place in The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. He will be joined by Frenchman Matthieu Pavon, who came third on 10 under par and Dodt, who was two further back at eight under alongside Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, Matt Kuchar of the USA, Englishman Anthony Wall and New Zealand’s Ryan Fox. Dodt's challenge for the title faded after four bogeys on the back nine and he finished in a tie for fourth on eight under with a 73, although he took the third Open spot, edging out England's Anthony Wall by virtue of his higher world ranking - 193 to 245. Cabrera Bello is the first Spanish winner of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, and follows Alex Noren (BMW PGA Championship), Tommy Fleetwood (HNA Open de France) and his compatriot Jon Rahm (Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation) as a Rolex Series champion.