Ian Poulter went into the final day with a share of the lead
Poulter went into the final day tied for the lead and looking to end a five-year winless drought but sadly the Woburn wonder failed to fire in recording a 74 and finish a distant ninth on seven under at Dundonald Links.
Rafa Cabrera Bello made it back-to-back Spanish victories on the European Tour, after Jon Rahm won last week Portstewart, in brilliantly birding the first extra play-off hole to win the Scottish Open.
Cabrera Bello, 33, who ended a five-year winless run, had birdied his closing two holes in a new course record with an eight-under-par 64 before being joined on 13 under par by England’s Callum Shinkwin, who horribly missed a tournament winning par putt on the last hole in regulation and his round of 68.
Rafa Cabrera Bello ended a five-year winless run
The win is Cabrera Bello’s third Tour victory and earned him whopping first prize cheque of £900,000.
Watford born Shinkwin’s reward, and in his rookie season, was a £600,000 cheque, the assurance of retaining his card for next year, and also joining Cabrera Bello at Royal Birkdale.
“It’s been a very good week and at the end of the day, I’ll be more than happy to finish second but the win was on my mind and didn’t happen”, he said.
“So, this result is massively important for me not only to be in The Open but hopefully later in the year I will qualify for the Race to Dubai finals.”
Highest paid golfers 2017 Fri, June 9, 2017
Express Sport brings you the top 10 highest paid golfers in 2017
Play slideshow Getty Images 1 of 10
10. Gary Player – $15m (on course: N/A, off course: $15m)
Frenchman Matthieu Pavon (66) finished third on 10 under par to secure the second of three spots into The Open.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
And Australian Andrew Dodt, who was planning to travel with his wife to New York on Monday for a five-day holiday, secured the third Royal Birkdale place and his first appearance in a Major in shooting a last day 73 and denying Londoner Anthony Wall by virtue of a higher World Ranking.
Poulter will tee up Thursday in coastal Southport in his 14th straight Open Championship and brilliantly sandwiched among those past 13 appearances was second nine years ago when Royal Birkdale last hosted golf’s oldest Major.
“I have played all the course on the Open rota and Royal Birkdale has always been my favourite Open venue because of 2008 and I’m looking forward to competing there,” he said.
Callum Shinkwin missed a tournament winning par putt on the last hole in regulation
“Of course, today was not the result I was seeking but I still like playing the week before.
“There is still is no better way to prepare than to put yourself on a course that’s going to be somewhat similar condition; and playing over here, same time zone, put yourself in position where you’re hitting the shots that you’ll be hitting next week; and just how much the wind can affect the ball over here, playing the ball on the ground and just adjusting a little bit to those numbers.
“It was nice to give myself the chance to win but there’s still a lot at stake next week, and there is still a lot stake obviously over the summer period, so looking forward now to Royal Birkdale”.
“I was very happy, I really gave it a go in the playoff and it worked out for me. I enjoy those pressure situations, they really define you,” said Cabrera-Bello, who earlier this year struck an albatross at the Players Championship at Sawgrass.
Ulsterman Graeme McDowell finished on five under and will miss the British Open for the first time. The former US Open champion had been looking for a first top-10 of the season to earn him place at Royal Birkdale next week but he carded a 72 to finish on five under in a share of 19th.