Cabrera-Bello triumphs in Open tune-up

Lydia Ko during a promotional visit to NZ 2017

Lydia Ko during a promotional visit to NZ 2017

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.

Cabrera Bello and Shinkwin finished 72 holes at 13-under. And, sadly, so did the putt for what would have been the former English Amateur champion's maiden win on the European Tour.

Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello beat Callum Shinkwin of England at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.

Richie Ramsay remains in good spirits ahead of this week's Open, despite putting problems at the Scottish Open.

Shinkwin, Ian Poulter and Andrew Dodt were tied for the lead entering the final round. But it's been a very good week.

In sideways rain and strong winds on Scotland's west coast, clubs slipped from players' hands, hardy fans' umbrellas were blown inside out, and puddles formed on fairways on the battered Dundonald Links.

I hit balls for an hour and a half last night, but then felt stiff and said: 'That's enough.' But at least I know when enough is.

"It's all a learning curve and obviously if you win, you have to have luck on your side".

Cabrera Bello had started the day four shots off the lead and despite going to the turn in 32, was unable to gain much ground as Shinkwin followed six straight pars with a hat-trick of birdies from the seventh. He chipped out and made a birdie that ultimately forced the playoff.

Prior to this event his record in his second season on the European Tour consisted of four missed cuts, one withdrawal, two disqualifications, one retirement and a high finish of T-23 in 11 previous starts.

Imagine earning by miles the biggest cheque of your career, guaranteeing your tour card for next year and achieving one of the last three spots into The Open. End of the day, I am more than happy to finish second even if the win was on my mind.

Meanwhile, at the sublime Southport links, the world's top four golfers all took advantage of a sunny, breezy day to work on their games. "I think that was a valuable experience, precious experience for me". Dodt holed out from five feet at the 18th to secure his Birkdale place, perhaps a disappointment to his wife, who was planning for a holiday in NY from Monday.

"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.

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