Rafa Cabrera Bello came from behind on a pulsating final day at Dundonald Links to win the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in a sudden-death play-off with Englishman Callum Shinkwin.
The 33-year-old Spaniard, who entered the winner’s circle on the European Tour for the first time since his Omega Dubai Desert Classic triumph in 2012, claimed 1,019,896 points after triumphing in the fourth Rolex Series event of the season to move from 22nd to fourth place in the Rankings.
Cabrera Bello went into the final day at the picturesque Dundonald Links in Ayrshire four shots behind overnight leaders Shinkwin, Andrew Dodt and Ian Poulter.
However, the Spaniard put on a clinical display in windy conditions, finishing strong with clutch birdies on the final two holes to sign for a superb course-record round of eight under par 64 and post the clubhouse lead.
Ahead by one heading down the 18th, Shinkwin had a chance to end things on the 72nd hole but he left his four-foot par putt just short to card his only bogey of the day to force a play-off.
"I'm extremely happy," said Cabrera Bello, who had finished runner-up six times since his last victory. "I've won before and I have been up there so many, many times with things not really working out for myself. I was starting to feel a little bit of pressure every time I was up there contending.
"I enjoy those pressure situations. I think they really define you."
In addition to booking his spot at The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale later this week, runner-up Shinkwin’s impressive performance in Scotland also sees him leapfrog from 151st to 19th in the Race to Dubai rankings, booking his ticket to the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
His second-place finish, which resulted in him racking up 679,928 points for the tournament, took his overall point tally for the season to 768,891.
There was joy for the 24-year-old Frenchman and 2016 Challenge Tour graduate Matthieu Pavon, who also secured his place in the season finale with a lone third place finish. He moved from 100th to 33rd in the season rankings with an overall points tally of 567,967.
Fellow Challenge Tour graduate Ryan Fox continued his rich vein of form as his tied fourth place finish at Dundonald Links took him from 28th to 14th in the Race to Dubai Rankings with 825,556 points.
Two-time Open champion Irishman Padraig Harrington has also given himself a fighting chance to qualify for the season-ender in Dubai as his tied fourth place finish saw him move to 92nd place in the rankings.
Englishman Tommy Fleetwood remains at the head of the Race to Dubai Rankings with 3,634,431 points, with Spaniard Sergio Garcia in second with a total of 2,701,628 points.
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