Sunday, 30 September 2007

Spain’s José Rivero closed with a battling two under par 70 to claim his third European Seniors Tour title at the Charles Church Scottish Seniors Open at Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club near Edinburgh.

The 52 year old former Ryder Cup player from Madrid started the day with a three shot lead over Scotland’s Ross Drummond and South Africa’s Bobby Lincoln after opening rounds of 70 and 66 but had to work hard to withstand a late challenge from Drummond before clinching a single shot victory with a ten under par 54 hole aggregate of 206.

Drummond moved to within one shot of the lead when he hit a 117 yard wedge shot into the hole for an eagle two on the 403 yard par four 12th and two holes later he briefly achieved parity when the Spaniard made his sole bogey of the day on the 14th.

However, the four time Scottish PGA champion immediately handed the initiative back when he dropped a shot of his own on the 423 yard par four 15th and even a fine birdie on the 449 yard closing hole could not make up the deficit after Rivero had birdied the 535 yard par five 16th to go back to two in front.

“It’s great honour to win here in Scotland,” said Rivero after collecting the £33,750 first prize. “I did well in a couple of Scottish Opens and to win here means a lot to me.”

Drummond was far from despondent after collecting his second runner-up finish of his rookie season on the Seniors Tour.

“I played well and when I hit that wedge into the hole I knew I had a chance,” he said “I’m delighted with the way I hung in there but you have got to give credit to José for the way he played coming down the stretch.”

Drummond’s nine under par aggregate of 209 saw him finish four shots ahead of third placed Englishmen, Bob Cameron and Nick Job, while first round leader, Costantino Rocca from Italy, struggled with a painful hip injury and had to settle for a level par round of 72 and a three round aggregate of 212.

Rivero’s win, his first since the 2006 FIRSTPLUS Wales Seniors Open, moved him up to seventh on the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit with earnings of €156,406 (£108,946) while Drummond jumped up one place to eighth with €151,056 (£105.219).

Scotland’s Sam Torrance closed the defence of his title with a fine three under par 69 that enabled him to climb from 13th into a share of sixth place alongside Chile’s Angel Fernandez and Spain’s Juan Quiros on three under par 213.

The former Ryder Cup captain started his round with birdies at both the 491 yard par five first and the 426 yard par four second. He also made advances at the tenth and the 16th but then dropped his only shot of the day at the 18th where he hit his second into a greenside bunker and failed to get up and down.

“I hit all of the first 16 greens in regulation but then missed the last two,” said Torrance who now travels to St Andrews where he is to team up with his son Daniel in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

“I struck the ball well but I have been struggling to get the ball into the hole.” 

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