Rolex Series

Detry and Fitzpatrick lead world class chasing pack in Scotland

Thomas Detry and Matt Fitzpatrick will head a world class field after getting their noses in front on Moving Day at the 2021 abrdn Scottish Open.


Detry began the weekend as co-leader with World Number One Jon Rahm and Englishman Jack Senior but the Belgian kept his nerve with a composed 68 to climb up to 14 under par as he aims to finally break his title duck on the European Tour.

The 28-year-old has been runner-up on four occasions in addition to five third placed finishes but has yet to enter the winner's circle but could do so at the second Rolex Series event on the 2021 Race to Dubai.

However, he has Fitzpatrick for company, who has six European Tour event victories to his name which also includes his maiden Rolex Series win at the 2020 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai last December.

The World Number 23 rolled in six birdies and two dropped shots to sit at the summit but the duo have Rahm in close proximity as he looks to reclaim his title of king of the European Tour's blue riband events.

Detry, Rahm, and Senior began Moving Day at the summit on 11 under but a chaotic start saw several players move into the leadership race as it changed hands several times.

Fitzpatrick made it a four way tie when he dialled within two feet at the first for a birdie but Rahm and Senior relinquished their grip at the top with an opening bogey in the final group.

Detry parred the opener to remain at 11 under with Fitzpatrick but he was joined by another Englishman when Lee Westwood rolled in a birdie putt from 16 feet at the second.

The 48-year-old's putter was hot during the front nine and when he knocked in his six foot putt at the next, Westwood was the leader.

Senior picked up a shot at the third to sit one behind the leader but the English duo in penultimate group continued to apply the pressure.

Fitzpatrick was inches from an eagle at the fifth as he climbed to 12 under but his playing partner Westwood responded immediately with a birdie on the same hole to keep one ahead.

But he was not alone for long, Detry found the green in one at the driveable fifth hole and drained the 17 foot eagle putt to climb to 13 under alongside Westwood, with Senior almost joining them after his eagle chip pulled up inches short to sit one adrift.

Fitzpatrick dropped a shot at the sixth to slip to 11 under before Westwood moved ahead once again at the next with a tap in birdie to be the first player at 14 under.

Senior bogeyed the seventh but when Detry birdied the same hole, he and Westwood opened up a three shot lead.

Fitzpatrick picked up his third shot at the ninth to move back to 12 under, but Detry was only one ahead of him when he lipped out his par putt at the eighth.

Westwood continued to the lead the way at 14 under as he reached the turn in 32, but Rahm was beginning to build up momentum behind the World Number 28.

Rahm, who also bogeyed the third, got back to where he started thanks to gains at the sixth and eighth and when he rolled in another at the next, he joined Fitzpatrick in a tie for third at 12 under with the back nine to play.

It was change at the top once again as Detry found the par five tenth in two and although he could not drain the eagle putt, he found himself two shots ahead as Westwood double bogeyed the 11th hole to slip back to 12 under with Rahm.

Australian Lucas Herbert, winner of last week's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, produced a superb 64 which included an eagle-birdie-birdie finish to stake his claim for successive titles as he took the clubhouse lead at 12 under.

Neither Rahm or Westwood were at that mark though as the Spaniard rolled in a birdie at the 12th to close within one of leader Detry, while the 25 time European Tour winner carded his second double bogey in three holes to drift to ten under.

Detry salvaged a par from long distance at the 13th but his Spanish playing partner returned to the top of the leaderboard with a birdie at the same hole to get to 14 under.

Neither of the joint leaders could improve their score but Fitzpatrick nearly joined them when he brushed the left edge of the cup with his eagle opportunity at the 16th, but tapped in for birdie to sit one back.

And the Englishman was not done there. He was left with 17 feet at the penultimate hole to join Detry and Rahm at the top of the leaderboard and he duly obliged for a three way tie.

But that group was reduced to two at the 16th as Detry remained at 14 under with a par, something World Number One Rahm should have done from two feet but somehow shoehorned his effort to give away a shot.

Detry was in trouble off the tee at the par three 17th as he went behind the stands but, after a free drop, almost sent the fans into raptures as his chip narrowly missed the cup for an unlikely birdie before saving arguably par of the day.

Fitzpatrick parred the final hole to take the clubhouse lead at 14 under, with Detry's birdie putt at the 18th pulling up short to join the Englishman at the summit.

Herbert was in solo fourth, with fellow Australians Min Woo Lee and Wade Ormsby sat one shot further back alongside American Scottie Scheffler at 11 under.

Swede Alexander Björk recorded the joint lowest round of the week with a flawless 63 to climb to ten under par and is in illustrious company alongside World Number Five Xander Schauffele, reigning Race to Dubai winner Westwood and Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington.

Home favourites David Law and Richie Ramsay are also at that mark with Spaniard Adrian Otaegui, Frenchman Victor Perez and American Ryan Palmer.

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