Rolex Series

Genesis Scottish Open - Day four digest 

Everything you need to know from a thrilling final round at The Renaissance Club.

Xander Schauffele-1407903419

Xander continued his winning ways, Jamie secured his return to The Open Championship after a six-year absence, Connor finished top home player and Tommy headed to St Andrews with positive thoughts after mounting a title challenge. 

Here is everything you need to know from a thrilling final round at The Renaissance Club.

More success for Schauffele

Three weeks, three countries, three wins. Xander Schauffele is on a roll and there appears no stopping his momentum. Victory at the Genesis Scottish Open was his third title on the trot, having won the Travelers Championship on the PGA TOUR last month and then the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland at the start of the week. On Sunday, Schauffele started the final round in fine fashion as birdies at the first two holes saw him double his overnight two-shot lead. However, victory is rarely straightforward and so it proved as he dropped three shots in the space of four holes from the sixth to fall one behind countryman and two-time DP World Tour winner Kurt Kitayama at the turn. 

Schauffele birdied the par three 14th and then made a two-putt birdie at the par five 16th to move into a two-shot lead, with Kitayama finished after setting a clubhouse target of six under. A gutsy two-putt par eased some of the pressure on his shoulders on the 18th tee and the 2020 Olympic Champion closed with a bogey to seal a one-shot victory. “I'm playing some of the best golf of my life and capitalising on playing really well,” he said after his victory in the first event co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR. “There's a lot of times all the top players play very well but they don't get everything out of it, and I feel like I've been successful in getting the most out of my game.”

Schauffele-1407899996

Next stop, St Andrews

The Genesis Scottish Open – the third Rolex Series event of the 2022 DP World Tour season – assembled 14 of the top 15 players in the Official World Golf Ranking in the first event to be co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and the PGA TOUR. "It's an honour to win the first co-sanctioned event that's taken place between the two tours, and it's an honour to win in the home of golf,” title winner Schauffele added.

The world’s best will remain in Scotland this week for the final men’s Major of the season as St Andrews stages the landmark 150th Open. Collin Morikawa, last year’s winner of the season-long rankings on the DP World Tour, will defend the Claret Jug he won so impressively on debut at Royal St George’s.

Donaldson among three to secure sought-after Open spots

Jamie Donaldson and American pair Kitayama and Brandon Wu secured their places in The 150th Open at St Andrews after qualifying through Scotland’s national Open, which formed part of The Open Qualifying Series. For Donaldson, it will be his seventh appearance in the Major Championship and first since 2016. The Welshman, one of Europe’s heroes from the 2014 Ryder Cup, made three birdies in four holes from the 12th to secure his spot at St Andrews after finishing on three under after a 67 and a tie for sixth place. The 46-year-old finished 49th in The Open when it was last held at St Andrews in 2015. “It’s massive, although we have booked a holiday next week, so the missus won’t be happy,” he said. “She can have a lovely holiday on her own!”

Jamie Donaldson

Syme claims prize for top home player

Connor Syme secured the Jock MacVicar Memorial Award after a level par 70 saw him end the week as the leading Scottish player in the field. His three over total for the week saw the 2019 Challenge Tour Graduate finish in a share of 42nd place in East Lothian. It is the second year the prize has been awarded since Association of Golf Writers (AGW) president MacVicar passed away in April 2021 at the age of 83. Martin Dempster, AGW chairman, said: "As is the case with all the other Scottish players on the DP World Tour, Connor is always happy to speak to the press after a round. He joins Richie Ramsay in becoming a worthy winner of this award, which was kindly donated by the DP World Tour on our behalf."

Plenty of encouragement for Fleetwood

Tommy Fleetwood carded his third consecutive round in the 60s to finish at four under and three shots adrift of winner Schauffele. The Englishman declared himself ready to challenge at The Open, an event he finished runner-up in when it was held at Royal Portrush in 2019. "I generally get excited whenever I go to St Andrews, whether it's an Open Championship or Dunhill Links Championship or just going there just for fun,” he said. “It's my dream and a lot of other people's dreams to win that and lift that trophy. It's something to be very, very excited about.”

Tommy Fleetwood-1407490429

Shot of the day, you decide! 

Two world class shots. Both produced under the intense pressure of a final round with a title up for grabs.

First, Kitayama showed great balance and strength to get out of a horrid lie in a greenside bunker on his way to making a par at the par-five 16th.

Secondly, Schauffele struck a long iron into the heart of the very same green to set up a stress-free two-putt birdie which ultimately proved the pivotal moment on the back nine.

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