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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2008 > European Tour > Barclays Scottish Open > Round 4


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Late birdies seal win for Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell warmed up in style for Thursday’s British Open by securing a two-shot victory at the Scottish Open, his second European Tour triumph of the season.

The 28-year-old from Northern Ireland fired a closing 68 for a 13-under tally of 271, with Sunday’s first prize of 500,000 pounds ($1 million) all but clinching his place in the Ryder Cup team to face the U.S. in Valhalla, Kentucky in September.

South African James Kingston (66) was second on 273, one ahead of order of merit leader Miguel Angel Jimenez (69) of Spain and Australian left-hander Richard Green (69).

Briton Simon Khan (72), the joint overnight leader with McDowell, claimed the penultimate qualifying spot for the British Open at Royal Birkdale by finishing fifth on 275.

“It’s a massive relief for me,” McDowell told the BBC. “I have never stood on the 72nd tee holding a two-shot lead before.

“I don’t think I have ever shaken so much in my life coming down the stretch. They were proper nerves I was feeling out there.”

The joint overnight leaders had been locked together at 12-under after both reached the turn in 34 on a calm, sunny day on the banks of Loch Lomond.

But McDowell, who won the Ballantine’s Championship in South Korea in March and finished third in last week’s European Open at the London Club, seized the initiative with a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th.

Khan carded a double-bogey six at the 12th and McDowell charged three strokes clear when he arrowed a pin-point approach shot to within four feet of the pin for his third birdie in a row at the 15th.

McDowell, who also won the 2002 Scandinavian Masters and 2004 Italian Open, almost ended the tournament in grand fashion when his approach at the last shaved the flag but a closing par was still more than enough to take the title.

Khan, who had been two ahead on the 12th tee, felt downhearted about his final round but nonetheless happy to have sealed his place at Birkdale.

“At this moment in time I am a bit disappointed,” said the Englishman after dropping five shots in six holes to the 17th.

“Apart from a couple of tee shots I played lovely today and hit a lot of good irons. Good luck to Graeme though. He hung in there and his three birdies in a row sealed it for him.”

Britain’s Stephen Gallacher, nephew of former Ryder Cup captain Bernard, and Alvaro Quiros of Spain sprinted through the field with matching seven-under-par 64s.

Scot Gallacher, cheered on by his local crowd, struck the ball with real aplomb as seven birdies gave him an eight-under total of 276.

Quiros, who also did not drop a shot all day, grabbed four birdies in the last six holes to finish on 277, the same mark as twice former winner Ernie Els.

World number three Adam Scott’s title chances disappeared with two successive double bogey sixes at the ninth and 10th as he finished with a 74 for 280. Second-ranked Phil Mickelson carded a 73 for 282.


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