Luke Donald romped to the first win of his world number one reign today, warming up for The Open with a brilliant performance in the Barclays Scottish Open at Castle Stuart near Inverness.
Four behind at the start of the day, Donald first of all narrowed that to one by completing a second round 67.
Then, with the tournament cut to 54 holes because of all the rain delays, he closed with a 63 to finish four clear of the field on 19 under par.
Donald won by four shots from Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed, who came out of the pack with a dazzling 62, while Scotland’s Scott Jamieson claimed the one Open spot up for grabs thanks to a 10-foot birdie putt on the last.
It brought him to joint third place and he claimed the spot by virtue of having a higher world ranking than Chilean Mark Tullo, Italian Lorenzo Gagli and Austrian Martin Wiegele.
Colin Montgomerie’s name will not be on the start list at The Open for the first time since 1989.
It looked like the 48-year-old, runner-up to Tiger Woods at St Andrews in 2005, might rescue a place at the last chance saloon when he charged into a share of the lead at the Barclays Scottish Open today.
But Montgomerie, needing a top five finish just to have a chance of making it to Sandwich, knew it was game over when he double-bogeyed the short 11th. He fell away to joint 31st place on 10 under par, nine behind Donald.
“I got in a position and it’s disappointing,” said Montgomerie.