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Bairstow wins in Scotland to secure maiden Challenge Tour title

Bairstow wins in Scotland to secure maiden Challenge Tour title

Sam Bairstow claimed his first European Challenge Tour title with a six under par final round 65 to win the Farmfoods Scottish Challenge supported by the R&A at Newmacher Golf Club in Aberdeenshire.

The Englishman, who celebrated his 25th birthday earlier this week, produced rounds of 70-68-66-65 for a 15 under par total, one stroke ahead of Frenchman Romain Wattel who finished in solo second on 14 under par.

Bairstow, playing in his first season as a professional, produced a bogey-free weekend to make sure of a memorable win that sees him climb into the top 20 on the Road to Mallorca Rankings for the first time. He is now well-placed to secure promotion to the DP World Tour which is something he admits he hadn’t considered at the beginning of the year.

“I didn’t really know the position I was in until I saw the scoreboard on the 16th,” he said. “From there it was a case of trying to focus on what I was doing

“Going into this year I really didn’t know what to expect given it was my first year on the Challenge Tour. I was just thinking about keeping my card, never mind winning or getting into the top 20 in the Rankings and possible promotion to the DP World Tour.

“Yesterday I saw the forecast was going to be a bit windy and I just played really smart. I knew it wasn't going to be as windy today but I thought if I did the same, I wouldn't be too far off. There were plenty of chances out there, so it was all about keeping the mistakes off the card.”

Bairstow had to hold his nerve to secure his breakthrough win, with the par putt on the final hole one that he will remember most fondly. Playing the last with a two shot lead, playing partner Wattel would make him sweat after a fantastic approach to five feet. Bairstow meanwhile left himself a testing six foot putt for victory which he duly converted.

Bairstow’s win makes it back-to-back Challenge Tour wins for Sheffield golfers following Alex Fitzpatrick’s victory at the British Challenge presented by Modest! Golf Management.

Englishman Brandon Robinson Thompson, Northern Irishman Jonathan Caldwell and American Jordan Gumberg shared third place on 12 under par, while David Law finished as the top Scot in ninth on ten under par.

The top ten in the Road to Mallorca Rankings remains the same with South African Casey Jarvis keeping hold of his place as the Number One. Englishman Jamie Rutherford moves up three places to 17th, one ahead of countryman Bairstow.

The Road to Mallorca travels to Finland for the Vierumäki Finnish Challenge at Vierumäki Resort from August 17-20.