Alex Noren triumphs at Castle Stuart to become Scottish Open champion

first_imgSweden’s Alex Noren gave himself the perfect early birthday present by holding his nerve to claim a fifth European Tour title in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.Noren, who turns 34 on Tuesday, carded a closing 70 at Castle Stuart to finish 14 under par and a shot ahead of England’s Tyrrell Hatton, who birdied the last to complete a 69 and secure second place. Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, Italy’s Matteo Manassero and New Zealand’s Danny Lee shared third on 12 under, with Scotland’s Richie Ramsay and England’s Andy Sullivan a shot further back. Hatton, Colsaerts, Manassero and Ramsay also secured the four qualifying places on offer in next week’s Open Championship for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 12. After extending his two-shot overnight lead with a birdie on the second, Noren failed to make the most of several other good opportunities before just his fourth bogey of the week on the eighth allowed Lee to draw level thanks to his third birdie of the day on the 10th.   An eagle followed by three birdies in succession had lifted Colsaerts to within a shot of the lead alongside Hatton and Manassero, but Noren edged back in front with a two-putt birdie from long range on the par-five 12th and produced a superb approach to five feet on the 15th to set up another. That restored a two-shot cushion which proved enough to secure a hard-fought win and a rise from 99th in the world rankings to inside the top 50.last_img

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