Rafa Cabrera Bello pleased to return to winning ways at Scottish Open
By Mike Patterson
Last Updated: 16/07/17 9:18pm
Rafa Cabrera Bello was a happy man after ending his long wait for a third European Tour success by winning the AAM Scottish Open title.
The 33-year-old Spaniard last tasted victory at the Dubai Desert Classic in February 2012 but he ended his barren run by edging out Englishman Callum Shinkwin in a play-off at Dundonald Links.
Shinkwin missed out on a 72-hole success after bogeying the final hole but Cabrera Bello had applied the pressure with a course-record 64.
The world No 31's eight-under-par round consisted of four birdies on the front nine and a further four on the way home, including at both the 17th and 18th.
He then produced a sensational approach shot to the 18th for a two-putt birdie at the first extra hole to capture the £898,000 first prize.
"Obviously I am extremely happy," Cabrera Bello told Sky Sports. "I have won before and I have been up there so many, many times and things have not really worked out.
"I was starting to feel a little bit of pressure every time I was up there contending so I'm really, really happy how I played today.
"In the play-off I really gave it a go and I'm extremely pleased it worked out for me. Those are the moments we practise for.
"I truly enjoy those pressure situations. I think they really define you if you can really perform under those circumstances. I hit a great shot and birdie was enough to win.
"Today I had that little bit of luck that I needed. I stayed patient and I putted good. I really trusted myself and I played almost the best golf of my life."
Shinkwin had looked set to triumph for much of the afternoon as he kept his composure at the top of the leaderboard, only to miss out after his sole bogey of the day at the 18th.
The 24-year-old's efforts earned him £598,000 and a place in The Open at Royal Birkdale and he was pleased with his performance.
He said: "My game was holding up fantastic from the word go. I drove the ball unbelievable off the tee all day and I don't think I missed many greens.
"I got in there [The Open] last year and didn't perform too well. But this year my game feels better and hopefully I can perform much better."