Scotsman Wallace Booth moved to second in the 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit after registering his first win of the season in the MarHall.com Scottish Classic.
With the lead changing hands constantly, and seven golfers in close contention throughout the final round, it was one of the closest finishes of the campaign. Booth, who shot a four-under-par 66 in the final round, concluded the 54-hole event 11 under par to win by two strokes, with Paul Maddy, Daniel Wardrop and Order of Merit leader Stuart Manley tied for second.
Booth (Comrie Golf Club) had been one shot off the lead after 36 holes but bogeyed the fourth and couldnâ€™t find a birdie on the front nine, leaving him three shots behind at the halfway point of his round.
He replied, though, with three consecutive birdies from the tenth and a fourth at 15 took him to the top of the leaderboard on 10 under. Coming down the 18th Booth had the advantage of being in the final group and knew he needed to avoid error while also matching what playing-partner Wardrop (Didsbury Golf Club) did.
The overnight leader from Manchester had slipped down the leaderboard after bogeys at one and two, though a birdie at the seventh kept him close. He gained further shots at 14 and 15 to stay in touch but was unable to better Boothâ€™s 18th-hole birdie and he finished with a par to tie for second on nine under.
Manley (Machynys Peninsula), victor at Rowallan Castle last week, enjoyed a faultless final round which included five birdies, but his 65 was only enough to share second place with Wardrop and Maddy (Gog Mgog), who made birdies at seven, nine and 10 and an eagle at 15 to sign for a final-round 65.
Martin LeMesurier (South Winchester Golf Club) had been two shots clear as he began his back nine thanks to birdies at one, seven and eight but a run of six straight pars ended with a bogey at 15 and the Hampshire golfer signed for a two-under-par 68 to end the week eight under. He tied for fifth alongside James Scade (Ingrebourne Links) and South African Darryn Lloyd (Acrabuold Ltd).
â€œI looked at the leaderboards and knew where I stood but I didnâ€™t allow that to bother me,â€ said Booth after his win. â€œI was three behind at one point but I just relaxed and played my golf. I had missed my last three cuts and I had a chat with my coach so he told me to relax because I was just trying too hard.
â€œMy caddy kept me in a good frame of mind on the last round and I didnâ€™t put too much pressure on myself. On the 18th I knew I needed to match Wardrop with a par or better and I managed to hit a really good second shot in to about five feet below the flag. He had a 20-footer for birdie and left it just short so I knew I had two putts and that helped relax me a little bit.â€