Francesco Molinari lost the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart in a play-off to Indian Jeev Milhka Singh.
Jeev Milkha Singh (Getty Images)
Jeev Milkha Singh had set an early clubhouse target of -17 under par, and was drinking tea watching the rest try and catch him. Francesco finally did, forcing the play-off. Jeev won with a birdie at the first extra hole, the 18th, in the play-off against Francesco, Jeev calmly sinking a 15 foot putt. Francesco’s birdie attempt, from 25 feet had come up well short of the hole, giving the chnace to Jeev, which he took.
Both players had finished the tournament at -17 under par, Jeev shooting a final 67, -5 under par. Francesco could only manage a par round of 72, that’s 10 shots more than his opening round of 62.
With this win Jeev gains a place in the Open next week, and thinks God has been kind to him;
“I was just enjoying a cup of tea and some chocolate cake and watching it on television, and suddenly got excited. I think God has been kind, and I think the field came back and I put myself in a to go in for a play-off , I’m very fortunate.
I would like to thank a lot of people who have been by my side the last three, four years that have been a struggle for me with the injuries: My family, my friend who coaches me. Janet, who was on my bag, my sponsors who stood by me like Callaway, UPS, Societe Generale, golf in Dubai. All of these guys have been great and supported me through a tough time and I want to thank them all for this. It has been really tough, frustrating more than anything else. You feel like your game is coming back and another injury creeps up, but I just stuck myself in there and said that you need to work on the physical side, and I worked hard on that. Everything has paid off, and I just want to think about the good things and not what’s past and I want to look towards the future now.”
Francesco was obviously disappointed;
“It was a good week, positive. It’s obviously disappointing at the moment not to finish it off. The two putts at 15 and 16 that I missed made all the difference in the end.”
Alex Noren and Scotland”s Marc Warren were tied in third place at -16 under par. World Number One and defending champion Luke Donald finished tied for 16th with, among others, Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington.