02 Aug 18
Greig Hutcheon held off 2017 Tartan Tour No 1 Paul O'Hara and defending champion Gavin Hay to capture a remarkable sixth title triumph in the Emtec Group Deer Park Masters.
Hutcheon, who is attached to the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, continued his love affair with the Livingston venue by carding rounds of 67 and 68 for a nine-under-par total, winning by three shots from O'Hara.
“To win here for the sixth time is just inexplicable,” said Hutcheon, who never looked back on this occasion after a first-hole eagle in the opening round, adding 10 birdies over the two days in the PGA in Scotland Order of Merit event.
“The thing that’s becoming apparent to me out on the golf course is the breaks I’m getting and the putts I’m holing at key moments and I can’t explain why I always perform so well at Deer Park.
“I still go back to the first round I ever played here and I shot the course record. It’s all just snowballed from that. I’ve got good memories on almost every hole and that puts you in a fantastic place to challenge out on the golf course.
“I got off to such a great start. I drove the first and managed to roll the putt in for an eagle from 25 feet. I was getting the lucky breaks when I needed them and those are the things that make the difference.”
Hutcheon first claimed the title in 2007 before reeling off four victories in a row from 2013. This success came in the event's 15th staging, which saw 50 PGA professionals and 300 amateurs taking part over the two days.
“I can’t explain why I win here so often,” added Hutcheon, who picked up for £2,688. “There’s something about me and Deer Park. I’ve been coming here for the last ten years and I’ve never played so consistently well at one course over the years.
"I’m just waiting to come here one day and shoot 85. It will happen and I’ll take it no bother because I’ve had so many good days here.
“Deer Park is a very good course and I think it’s underrated in Scotland. It moves left to right, it moves right to left, it has some undulation changes, it’s a really good course and the condition of it just keeps getting better with the work that’s going on every year.
"It copes really well when it rains heavily now, which it hadn’t necessarily done in the past. The greens were great across both days and I can’t wait to come back in 2019.”
O'Hara (North Lanarkshire Leisure Ltd) carded a brace of 69s to claim second spot on six-under, two ahead of Hay (Mearns Castle Golf Academy), Zack Saltman (Winterfield) and Craig Ronald (Carluke).
An opening 74 dented Hay's hopes of a successful title defence but he bounced back admirably with a joint-best-of-the-day 66 on the second day.
Chris Kelly (Scotland for Golf) led a Fair City Precast trio of David J Oliphant, David A Oliphant and Scott Davidson to victory in the team event.
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