10 May 19
Paul O'Hara capitalised on a last-round collapse by Neil Fenwick to win the inaugural Aberdeen Golf Links event, a 54-hole pro-am played over Cruden Bay, Royal Aberdeen and Trump International Golf Links.
Helped by a brilliant seven-under-par 64 - the lowest score of the event - in his opening round at Royal Aberdeen, Fenwick held a four-shot lead over Graham Fox heading into the final circuit.
However, the Dunbar player slumped to a 10-over-par 82 at Trump International Golf Links, running up two double-bogeys in the last four holes, to end up in a tie for sixth with a three-over total 216 total.
O'Hara, who had been nine shots off the lead at the start of the day, signed off with a one-under 70 at Royal Aberdeen to finish on 213, winning by a shot from Fox (Clydeway Golf), David Law (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) and Christopher McDonnell (Golf at Goodwood).
The North Lanarkshire Leisure player, who topped the Tartan Tour Order of Merit for the second season running last year, effectively sealed a victory that earned him a £4,750 pay-day with birdies at the 16th and 17th.
"It was fantastic to win on three of the best championship courses in the UK and up against such an elite field, with ex and current European Tour players in attendance," said O'Hara.
"Over the three days my driving was the stand-out strength. I hardly missed a fairway, which is the key, especially around the Trump course. That made it easier to hit greens in the windy conditions."
Fox, a member of the first Great Britain & Ireland team to win the PGA Cup on American soil at CordeValle in California in 2015, closed with a 76, dropping three shots in two holes at end of front nine in his final round at Trump International Golf Links.
Law, who opted to play in the event in his native north-east rather than heading out to the Volvo China Open on the European Tour, earned his share of second spot by carding seven birdies in a final-day 69 at Royal Aberdeen.
The Vic Open winner was pleased with that effort, which helped repair some of the damage caused by a second-round 77 at Trump International Golf Links, where his card contained two double-bogeys and a quadruple-bogey.
McDonnell had opened with a six-under 64 at Cruden Bay before finishing birdie-birdie to salvage a 78 after running up two double-bogeys and a triple-bogey at Trump International Golf Links.
The Englishman then signed off with a steady 72 at Royal Aberdeen to pick up a cheque for just over £2,000 along with Fox and Law.
It was a double triumph as he also joined forces with amateurs Ken Gold, Matt Savory and Damien Simpson to win the team event.
"From what I heard, everyone had a magnificent time and I managed to get the guys from Goodwood I’ve known for six years to enter two teams, which is a huge credit to them," said O'Hara. "Next year I won’t be surprised if it’s over-subscribed because it was great fun."
The new event mirrored the Highland Golf Links event, which is held at Nairn, Castle Stuart and Royal Dornoch.
“The inaugural Aberdeen Golf Links proved to be a great success, with congratulations due to David Harris and his team for making his vision for the event become a reality.," said Shona Malcolm, the PGA in Scotland Manager.
"I’m sure the pro-am will go from strength to strength in the coming years and we look forward to working with the organisers in 2020 and beyond.”
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