06 Sep 19
Paul O'Hara was crowned as the new Scottish PGA champion at Downfield after ending a painful run of play-off defeats stretching back to 2004.
The 32-year-old North Lanarkshire Leisure-attached player beat overnight leader Alastair Forsyth at the second extra hole after the pair had tied on 15-under-par at the Dundee venue.
O'Hara signed off with a bogey-free 69 to finish with his 277 total, which Forsyth, the 2000 winner, was on course to beat until a double-bogey 7 at the 14th left him having to settle for a closing 71.
After halving the first hole in a sudden-death shoot-out, O'Hara claimed victory with a par at the second to claim his first title triumph in the Tartan Tour's flagship event.
"It is brilliant to win this event as it was almost getting like the Scottish Amateur, having lost three times in the final of that back in the day," he said of defeats in 2004, 2006 and 2009.
"It was starting to feel a bit similar in this event after I lost in a play-off to Gareth Wright in in 2016 then finished second last year.
"I tried really hard today to keep grinding away and to be make four birdies and also be bogey-free was very satisfying."
Forsyth, who started the day with a one-shot lead, fell agonisingly short in his bid to round off a brilliant season by adding to wins in both the Northern Open and the PGA Professional Championship.
"Big Al has been playing great this season and any time you finish ahead of him, you are going to be there or thereabouts," added O'Hara, who is teeing up in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in a fortnight's time.
"He's been on fire this season and it is good to finally manage to beat him as he seems to have been winning everything.
"It's not just him, though. There are so many good players on the circuit at the moment and you have to shoot the lights out to have a chance.
"This sort of completes the set of main titles for me in respect of the PGA as I won the Northern Open a couple of years ago and also the PGA Professional Championship.
"I was driving the ball great and you have to at Downfield. It's a course where you have to use your driver and that definitely suited me.
"I've got a busy few weeks coming up and this is a nice way to start that."
Former winner Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf) finished third after a closing 67 for 278, three ahead of both Thomas Higson (Gleneagles Hotel) and Marc Owenson (Gullane).
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