Callan Barrow’s blistering back-nine in the final round of the Scottish Men’s Open Championship saw him claim the biggest win of his career.
Barrow signed for a two under par round of 67 and a winning 72-hole total of 15 under par.
That allowed him to edge three shots clear of another Englishman, runner up James Wilson.
However, Lancashire ace Barrow had to dig deep to nail the win.
The England ‘A’ squad member was under pressure after reaching the turn in his final round at two-over par and having watched a five-shot lead reduced to one.
Birdies on the 12th, 13th, 15th and 17th helped him get the job done as he came home in just 30 blows.
Included in his birdie charge were a couple of ‘magic’ twos on testing par threes.
Barrow was thrilled to get over the line after finishing runner up to Jack Cope in last year’s English Amateur Championship.
He said: “It’s been a good few years, so to finally get a big win is amazing.
“We couldn’t have asked for three better days of weather and luckily I performed pretty well.”
Barrow was able to follow in the immediate footsteps of another young English talent – recent Walker Cup participant Jake Bolton – to claim the Scottish Men’s Open Stroke Play title.
Two years ago, Bolton emerged victorious at the Duke’s Course in St Andrews.
With the 2020 event cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions – the trophy is now on its way south again.
There were also top-six finishes for two more England internationals.
Gloucestershire’s Haider Hussain finished in a tie for fourth and Yorkshire’s Sam Bairstow was sixth.
But the spoils of victory belonged to Barrow who was naturally thrilled to win after three days of tough competition at Southerness Golf Club, in Scotland’s south-west.
He added: “The last three days have been incredible. My game’s been pretty solid. The putter has probably been the hottest thing in the bag which was needed round here.”
Barrow’s name will now join some famous others on the silver trophy.
Previous winners of this event include Stephen Gallacher and Colin Montgomerie as well as England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Andy Sullivan.
“I wouldn’t mind doing what they are doing now, added the champion.
It was also a day to remember for another England ‘A’ squad player – Joe Harvey – who fired his first competitive hole-in-one on the par three 17th en route to shooting a 66 in the third round.
“I flushed it straight at the flag and it took one bounce and went straight in,” he said with a smile.
“I was buzzing with that.”
Photography credit: Scottish Golf