Dodt happily swaps NY for Open at Birkdale

The 30-year-old finished on eight-under, five shots behind tournament victor Rafa Cabrera Bello. Shinkwin had that prize – and with it an extra £300,000 – in his grasp as he came towards the end of his final round at Dundonald Links last night, but nerves and some questionable decision-making let him down as he handed victory to Rafael Cabrera Bello instead.

Britain’s Ian Poulter, who shared the overnight lead with Dodt and Shinkwin on nine under, fell away after a 74 left him on seven under alongside American Rickie Fowler, the 2015 victor, and four others. “I just tried to stay one shot at a time, just waiting for things to come to me and obviously I’m very, very pleased with the entire week”. “Obviously a few months back, things were pretty hard but obviously life’s a little bit easier right now and I’m enjoying my golf”. “It was pretty cool to be able to do that today”, Fox said after his round.

Padraig Harrington, Anthony Wall, Matt Kuchar and Ryan Fox shared fourth place with Andrew Dodt at eight-under, while Rickie Fowler, Soren Kjeldsen, Lee Slattery, Andy Sullivan and Robert Rock made up the rest of the top 10 in a tie for ninth with Ian Poulter at 7-under.

Paul Dunne registered two birdies and four bogeys in a closing 74 to finish equal 26th on four under so he too misses out on next week’s third major of the season.

Callum Shinkwin and Matthieu Pavon were the other Open qualifiers overnight, with the former losing a playoff to Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello, who was already exempt. End of the day, I am more than happy to finish second even if the win was on my mind.

He pitched it in to the bank just over the trap, but it failed to make it over the hill and rolled back down the slope away from the hole. I had no shot, really.

He also secured himself a spot in the field for this week’s British Open.

Fair play to the 33-year-old from Las Palmas, who shot 64 in the final round to apply pressure on the young Englishman – but he will never get a luckier victory. I knew the Open spot was right on the line.

“It’s fantastic to be playing in The Open and I’m looking forward to playing at Royal Birkdale. Hitting a 3-wood in a play-off to ten or 12 feet, I think that qualifies”.

Poulter was seeking a 14th worldwide win – and first since November 2012 – but was always playing catch-up after three-putting Nos.

Couples had the most memorable one, completing his at the island 17th at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course during the 1999 Players Championship.