ST ANDREWS, Scotland (AP)Scotland’s Grant Forrest held off a brilliant challenge from England’s James Morrison to win his first European Tour title by one stroke at the Hero Open on Sunday.
Forrest birdied the last two holes at Fairmont St Andrews for a 6-under-par 66 in the final round. His 24-under 264 total put him a shot ahead of Morrison, who had set the clubhouse target following a superb 63.
There had not been a home winner in Scotland on the European Tour since Paul Lawrie won the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
The 28-year-old Forrest began the day tied for the lead with compatriot Calum Hill (70), who moved two shots clear with birdies on the third and fifth and an eagle on the par-five sixth.
However, Forrest recovered from a bogey on the second with birdies on Nos. 3, 4, 6 and 8 to close within a shot before Hill surprisingly three-putted the ninth from 12 feet.
Hill’s bid for a first European Tour title took an even bigger blow on the next when he followed a pulled drive by hitting his second shot into a gorse bush.
The 26-year-old Hill eventually signed for a double-bogey six and with playing partner Forrest making a birdie on the same hole, Forrest suddenly enjoyed a three-shot lead.
A birdie on the 11th briefly took Forrest four shots ahead, but the chasing pack had certainly not given up hope and Morrison made five birdies in a row from the 11th to get within a shot of the lead.
Forrest’s three-putt bogey on the 16th dropped him back into a share for the lead and moments later Morrison birdied the 18th to edge in front. Forrest responded with a superb tee shot to three feet to set up a birdie on the 17th and then two-putted the par-five 18th for another to seal victory.
Spain’s Santiago Tarrio (68) was third on 21 under, a shot ahead of Scotland’s David Law (68) and Hill.
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