Banchory man reels in his rival to seal the title
Greig Hutcheon showed the kind of form that helped him top the Tartan Tour Order of Merit in 2012 by claiming the Gleneagles Scottish PGA Championship.
Banchory man Hutcheon recovered from a disappointing opening round of 73 to post two consecutive rounds of 64 followed by a closing 66 to finish on 17-under-par and take the most coveted title on the domestic professional circuit by one shot from West Linton’s Gareth Wright.
When Hutcheon first won the title 13 years ago, the event was part of the European Tour schedule and played over the neighbouring PGA Centenary Course.
“I’m really chuffed to win this event,” said Hutcheon. “I managed to claw my way back into it this week after an opening 73 and the main reason I was able to do that was definitely my putting.”
Wright, who made the cut on his Open Championship debut at Muirfield in July, had started the final round with a four-shot lead over Hutcheon after rounds of 65, 67 and 67.
However, he saw that disappear in the first three holes as he got off to a bogey-double-bogey start and Hutcheon opened with a pair of pars and a birdie.
Wright regained his composure after that shaky start and there was little to separate he and Hutcheon under the Aberdeen man birdied the 14th before picking up another shot by holing a 30-foot putt at the 15th to go two clear.
Hutcheon retained his two-shot advantage as the pair arrived at the 18th and, after Wright converted a 25-foot putt for eagle, Hutcheon needed to hole a five-footer for birdie to take the title.
“Gareth and I both played some loose shots today as well as some good ones and it all came down to some lucky breaks here and there,” added the newly crowned champion.
Wright, meanwhile, was philisophical in defeat. “It’s disappointing to have lost a four-shot lead,” he said. “I didn’t get off to a good start but all credit to Greig as he putted well all day.
“I’ve shot level-par in the final round, meaning Greig had to break par to beat me. I was due the putt for my eagle at the last but I didn’t expect Greig to miss his and was proved right.”
Keir McNicoll, the Assistant PGA professional at Gullane Golf Club, won the trophy for the highest finishing assistant professional in the competition as he finished in a tie for 11th place with a final score of two-under-par.
Buchanan Castle’s Jason McCreadie took third on 11-under with David Orr of Mearns Castle Golf Academy a further two shots adrift.