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Rai beats Fleetwood in playoff to clinch Scottish Open title

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(C) Reuters. European Tour – Scottish Open

(Reuters) – England’s Aaron Rai claimed his second European Tour title after edging out compatriot Tommy Fleetwood in a playoff at the Scottish Open on Sunday.

Rai fired eight birdies in the final round to sign for a brilliant seven-under-par 64 and set the target at 11-under before Fleetwood finished with a 20-foot birdie putt to force extra holes at The Renaissance Club.

World number 17 Fleetwood looked favourite to lift the trophy when he split the fairway from the tee back at the par-four 18th after Rai found a deep bunker.

But Fleetwood went on to three-putt from just off the green, while Rai rescued a par to seal his maiden Rolex Series title.

Rai’s victory lifted him into the top five on the Race to Dubai standings and the top 100 in the world rankings.

“It’s incredible,” the 25-year-old said. “I played a lot in Scotland growing up, dreamed of playing in a European Tour event in Scotland.

“To be able to play in it was incredible a couple of years ago and to be able to go still further is an incredible feeling.

“Any time you’re up there in the Race to Dubai, whether it’s winning it, whether it’s in the top three, top five, it shows a great degree of consistency with some really top results, as well.”

England’s Robert Rock missed out on a place in the playoff after carding a bogey on the last hole in a round of 70.

Australian Lucas Herbert, whose 65 was 14 shots better than his third round, finished at nine-under alongside home favourite Marc Warren.

Rai beats Fleetwood in playoff to clinch Scottish Open title

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