Scottish Open: Donald wins but Montgomerie to miss Open

Luke Donald
Donald is in fine form ahead of the Open

World number one Luke Donald maintained his impressive form ahead of next week's Open with victory in the rain-hit Scottish Open at Castle Stuart.

Donald carded a final-day score of 63 to clinch the title by four shots on 19 under from Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed.

"I am high in confidence going into the Open," Donald told BBC Sport.

Colin Montgomerie's score of 10 under par was not good enough to see him qualify for the Open, an event he will sit out for the first time since 1989.

The former Europe Ryder Cup captain needed a top-five finish at Castle Stuart to stand a chance of making next week's major in Sandwich.

Despite briefly holding a share of the lead following a birdie at the par-five sixth, a disastrous double-bogey on the short 11th ultimately cost him an opportunity to seal his Open place as he eventually finished back in joint 31st place.

"I got in a position and it's disappointing," said the eight-time European number one, whose five second places in major are a record for someone who has never won one.

"It was going well and then I sort of ran out of puff. I'm just driving home now and it will sink in then."

Rookie Scott Jamieson holed a 10-foot birdie at the last to finish tied for third and clinch the only qualifying place on offer for the Open, which begins at the Royal St George's course on Thursday, by virtue of having a higher ranking than Chile's Mark Tullo.

But the day belonged to the imperious Donald, who shot the lowest round of his European Tour career to secure his first victory since becoming world number one.

"It was a long week and dragged on because of the weather," the 33-year-old told BBC Sport, who fired in eight birdies, including four in succession from the third hole.

"We had as much rain this week as they usually get in five months so it was good to win it and is good preparation for the Open," he added.

If Donald does go on to win in Sandwich next week, he will make history as no player has ever won the Scottish Open and gone on to win the Open.

After Saturday's wash-out cut the tournament from 72 to 54 holes, Donald had to play half of his second round starting at 0700 BST and did that in three under par to close the gap on the leaders from four to one.

With Lee Westwood coming only joint 14th on 12 under, Donald also stretched his lead at the top of the world rankings.

Westood was clearly frustrated after a difficult week, saying: "It was not that useful a week. It was tiring with having to get up a couple of times at half four (because of the rain delays) and it would have been nice to have 20mph winds.

"I said before that if there was no wind the course was going to get murdered."