Scotland: Men’s Open

Callan Barrow with the Scottish Open trophy

Callan’s ‘incredible’ big win at Southerness

OPENS: Monday May 31st

Blackpool’s Callan Barrow has been threatening ‘a big win’ for some time and he delivered that in style by taking the Scottish Open at Southerness in Dumfries.

The Royal Lytham player, who was runner-up at last year’s English Amateur, played some brilliant stuff across all four rounds of the three-day event.

“It feels amazing,” said Callan. “It’s been a good few years so to finally get a big win is amazing. We couldn’t have asked for three better days of weather and luckily I performed pretty well.”

Barrow closed on 15 under par, three clear of Close House’s James Wilson and eight ahead of Ayrshire golfer Stuart Wilson (Irvine GC), who led at halfway.

“The last three days have been incredible,” added the 23-year-old. “My game’s been pretty solid. The putter has probably been the hottest thing in the bag which was needed round here. 

“The course was in great condition, but the greens were getting really firm and fast towards the end. It was tough even though the weather was pretty kind to us.

“It was a great week all in all. I’ve been told that guys like Tommy Fleetwood and Andy Sullivan have got their names on this trophy. I wouldn’t mind doing what they are doing now.”

And the Lancashire player turned it on despite having to cope with a disruptive few nights sharing with room-mate Harvey Byers (Walton Heath).

Callan added: “Every night, at about 2am, I had to go and sleep on the sofa because of Harvey’s snoring.”

The 72-hole event was dominated by the top three with Wilson opening up with a 62 and Barrow and Easton one shot back. It was also a day to remember for Ireland’s Patrick Keeling, who aced the 15th.

The North East player dropped back to third after a level par second round while Easton’s 66 took him to nine under, one ahead of Barrow.

But the Scottish player’s chances were rocked in the third round as he struggled to a 70 while the soon-to-be champion enjoyed a rollercoaster of a round. He bagged three twos and two sixes on his way to a five under par 64, which concluded with a remarkable eagle on the last. Downwind, the plus five handicapper had just a wedge in from 204 yards out of the semi rough and stuck it to a foot.

Wilson’s 65 left him as the main challenger and with Barrow making another slow start, the Durham player was one shot ahead with 11 to play. He then had a four-foot putt to double that lead at the eighth but missed and then double bogeyed the ninth to leave his playing partner back in front.

With the wind increasingly becoming a factor, the Lancashire golfer gained some momentum with a 21-footer for birdie at the 12th and then fired his approach to four feet for another three on the next.

It got even better at 15 as Barrow almost holed in one and tapped in for a stunning two and his birdie at 17 extended his lead to four before the Close House ace birdied the last to cut the final gap to three.

The Lytham star’s excellent form has come at just the right time with a clutch of big tournaments falling one after the other, starting with the St Andrews Links Trophy starting on Friday (June 4th).

Leading scores (par 69)
1) Callan Barrow (ENG) (Royal Lytham) 63, 67, 64, 67, 261 (-15)
2) James Wilson (ENG) (Close House) 62, 69, 65, 68, 264 (-12)
3) Stuart Easton (SCO) (Irvine) 63, 66, 70, 70 269 (-7)
4= Lewis Irvine (SCO) (Kirkhill) 70, 70, 64, 66, 270 (-6)
4= Haider Hussain (ENG) (The Kendleshire) 68, 66, 68, 68, 270 (-6)
6) Sam Bairstow (ENG) (Hallowes) 69, 66, 68, 68, 271 (-5)
7= Stephen Roger (SCO) (Peebles) 71, 68, 64, 69, 272 (-4)
7= Zachary Chegwidden (ENG) (Orsett) 68, 68, 69, 67, 272 (-4)
7= Jack Broun (SCO) (Turnberry) 67, 67, 79, 69, 272 (-4)
7= Matt Roberts (WAL) (Royal Porthcawl) 69, 64, 69, 70, 272 (-4)