Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles
Gleneagles, Perthshire, Scotland
Aug 28-31, purse €1,736,249, par 73
Gregory Havret has won his third European Tour title at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. The 31-year-old held off the challenge of a charging Graeme Storm to become the third French winner on tour this season.
Havret led after each of the first three rounds and he fired an excellent closing 70 to win the tournament by a single shot. After bogeys at the third and fifth, the Frenchman began to look vulnerable but he struck back with a superb eagle at the ninth hole. It was his third eagle of the week. Birdies at the 14th and 16th meant he needed just a par five at the last to claim victory.
When he drove into the thick rough, par began to look a much tougher prospect, and when his third shot found the greenside bunker, a playoff with Storm was the likely outcome. But, digging deep, Havret splashed out and holed a 12-foot putt to win his second European Tour Title on Scottish soil. He was Scottish Open Champion at Loch Lomond in 2007. Afterwards Havret was quick to admit that closing out the win had been a challenge, “It was a tough day.” He said.
There was a fascinating sub-plot running all week at Gleneagles as this was the final event counting towards the European Ryder Cup points list. Coming into the tournament Justin Rose, Soren Hansen and Oliver Wilson occupied the last three automatic qualifying spots but Nick Dougherty and Ross Fisher had a chance to force their way into the team.
Displaying great tenacity Rose, Hansen and Wilson finished in the top-ten at Gleneagles and secured their places in Faldo’s side. Dougherty made a valiant final day effort but came up just shy. His 70 included five straight birdies. Fisher also made a solid showing, finishing the week on -7.
After the tournament Faldo named Paul Casey and Ian Poulter as his two “wild card” picks for Valhalla. Neither were at Gleneagles but Faldo felt their form through the year justified their inclusion. There was disappointment for Ryder Cup veterans Darren Clarke and Colin Montgomerie who have played in the last five and eight Cups respectively.
The Centenary Course at Gleneagles had suffered from the heavy rain that’s fallen across Scotland over the last month and conditions were difficult through the week with preferred lies in play on the fairways and the greens spiking up badly. It was a week to knuckle down and get on with the job in hand and Havret, Hansen, Wilson and Rose did just that.
1 Gregory Havret (Fra) 68 71 69 70 278 €292,355
2 Graeme Storm (Eng) 74 69 68 68 279 €194,899
T3 Peter Hanson (Swe) 74 72 66 69 281 €98,756
T3 David Howell (Eng) 75 67 68 71 281 €98,756
T5 Justin Rose (Eng) 73 71 67 71 282 €67,886
T5 Marcel Siem (Ger) 74 70 66 72 282 €67,886
T7 Nick Dougherty (Eng) 73 72 69 70 284 €42,257
T7 Bradley Dredge (Wal) 71 70 70 73 284 €42,257
T7 Anthony Wall (Eng) 71 73 65 75 284 €42,257
Key Moment: Havret holes from 12 feet on the final green to win by a single shot.
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage