|Tunnicliff is Miles better at Gleneagles|
Englishman Miles Tunnicliff secured his second European Tour victory at the Diageo Championship after a brilliant bogey free 68 at windswept Gleaneagles left him five shots clear of his good friend Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland – and allowed him to register the largest winning margin of the European Tour International Schedule in 2004.
Tunnicliff, who won the great North Open two years ago – just weeks the death of his mother – took control of the Diageo Championship after round two and never looked likely to relinquish the five shot lead he had established on Friday night.
A third round 72 allowed the chasing pack to get to within three shots, but Tunnicliff quickly re-established his authoritive position at the top of the leaderboard with birdies at the opening two holes during his final round.
He consolidated his great start by picking up further shots at the ninth and 12th before parring his way home to a commanding victory.
“I am just so pleased at the way I played,” said Tunnicliff who secured a winner’s cheque for €349,614 and moved to 13th on the Volvo Order of Merit with €481,795.
“I started out a little nervous at the beginning but then started great with two birdies and I was just so focused all day long. All I was trying to do was keep the ball in play and hole some putts and in the end it was fantastic.
“I like hitting the ball low and holding the ball up in the wind and the only day that I really had a few bogeys was Saturday when there wasn’t much wind. I played great in the wind, kept the ball under control and holed some crucial putts as well.”
McDowell was the only player who looked likely to catch Tunnicliff as he put together a run of five straight birdies from the eighth to the 12th and picked up another shot on the 15th before his hopes were dashed by a double bogey 7 at the 16th.
The Northern Irishman was philosophical in defeat, however, and was the first to congratulate Tunnicliff’s outstanding performance.
“I would certainly have taken 67 standing on the first tee, that’s for sure,” said McDowell, who moves to 17th on the European Ryder Cup Points List with 606,971 points.
“I really got it going midway through the round, but then my third shot to the 16th was highly disappointing. As soon as it was in the air I knew what to expect, I knew that it was going to be plugged. I executed the shot that I wanted and it just didn’t come off but I can’t be too hard on myself, 67 was pretty good out there.
“Miles has played great all week here and I am delighted that he came through. He’s a good friend of mine out here on Tour, so it’s great to see him win it.”
Scotland’s Steven O’Hara, meanwhile, matched McDowell’s final round 67 to register his best ever finish on The European Tour – tied for third place alongside Australian Nick O’Hern on seven under par, 281.
Courtesy of http://www.europeantour.com/