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Wright has the last laugh at the third time of asking

Did you hear the one about the Welshman who was born in England, represented Scotland and then won the Scottish PGA Championship?

Gareth Wright secured the Scottish PGA Championship with a closing pair of 68s after narrowly missing out twice before.Picture:  Andy Forman
Gareth Wright secured the Scottish PGA Championship with a closing pair of 68s after narrowly missing out twice before.Picture: Andy Forman

Well you will now. It was Gareth Wright who was smiling at a dreich Gleneagles last night as he delivered the ultimate punch line to capture the Tartan Tour's flagship event.

Pipped to the domestic circuit's most cherished prize in both 2010 and 2013, the 32-year-old West Linton-based professional made it third time lucky as he closed with a brace of three-under 68s on the final day over the King's Course for a nine-under 275 and a slender one-shot victory over the 2008 champion Jason McCreadie. Wright became the first non-Scot to claim the championship since the Englishman Mark Seymour 80 years ago.

"I consider this my national championship; I've lived up here for 16 years and I've represented Scotland in the PGA of European Team Championship," said Wright, after a triumph which he rated on a par with his 2012 British Club Professionals' Championship conquest. "Having been runner-up twice before, I think the course owed me this one."

Three off the lead at the halfway stage, Wright thrust himself into a tie at the top with a three-under third round but his closing 18 holes did not get off to the best of starts with a three-putt bogey on the second, his 10th three-putt of the week. "Without those, it could've been something really special," he said. Wright rallied and four birdies in another 68 set the clubhouse target.

McCreadie had a last-gasp chance to force a play-off but his eagle attempt on the 18th slithered by and he finished with a 67 for 276. Greg McBain, playing in the final group, also had a glimmer of hope on the 72nd hole but he three-putted from 35-feet and a 70 left him in third place on 277. It would be all Wright on the night.

Even though his last taste of tournament golf was way back in November's European Tour qualifying school final, Wright, who earned £9000, has hit the ground running this week and a recent Busman's holiday to Florida certainly aided the limbering up process. "I was getting up at 5.30 every morning to do a lot of practice before everyone else got up," he added. "Then I'd enjoy the holiday stuff . . . and get dragged round the shops by my wife."

Robert Arnott, who won last week's P&H Championship, took fourth place on 278 after a pair of 71s while Greig Hutcheon, the defending champion and last year's Tartan Tour No.1, closed his campaign with a 69 and a 68 and finished in a share of fifth with Chris Currie and Scott Herald on a five-under 279. With a couple of weeks until he crosses swords with the cream of the European Tour in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the 40-year-old was more than content with the way his game is shaping up even if the putts just wouldn't drop.

"The holes were like cellophane bridges today," groaned the Aberdonian, after watching a series of stabs stay above ground.

As a reward for winning the 2013 Scottish PGA title, Hutcheon has been staying in the Gleneagles Hotel for the duration of the championship but it's back to the auld claes and porridge now.

"There's no more lording it up," added Hutcheon with a smile after sticking a cheque for £2300 in his back pocket.

That should just about cover at least one of the gourmet meals he's gobbled up this week.

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