Gareth Wright staved off a spirited late thrust from Gavin Hay to win the Tartan Tour’s Northern Open at Nairn Dunbar.

Wright, who led by five shots heading into the final 36-holes, posted closing day rounds of 72 and 71 for a 12-under aggregate of 276 and pipped playing partner Hay by a single shot.

Wright had watched his healthy halfway lead cut to just one shot by defending champion Paul O’Hara in round three but it was Hay who mounted a charge in round four as he birdied the 12th, 13th and 16th before making an eagle on the final hole in a battling 68. Wright’s birdie on the 18th, however, was enough to stave off Hay’s menacing advances and give the former Scottish PGA champion another of the Tartan Tour's major titles.

“It’s been a brilliant week," admitted Wright, a former PGA Cup player. “I played just as well today as the opening two rounds but holed absolutely nothing for two rounds.

“Apart from the 15th this afternoon, I hit the ball really nicely for four rounds. That was the key. For four rounds my golf was impeccable."

Hay had no complaints about being pipped for glory by Wright, having earlier carded two eagles and five birdies but also eight bogeys in his third-round 71.

“Towards the end of that final round I just felt that Gareth gave me a couple of chances coming in after I picked up birdies on 12 and 13 and he dropped shots on 14 and 15," said the runner-up.

“But he made a great up-and-down at the 16th out of a bunker to get his birdie-4, and although I eagled the last for the third round in a row, it just wasn’t quite enough.”

O'Hara, who'd been a wire-to-wire winner at Moray Golf Club in Lossiemouth 12 months ago, reckoned he'd been unable to convert a good a chance to retain the title after closing the gap to just one after a third-round 67.

“It was really disappointing, that’s the only word for it," he said "Silly shots at the par-5s, especially on the back, nine cost me.”