Justin Rose holds off challenge to win Scottish Open

Phil Mickelson shot a 65 that sets him up well for Hoylake
Phil Mickelson shot a 65 that sets him up well for Hoylake
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He hasn't lifted a trophy in Europe for seven years but Justin Rose won on Sunday to set him up nicely for the big one this week.

Meanwhile, defending champion Mickelson also finished on a high with a final round 65 to leave him eight shots behind the winner, but with plenty of positives to take into the third Major of the year.

Justin Rose proved too strong for the chasing pack as he secured the Scottish Open title, claiming a two-shot win at Royal Aberdeen.

The Englishman collected a first European Tour title since 2007 after a final round 65, which saw him shoot under 70 in every one of his four rounds this week.

Rose, who started the day co-leader on ten-under-par, carded a bogey-free six-under-par final round to see him reach -16 and keep his closest challengers at bay.

If there were any nerves for the 2013 US Open champion they were calmed early in the day, as he made the perfect start. After a par at the first, Rose made birdies at two and three, before also collecting shots at five and six.

A birdie at the par-four ninth cemented his favouritism even further and although he only managed one birdie on the back nine - at the par-five 12th - the damage had already been done for his rivals.

It's now back-to-back wins for Rose in his last two events, after his success at the Quicken Loans National on the US PGA Tour last month.

Sweden's Kristoffer Broberg was his closest challenger, after his final day 66 saw him seal second place on his own.

The world number 304 continued his recent fine form but was unable to bridge the gap to Rose, despite going out in 33. A dropped shot at the par-three 11th was a bogey he could ill afford and although he picked up three more birdies - at 12, 14 and 17 - he finished two behind the winner.

Home favourite Marc Warren, who started round four alongside Rose at the top of the leaderboard, could only card a 70 on Sunday to finish in third.

The Scot, seeking a third European Tour title, could find just one birdie amongst a host of pars on the front nine. Two twos and two fives on the back nine saw him come back in 35 and finish the tournament on -11.

It was another Scotsman who made the biggest charge up the leaderboard on day four, with Stephen Gallacher recording a course record-equalling 63.

The nephew of former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher fired nine birdies and one bogey in a spectacular final round, helping him reach 10-under-par.

That was enough for a share of fourth with three other players, Matteo Manassero (65), Shane Lowry (66) and Tyrrell Hatton (68).

Noticeable strong finishers ahead of next week's Open Championship at Hoylake included two big name Americans - Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson.

Fowler, looking for his first Major title, carded rounds of 68 and 65 over the weekend to finish in a tie for eighth on nine-under-par.

Meanwhile, defending champion Mickelson also finished on a high with a final round 65 to leave him eight shots behind the winner, but with plenty of positives to take into the third Major of the year.

There were also two Englishman showing an encouraging return to form, with Paul Casey and Luke Donald finishing in the top 20 at the Royal Aberdeen links.

Casey, twice a top-10 finisher at The Open, has recently moved back into the top 100 in the world rankings and a tied 14th finish - alongside Rory McIlroy - shows a continuing improvement, especially after a nine at the par-four first on day three!

Donald has returned fresh after a break and a final round 66 shows he is in good touch, as he now heads to Merseyside looking for his first Major Championship.

But it's Rose who will be the man with the most confidence teeing it up at Hoylake, as he looks to follow Mickelson's lead and claim success at the Scottish Open and then lift the Claret Jug.

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