World number one shoots lowest score in final round before Open

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Luke Donald becomes the first Englishman since Nick Faldo in 1983 to enter the Open following a domination of the Scottish Open field at Castle Stuart.

A four shot victory was sealed thanks to the lowest ever round of his European Tour career, and the world number one couldn’t be in better form heading into the third Major of the year at Sandwich this week.

The Scottish Open proved more than eventful thanks to some atrocious weather conditions, but it was Donald who mastered them as he streaked clear of his opponents thanks to a day which saw him play 27 holes in 12-under-par.

Following thunderstorms and torrential rain on Saturday, the Scottish Open was cut to 54 holes but Donald still had nine of his second round holes to complete on Sunday morning.

That obviously stood him in good stead for the final 18 holes and the world number one demolished the Castle Stuart course in a performance that will guarantee he heads to the Open high in confidence.

Following his four-shot victory, Donald’s Open odds have been cut from 16/1 in to 12/1 and Open favourite Rory McIlroy has been lengthened to 7/1 from 6/1.

The reason behind Donald’s lack of movement in the Open betting is because no Scottish Open winner has ever gone on to win the Open in its 39-year history and Donald will have to defy the history books if he is to triumph at Royal St Georges this week.

However a number of critics have finally been convinced about Donald’s ability to win under pressure following a third European Tour success of the season, and the Englishman’s game is in perfect shape ahead of the Open.

Beating McIlroy will be a tough ask considering the reigning US Open champion has shot 13 under-par rounds in his last 16 Major rounds and the Ulsterman is rightly the favourite at 7/1.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.