Fulke flourishes in final straight

Pierre Fulke held off the challenge of his fellow Swede Henrik Nystrom to win the Scottish PGA Championship here yesterday.

Pierre Fulke held off the challenge of his fellow Swede Henrik Nystrom to win the Scottish PGA Championship here yesterday.

The pair virtually turned the event into a matchplay contest. Nystrom produced the early fireworks, but crucial errors towards the end of the final round let Fulke - who did not drop a stroke all day - pick up the £66,600 winners' cheque.

Fulke, who led by three shots overnight, saw his closing 70 for a 17 under par total of 271 good enough for a two-shot winning cushion over Nystrom who closed with a 69 for 273, with Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin third on 277.

Three shots clear of Nystrom overnight, Fulke's lead was eaten into by his fellow countryman when he holed from 40 feet for an eagle three at the second. Then further birdies at the ninth and tenth put Nystrom into the lead.

The 31-year-old held on to that advantage as both players birdied the 12th. But Nystrom's challenge began to crumble when he three-putted the 13th for a double-bogey six after coming up short of the green in two and fluffing his pitch.

The blunder put Fulke back in front, and when Nystrom found sand at the short 17th and could do no better than a bogey four it gave his opponent a two-shot lead coming up the last where a par five proved enough.

Going into the last round, home hopes were pinned on Paisley's 24-year-old Alastair Forsyth, who completed the final three-ball on the course with Fulke and Nystrom.

But the winner of last year's European Tour Qualifying School had a torrid afternoon, consigning him to a 75 and a share of seventh place on 281.

Further down the leaderboard, former Open champion Paul Lawrie finished strongly with a 68 for a four under par total of 284. But the 31-year-old Aberdonian was left to rue an untidy couple of rounds in the middle of the tournament.

Sam Torrance finished alongside Lawrie in a share of 16th place after a closing 70, while Justin Rose suffered more frustration with a two-over finish on 290.

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