There will now be two Singhs in the Open Championship next week. With a birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff with Francesco Molinari, Jeev Milkha Singh won the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
Both players tied at 17 under par after regulation, each making a par 5 at the finishing hole to force overtime on a day where scoring at Castle Stuart was toughened by the weather.
Singh, who posted a Sunday-best 67 to Molinari’s even-par 72, never anticipated finding himself in a playoff.
“As the chocolate cake and tea were going down (after the round), I think it got very exciting on the golf course and I was fortunate to get into a playoff,” he said.
The birdie on the first hole of sudden death not only gave him the win but entry into the field at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. He had been planning to fly to his London home before heading to his native India. The second leg of that trip is now to Lytham.
Scot Marc Warren had his national championship in his sights, sitting at 20 under with four holes to play. He played them in 4 over, however, with a double bogey and two consecutive bogeys before a par at the last left him tied for third at 16 under with Alex Noren.
Mathew Baldwin, Soren Kjeldsen and Thomas Levet finished tied for fifth at 15 under.
Phil Mickelson, who played the middle two rounds at Castle Stuart in 15 under, faded over par on Sunday. His 74 dropped him to 12 under and a T-16 finish along with seven others, including world No. 1 and defending champion Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington.
The win is Singh’s fourth on the European Tour and first since the 2008 Bank Austria Golf Open and best finish since finishing T-4 at the 2009 WGC-CA Championship.