Daily Round-Up: Duncan Stewart sitting 7th in MENA Tour Q School

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Rain in Spain has left Duncan Stewart needing a final-round “charge” to get in the money at the inaugural MENA Tour Qualifying School.

Sunday’s opening round at Almenara was scrapped in the middle of the afternoon due to torrential rain and 50mph winds.

That led to the scheduled 54-hole event being reduced to two rounds, with Stewart carding a three-over-par 75 in the first circuit to sit joint-seventh.

Spaniard Javier Gallegos is out in front after a 71, one shot ahead of Englishman David Booth, who won the 2009 Scottish Youths’ Championship at The Roxburghe when he was at Stirling University.

“Well, my idea to come to Spain to get some warm weather competitive practice has not gone to plan,” said Grantown-on-Spey man Stewart.

“I was going quite well - one-over after 11 holes - when play was scrapped and, though dry today, it was still extremely windy with gusts over 40mph.

“I played pretty solid for the most part but was birdie-free. I’m only four behind, so hopefully can make a charge for it tomorrow in the second and final round.”

Glenbervie man Fraser Moore (78) is joint-13th but Michael Stokes and Sam Mcneil, the other two Scots in an 89-strong field, are down near the bottom of the scoreboard after struggling to 90 and 91 respectively.

Sixty cards are up for grabs, with a $13,000 pursue being split between the top 12 while the leading 15 will get their MENA Tour membership paid.

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Pamela Pretswell is set to make a last-minute decision about playing in tomorrow’s Australian Women’s Open qualifier at The Grange in Adelaide.

Her place in the 18-hole shootout has been thrown into doubt after a back injury forced Prestwell to withdraw six holes into the final round of the New Zealand Women’s Open in Christchurch on Sunday.

“I had phsyio today, so will see how I am in the morning and make a decision then,” said Pretswell, who could still be promoted from first reserve if she misses the qualifier.

With Catriona Matthew and Kylie Walker the only two Scots with exemptions for the event, Sally Watson, Gemma Dryburgh, Kelsey MacDonald and Heather MacRae were also facing a qualifier with just four spots up for grabs.

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Vaughn Taylor carded a final-round seven-under 65 to win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am by one stroke from Phil Mickelson.

Taylor sunk four straight birdies from the 13th to the 16th holes to put himself on top of the leaderboard, while Mickelson missed a birdie putt from five feet on the last that would have forced a play-off.

“It’s been a long time. I didn’t think it was going to happen,” Taylor, who won his first PGA Tour event since 2005, told reporters. “I worked so hard. I kept getting knocked down, knocked down. I’m just at a loss for words.”

Sweden’s Jonas Blixt finished third after a three-under round of 69 with Freddie Jacobson and Hirshi Iwata sharing fourth place a shot further adrift.

Taylor went out in 34 but it was after the turn that he really upped his game.

He hit his approach to within three feet on the 13th and on the par-five 14th he hit to within 12 feet.

On the 15th his shot out of the rough struck the ball of Matt Jones and stopped just two foot short of the cup.

And then at 16th hole he sunk a 30-foot putt for a fourth straight birdie that saw him circle the green in delight.

He had two further opportunities for birdie on the closing two holes but did not take advantage.

Mickelson, though, did not make it easy for Taylor watching from the clubhouse as, trailing by two with two to play he made a 12-foot birdie on the 17th.

But he then missed from five feet on the final hole as the ball clipped the left edge of the cup and spun away.

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Bernhard Langer recorded his first victory since the anchoring ban was introduced as he completed a wire-to-wire win in the Chubb Classic.

Having spreadeagled the field with opening roinds of 62 and 66 at TwinEagles in Florida, the 58-year-old closed with a one-over 73 for a three-stroke victory over Fred Couples.

It was Langer’s 26th PGA TOUR Champions title, sitting third on the list behind Hale Irwin (45) and Lee Trevino (29).

“Whenever you make a drastic change or a change of some sort, you never know,” said Langer, who used a long putter to record his latest win after trying out various models earlier in the week.

“I’m 58 now, so if you look at the statistics, a lot of guys don’t win when they’re near 60.

“But I still think I have some good golf left in me and I’m glad the way I putted this week was probably better than I putted many weeks last year when I was anchored.

“That gives me hope that I can probably pursue with this style and still do very, very well.”

Colin Montgomerie (70-71-72) finished in a share of 26th on level-par while Sandy Lyle was tied 53rd after he signed for three 73s.

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