Alastair Forsyth pips Paul O'Hara in play-off to win Scottish PGA at West Kilbride
Alastair Forsyth bridged a 22-year title gap to win the Loch Lomond Whiskies Scottish PGA Championship at West Kilbride.
In a thrilling finale to the Arnold Clark Tartan Tour’s flagship event, Forsyth, the national champion back in 2000, edged out Paul O’Hara at the second play-off hole after both players had finished tied at the top on 15-under following closing rounds of 68 and 71 respectively.
There was also an element of revenge to Forsyth’s conquest. Three years ago, he lost in a play-off for the national crown to O’Hara at Downfield.
“We got there in the end,” he said. “This win is probably more satisfying than my first one. Back in 2000, I was up-and-coming and I had my main tour card. This win was less expected because I’m not playing as much these days. I know my game is good enough but the question is whether it is sharp enough. It was this week.”
Forsyth had been three strokes behind the frontrunning O’Hara heading into the final day.
When he sagged to a double-bogey on the third, his ambitions looked dead in the water. The 46-year-old got the head down, though, and mounted a spirited salvage operation. “You either let that kind of thing bother you, or you grind it out,” said Forsyth of a success worth £4,210.
He added: “It was a strange day. I wasn’t out if it after the third round but you sometimes think you’re unlikely to catch Paul when he gets his nose in front.
“I actually didn’t look at the scores at all until I saw the board on the 18th and got a pleasant surprise to see I was sharing the lead. I assumed Paul would be out in front. This is our national championship. It’s the one we all want to win. To do it again is very, very pleasing.”
This was O’Hara’s fourth runners-up finish in the Scottish PGA and the 2019 champion said: “I missed so many putts during the round and it was the same in the play-off. I missed a five-footer to win and then a six-footer to keep it going. My pace was just miles out. It was not like me at all.”
Craig Lee, last year’s runner-up, closed with a 70 to finish third on 10-under.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.