Jose Maria Olazabal inspired compatriot's Scottish Championship success

Adrian Otaegui reckons he wouldn't have joined an exclusive club of Spanish golfers to win as professionals at the top level on Scottish soil if it hadn't been for fellow San Sebastian man Jose Maria Olazabal.

Adrian Otaegui poses with the trophy following his victory in the Scottish Championship presented by AXA at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Otaegui's victory in the inaugural Scottish Championship at Fairmont St Andrews on Sunday saw him become just the third Spaniard to taste victory in Scotland on the European Tour.

Seve Ballesteros led the way when he won the 1984 Open Championship at St Andrews before Rafa Cabrera Bello landed the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire in 2017.

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Otaegui is mentored by Olazabal and heaped praise on the two-time Masters champion as he reflected on a stunning four-shot victory over the Torrance Course at the Fife resort.

"We are both from San Sebastian, we come from the same area and I’ve been very lucky to know him for many, many years," said the 27-year-old, who opened with a 62 before closing with a 63 to claim his third European Tour title.

"He has been a massive inspiration for me and I also want to thank him today because I probably wouldn’t be the same without him. I just feel very lucky to be able to have practiced with Olazabal as a teenager and I’m sure I’m still using that knowledge these days."

Otaegui, who won the British Boys' Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) in 2010, has climbed to 25th in the Race to Dubai and is up to 157th in the world rankings after his weekend win.

"I go very much day-by-day," he replied to being asked about his goals for the rest of this season and beyond. "I obviously have long-term goals, but I think those goals are here to make you practice better, practice harder and once you are at a tournament you just have to focus on the present.

"My dream has always been to win the Ryder Cup, to win majors, but right now I’m just focused on the end of the season.

"To get ready for the end of the season, to get ready for the DP World Championship in Dubai, to get up in the rankings, and obviously have more playing opportunities for next year as well to have a good 2021."

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