Kieran Cantley wins Simpson & Marwick Craigmillar Park Open

Winner Kieran Cantley with Craigmillar Park captain John Hall
Winner Kieran Cantley with Craigmillar Park captain John Hall
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Liberton’s Kieran Cantley recorded his second win in eight days as he came from two shots behind heading into the final round to claim victory in the Simpson & Marwick Craigmillar Park Open.

Taking up where he’d left off in winning the Scottish Champion of Champions at Leven Links the previous weekend, the 20-year-old carded rounds of 65, 65, 69, 68 for a 13-under-par total.

He finished two shots ahead of Peebles player Stephen Roger, with Euan McIntosh of Turnhouse a stroke further back in the opening Scottish Golf Order of Merit event of the season.

Helped by a second-round 62 that included 10 birdies, Clydebank & District’s Steven Stewart led going into the closing circuit but ended up in joint-fourth following a 75.

“It’s been a good couple of weeks,” admitted Cantley, who hinted his game was on an upward curve when winning the North of Scotland Open at Royal Dornoch towards the end of last season.

“I am playing solid and came into this event with a lot of confidence on the back of my win at Leven.”

Cantley’s early-season double was on the cards as he followed a chip-in birdie at the ninth in the final round by holing a 50-footer for an eagle-3 at the 14th.

Stewart, in contrast, dropped five shots in four holes from the fourth before having three bogeys in a row early in the back nine.

“I was a bit scrappy today but getting these two wins is a great way to start the season as I try to get into the Scotland team this year then target the Walker Cup next season,” added Cantley, who was watched over the closing holes by his coach, Braid Hills Golf Centre-based Colin Brooks.

McIntosh, the 2016 Scottish Order of Merit winner, described his start to the season as “pretty good” after also finishing runner-up to Cantley in the Scottish Champion of Champions.

Dalmahoy’s Rory Smith broke 70 in all four rounds as he shared fourth spot with Stewart. “This is my best performance in a Scottish Golf Order of Merit event and also my best score to par,” he said.