Matthew Nixon wins Highland Golf Links Pro-Am by four shots

Englishman Matthew Nixon recorded the first “proper” victory in a professional career that started 12 years ago as he completed an impressive wire-to-wire win in the Tomatin Highland Golf Links 54-hole Pro-Am.

Tomatin managing director Stephen Bremner, left, presented a very special and rare 50-year-old Tomatin single malt to winner Matthew Nixon. Picture: Highland Golf Links Pro-Am

The 32-year-old from Cheshire, who led by two shots overnight after his opening rounds at Royal Dornoch and Castle Stuart, signed off at Nairn with a five-under 66 for a 16-under 197 and a four-shot victory over defending champion Tom Higson.

“I’ve won the odd one-day event but sleeping on a lead and winning a three-round event is really nice,” admitted Nixon, who won the Boys’ Amateur Championship at Royal Aberdeen in 2006.

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Nixon, who’d been forced to pull out of the popular event last year when his travelling companion had a Covid scare en route, feared his weekend tune up for this edition hadn’t augured well.

Englishman Matthew Nixon recorded a five-shot win in the Tomatin Highland Golf Links 54-hole Pro-Am at Castle Stuart, Nairn and Royal Dornoch. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images.

“I played nine holes at Nairn on Saturday, it was blowing a gale and it felt like the hardest course in the world,” said the former European Tour player, having finished runner-up in the 2013 Russian Open. “I felt like I’d forgotten how to play links golf. Thankfully, it turned out pretty good in the end.”

Nixon also led the amateur trio of Chris Exton, Adam Wells and Anthony Cavanagh to victory in the team Stableford competition with 275 points.

Runner-up Higson closed with a 67 at Royal Dornoch for a 12-under total while Sam Broadhurst shot a nine-under 61 there to share third on 10-under with Stephen Gray, Greig Hutcheon, Conor O’Neil, Harry Boyle, Danny Young and Chris Currie.

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