Rafa Cabrera Bello working on his anger management

Defending champion Rafa Cabrera Bello was all smiles during his Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open press conference at Gullane but has sometimes been grim faced in the past on the golf course. Picture: Getty Images
Defending champion Rafa Cabrera Bello was all smiles during his Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open press conference at Gullane but has sometimes been grim faced in the past on the golf course. Picture: Getty Images
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Jon Rahm isn’t the only Spanish golfer with a short fuse. Anger management on the course has also proved a problem for Rafa Cabrera Bello, as he alluded to on the eve of his title defence in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.

“I’ve worked very hard over the last few years to improve in the world ranking,” said the world No 25 at Gullane. “I have a big team around me that helps me in all different parts of the game, and then I just feel more mature.

“I trust myself more, not as much as I would like to or hope I will some day, but I feel I’m improving little by little, getting to know my strengths and my weaknesses better.

“But overall I think the difference is my attitude is better than it was five, six, seven years ago. I tend to be a little bit of a perfectionist and maybe sometimes I’m too hard on myself.

“I try hard and of course I expect things to go my way, but I have to understand that sometimes it’s not like that. I just have to take it a little easier on myself and always believe in me.”

Cabrera Bello, who beat Englishman Callum Shinkwin in a play-off at Dundonald Links 12 months after ago closing with a course-record 64, added: “I’ve learned to fight smarter, as opposed to getting angry, hitting two or three shots angry, that may or may not cost you shots and then trying to fight back.

“I’m learning to let the anger go away or delay it until the round is over and focus on the task and never giving up. That is something crucial for me and it helps me sleep good at night.”

There have been times during his remarkable rise up the world rankings over the past couple of years when Rahm has over-heated - but it’s not stopped him from playing some great golf and winning big events.

“I think whatever Jon is doing is working very well,” added Cabrera Bello, smiling, of his compatriot, who is sitting out this week’s event to get himself ready for the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie next week.

“He’s been up to No 2 in the world, he’s an unbelievable player and sometimes we forget that he’s only 23 years old. He will be the one to judge his own character, but I think that whatever he’s doing is working very, very good.”