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The Australian started the day with a two-shot lead ahead of Peter Baker, and it looked like he was destined for success when he birdied the 2nd. But dropped shots at 4 and 7 saw him out in one-over-par and brought other players back into the mix.
Baker was tied for the lead at the turn and they stayed locked together with a pair of birdies at 11, but momentum swung back in Green’s favour as Baker made a double bogey on 13 and Green birdied the 14th. The Englishman birdied 14 and bogeyed 17 to sign for a 72.
Scotsman Hutcheon emerged as the main challenger by picking up shots on 14 and 18 to post -8 in the clubhouse, meaning Green had to par the last to defend the title he won in a play-off against Paul Lawrie last year. He was just short of the green in two but lagged an excellent approach putt to two feet and finished it off for the win in front of brilliant crowds.
“It’s such a fantastic feeling to come back and win again at a place I fell in love with when I first came here last year,” said Green. “It feels great (to defend a title for the first time). Golf is such a mental test – you’ve got to be able to believe in yourself and have confidence in every area of your game. To come out here and defend just adds another element of pressure. For me to come out on top this week is very rewarding.”
He was aware of how tight things got at the top of the leaderboard: “It was a matter of keeping an eye on the other guys, but you’ve got to stay focused on what you’re doing. One shot at a time and do the best you can. I was pleased to hit the right shots at the right time. It was a really good crowd of people out there today. I hope they all enjoyed it. I’m sure there were a lot of tense moments for them to get excited about.”
It was a fantastic end to a rollercoaster week for Green after his clubs didn’t arrive from America until the night before the first round and he started the week with a double bogey at his first hole. He recovered for a 70, and added an quality 66 in the second round.
Euan McIntosh finished strongly with three birdies in the last six holes to shoot 68 – the joint-best round of the day – and end the tournament alongside Baker in tied-3rd. Gary Orr played in the final group for the second regular Legends Tour event in a row and finished 5th after a 73.
Order of Merit number one Adilson da Silva had three bogeys and two birdies in a one-over-par round that gave him a +1 total and a share of 22nd place.
The Legends Tour now heads to the Irish Legends at Seapoint Golf Links, Country Louth, from June 22nd-25th.