There is nothing better in golf than eagling the last hole and that fact will not be lost on David Law after the young Scotsman wrapped up his first European Tour title in style on Sunday.
Law trailed overnight leader Wade Ormsby by five shots going into the back nine of the Vic Open in Australia and by three with just three holes left to play but piled on the pressure with a birdie-par-eagle finish. It paid off, with Ormsby making a double-bogey at 17 and Law prevailing by one shot.
This was a fantastic win for the 27-year-old, a protege of fellow Aberdonian and former Open champion Paul Lawrie. Paul speaks very highly of Law, whose career has really gathered momentum over the last few months.
Having won his first title on the Challenge Tour last summer, he went on to finish 14th in the order of merit and earn promotion to the European Tour.
Now a winner at that level, his tour card is safe for two years, which will give him a completely different outlook. This could open the floodgates for Law, while David Drysdale’s tie for fifth place made it a very good week for Scottish players in Victoria.
Mixed format could go further
I think the Vic Open’s unique format – men and women playing in alternate groups on the same course and for equal prize money – is great, although I can’t help thinking: why not go further?
Instead of the men and women vying for separate titles, as they currently do, they could simply play off different tees and compete against each other. I think it would be very competitive.
Mickelson spurred on by Tiger resurgence
Another man claiming victory with a fabulous finish this week was Phil Mickelson, who carded a seven-under-par final round to see off England’s Paul Casey and win the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
The five-time Major winner has nothing to prove to anyone although I can’t help thinking that Tiger Woods’s return to winning ways last year might have spurred him on.
Those two will still be rivals when they reach the seniors circuit and I think there’s an element of “I’ll show you I can still do it” about Mickelson’s own recent good form.
Despite having led overnight, I don’t think Casey blew it – the American’s 65 would have seen off most people – and he can be happy with the good start that he has made to the year.
I also think Casey’s request to play the final two holes on Monday morning was the right one if fading light meant that it would be impossible to conclude on Sunday evening.
I’m really pleased for Mickelson, though. He’s a gentleman and, at 48, he seems to just get better with age.
This was his fifth win at Pebble Beach, a beautiful golf course that he clearly knows very well and is also staging the US Open this year.
With that track record – and the fact that early-season form should be an advantage given the Majors come thick and fast this year – he should be one to watch when the top players return there in June.