Scotland turned the final round of The PGAs of Europe International Team Championship on Portugal’s Algarve into a victory procession to win the competition for a seventh time.
Having led the Glenmuir-sponsored tournament from the start, albeit in tandem with England on day one, the Scots increased their dominance as it unfolded.
Or they did until to the final round over the Alvor Course at the Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort.
Then, with a challenge from England or France, who were second and third respectively overnight, failing to materialise, the Scots did not have to move through the gears to claim the €6,000 winner’s cheque.
Five clear of the 25-strong field at the beginning of the day, the Scots had almost doubled their advantage when David Orr was left with a tap in for par at the 18th hole.
That left them 16-under-par for the tournament, the same total they had ended round three.
But with England and France effectively going backwards and Holland left with too much to do after starting the round a dozen shots adrift, there was never any danger of the Scots snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
All of which made the forecast of French captain Benjamin Nicolay prior to the final round spot on.
“Scotland will be tough to beat,” said Nicolay, who led the French to victory last year. “I think we’ll be fighting for second place now.”
In the event France had to settle for fourth place, 10 strokes behind the Scots, and he was right on both counts.
While England and Holland, inspired by sub-par rounds from Robin Swane and Ralph Miller, scrapped for the runner’s up birth and ended up sharing it, Scotland strengthened their grip on the trophy.
And they did so without having to produce the high-octane golf that had lit up their first three rounds.
Then Orr and Gareth Wright had hogged the limelight, this time it was David Patrick’s turn.
His one-under-par 71 was the pick of the Scottish trio and typified what Orr believes is their strength.
“We’re all very good golfers but we dovetail well as a team,” he said. “That was apparent today and has been all week as we’ve all played our part.
Seven sub par rounds and another two in regulation out of the dozen the Scots played was evidence of the consistency.
Equally important for Orr was the experience of his trio.
“We’ve got more than 200 Challenge Tour and 50 European Tour appearances between us and that helped us today,” he explained.
“Once we’d gone five clear at the end of the third round, I was more relaxed because I felt we had the experience and know-how to see the job through.”
Scotland’s victory also ended a six-year famine in the competition, their last success coming in 2006 a year after Orr won a Europro Challenge Tour tournament at the same venue.
“The course has been revamped since then and is a lot different now,” he added. “But I’ve always had fond memories of the place and they’re even fonder now.”
Denmark’s Danny Jorgensen is another who will go away from Onyria Palmares with fond memories after a hole-in-one at the par three second. As he will Portugal.
“It was the third of my career,” he said, “and two of them have been in Portugal.
“I took a five-iron and I saw the ball bounce before rolling into the hole. Obviously I was delighted, especially as it helped me produce my best round of the week.”
Meanwhile, three players shared the honours in terms of the best individual performances over the four rounds: Swane, Wright and England’s Stuart Little all ended the week six-under-par.