England's Miles Tunnicliff, the leader since an opening 67, cruised to victory in the Diageo Championship by five strokes at windy Gleneagles.
The 35-year-old ranked 261st in the world achieved his second European tour victory after a superb closing 68. It was, by two shots, the biggest
winning margin of the tour season so far.
Tunnicliff, who had recorded only two top-10 finishes since his shock win in the 2002 Great North Open at Slaley Hall near Newcastle, captured the
£233,330 first prize with a 13-under-par total of 275.
Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell second. Scot Steven O'Hara and Australian Nick O'Hern shared third. Pre-tournament favourite Colin Montgomerie
finished 22nd on one-under.
Tunnicliff claimed his first title, the 2002 Great North Open, when playing mostly on the Challenge Tour and after visiting qualifying school 12
times. After grabbing two birdies in his opening two holes to extend an overnight three-shot lead, he never looked back and became the second European
Tour wire-to-wire winner of the season, following world number two Ernie Els in the Heineken Classic.
"Some people thought I was maybe lucky with my first win, but I think I have proved them wrong,"
he said. "I am definitely a winner and I'm
going to try to go on from here."
Montgomerie will miss the US Open - his first Major absence since 1991
McDowell, who had sacrificed a chance of pre-qualifying for the US Open by going to Gleneagles, mounted a serious challenge with five successive
birdies around the turn. But then he double-bogeyed the long-16th on his way to a 67. However, he insisted he had no regrets.
McDowell said: "I can't be too hard on myself - 67 is pretty good out there. The third shot to the 16th was highly disappointing."
"But it was definitely a good decision to come here rather than go to US Open qualifying, though."
The Scot's fall outside the world's top 50 and his corresponding slide down the European rankings cost him an exempt place in the US Open and with his
mind on sorting out his home life after his marriage break-up he did not try to qualify.
"I'll try to get my apartment in order,"
Monty said when asked about his plans for the coming week. "I've been away a lot and I want to try
to make that into a home."
The last, windswept, day at Gleneagles contained two holes in one, first by Essex's Robert Coles at the 211-yard fourth and then by Scot Raymond
Russell on the 208-yard 10th.
[Edited on 13/6/04 by TRD]