The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

Sunday 10th June 2018

Play-off

John MURPHY (IRE) beat Jannik DE BRUYN (GER) on the first play-off hole to win the 2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy.

John becomes the third Irish golfer to win the title following in the footsteps of Alan Dunbar (2009) and Conor O’Rourke (2016).

img_9294

John Murphy (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / Kenny Smith Photography)

Murphy looked second favourite after his approach to the 1st hole on the Old Course ended up 25 feet away after De Bruyn had left himself just 6 feet. However, the Irishman sank his birdie putt and perhaps unsurprisingly in the circumstances the German was unable to match him.

The St. Andrews Links Trust tweeted a video of the winning putt with a short interview with their winner.

This was a great win for the man from Kinsale who has just completed his sophomore year at University of Louisville in the United States. He rose to 143rd in the SPWAR, jumping 616 places, as reward for the biggest win of his career.

Here are the full – 2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results

Round 4

Round 4 started at 12 noon with the leaders setting off at 2.56pm.

Jannik DE BRUYN (GER) shot the best final round, his second 68 of the day. Whilst his morning round had included two bogeys this afternoon he produced a clean card with four birdies. He posted 278 (-9) and waited patiently in the clubhouse to see if it would hold up.

img_9297

Jannik De Bruyn Round 4 Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)  

John MURPHY (IRE) also recorded the same score as he did in the morning. His 71 meant he was the only player to catch De Bruyn on -9 and that a play-off would be required to decide the winner.

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) shot final day rounds of 70 and 69 to finish tied 3rd with Haydn BARRON (AUS) on 279 (-8), just one shot back.

Englishman Burnage was bogey free in the afternoon but his morning 70 was something of a rollercoaster. Without wishing to be dismissive of his seven birdies it included, with the benefit of hindsight, a painful double bogey 6 on 12 and bogeys on 15 and 16. Nevertheless this represented another very good result for the Devonian No. 1 and a welcome return to form. He was the leading GB&I player in one of the world’s best amateur events.

Compatriot Laird SHEPHERD finished well with a 70 to secure a tied 5th place result on 280 (-7). Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) was next best for GB&I. His 281 (-6) score was good enough to secure tied 8th.

Round 3

Round 3 started at 7.00am with Kieran CANTLEY (SCO) going out alone. The two leading players, Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) -8 and John MURPHY (IRE) -7, teed off at 9.56am.

36 holes on the Old Course lay ahead as the 45 qualifying players set out to determine the winner of the 2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy.

Joey SAVOIE (CAN) 67 and John MURPHY (IRE) 71 shared the 54 hole lead on -8.

Overnight leader Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) shot 75, faltering late on with a double bogey on the 15th and a bogey on 17.

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) shot the best third round score. His blemish free 66 included an eagle on the par 5 5th and birdies on 9, 12, 13 and 14.

img_9295

Sandy Scott’s Round 3 Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)  

Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) also shot 67, with defending champion Matthew JORDAN (ENG) and fellow Englishman Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) 68 delivering the next best GB&I scores.

Jannik DE BRUYN (GER) moved up to -6 after a 68 in Round 3.

For those interested here is a link to today’s tee times – 2018 St. Andrews Trophy Round 3 and Round 4 Start Sheet

ME.

__________________________________________________________

Saturday 9th June 2018

The star of Day 2 was Laird SHEPHERD (ENG). The Stirling University student knows St. Andrews well and demonstrated it around the Old Course today. With a supportive wind on the way out he completed his front 9 in just 30 shots and held it together nicely on the way home. His 65 (-7) helped him move to the top of the 36 hole leaderboard on 135 (-8).

img_9288

Laird Shepherd’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf) 

There were a number of great rounds today reflecting the generally benign conditions in Fife. John MURPHY (IRE) shot 66, Christo LAMPRECHT (RSA) – winner of the East of Ireland Amateur earlier this week – 67, David HAGUE (ENG) 67, Joey SAVOIE (CAN) 67 and Jamie LI (ENG) 68, all moving into the top 10 as a result.

Stuart EASTON (SCO) 67, Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) 68, Therion NEL (RSA) 68 and Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) 68 all knew they needed good rounds to make the cut and impressively delivered.

However, the bounceback prize has to go to Joao GIRAO (POR). After a disappointing 80 on the New Course yesterday, from which there was never going to be a way back, he at least went down fighting delivering a 66 which included 7 birdies.

First round leader Olly HUGGINS (ENG) found the going harder today – his 75, and 142 (-1) total, was at least good enough to ensure he made the cut.

The top 40 and ties 36 hole cut eventually fell at even par with 45 players making it through to the final day.

ME.

__________________________________________________________

Friday 8th June 2018

Olly HUGGINS (ENG) leads the St. Andrews Links Trophy after an impressive 67 (-4) on the New Course.

img_9283

Olly Huggins’ Round  1 Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf) 

Five players, Matias HONKALA (FIN), Jake BOLTON (ENG), Luca Filippi (RSA), Tom PLUMB (ENG) and Euan WALKER (SCO), shot 68 (-3).

46 players are on Even par or better highlighting how tight the leaderboard is.

ME.

__________________________________________________________

4th June 2018

144 golfers from 26 different countries will tee off on Friday 8th June in the 30th St. Andrews Links Trophy.

This event has become one of the ‘Majors’ in men’s amateur golf helped by venue and timing.

St Andrews Clubhouse

R&A Clubhouse, St. Andrews (Photo: R&A Website)

Competition Format

The Links Trophy is a 72 hole scratch stroke play competition played over the St. Andrews Links in early June.

After various National Golf Union and St. Andrews Links Trust nominations the field is determined by World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) as at 3rd May 2018 rather than handicap as is normally the case.

This year Round 1 will be played on the New Course – the Jubilee Course was used last year – with Round 2 on the Old Course.

Following a top 40 and ties cut on Saturday the leading players will play a final 36 holes on the Old Course on Sunday.

The New Course plays 6,625 yards to a par of 71. The front nine is 3,270 yards long with a par of 36 whilst the tougher back nine is 85 yards longer but with a par of 35.

img_9242

New Course Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The Old Course is 6,721 yards off the white tees and has a par of 72. Both nines have a par of 36 and have similar yardages – the front is 3,336 yards long whilst the back is a little longer at 3,385 yards.

Old Course Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The winner will be the player who returns the lowest 72 hole score. In the event of a tie a sudden death play-off will be held over holes 1 and 18.

Ties for other places are decided by the lowest score for the last 18 holes or the last 9 or 6 or 3 or 2 or 1 hole if necessary.

The Field

The 2018 St Andrews Links Trophy start sheets can be viewed here – Round 1 (New) and Round 2 (Old).

The Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) placed the Links Trophy 8th in its 2017 Amateur Tournament Ranking based on the strength of it’s field. It was 6th in the same ranking in 2016.

18 of the 20 members of the 2018 GB&I St. Andrews Trophy squad will be competing at St. Andrews this week. Harry HALL (ENG) and Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO) are the exceptions; both were competing in U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying today in the United States. Many of the Squad have been drawn together in the opening rounds to help the selectors follow their play closely.

The attraction of St. Andrews always ensures a strong overseas entry. Australia, Canada and South Africa are particularly well represented in 2018 with Hugo BERNARD (CAN), Christo LAMPRECHT (RSA), David MICHELUZZI (AUS), Wilco NIENABER (RSA), Dylan PERRY (AUS) and Matt SAULEZ (RSA) all strong challengers.

Weather Forecast (updated on Wednesday 6th June)

The current weather forecast appears perfect for golf – dry with minimal chance of rain.

Friday 8th June – Cloudy. Wind 13 mph E. Temp. Max. 15°C / Min 9°C.
Saturday 9th June – Cloudy. Wind 11 mph E. Temp. Max. 15°C / Min 10°C.
Sunday 10th June – Cloudy. Wind 11 mph E. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 9°C.

Tee times in Rounds 1 and 2 start at 7.00am and end at 3.10pm so as with any links course the draw could play a big part in proceedings.

Prizes

The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy and a cheque for £500.

The runner-up and third place finisher also receive commemorative medals.

Reducing cash prizes are awarded to the top 10 finishers in all.

In addition to the main prizes The Ian Forbes Memorial Cup is awarded for the best aggregate score on the first two days of the event.

2017 Event

Royal Liverpool’s Matthew JORDAN won the 2017 St. Andrews Links Trophy. Following an outstanding run of form the victory almost certainly secured his place in last year’s Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup team.

Matthew Jordan (Photo: Kenny Smith)

Rounds of 70, 68, 69 and 70 took Matthew to a finishing total of 277 (-11).

J.R. GALBRAITH (IRE) shot 66, 71, 70 and 71 (-10) to secure second place with Ben FERGUSON (AUS) finishing 3rd on -9.

Other GB&I players to finish in the top 10 included Laird SHEPHERD (-8) 4th, David BOOTE (-8) 6th, Liam JOHNSTON (-6) 7th , Gian-Marco PETROZZI (-5) 8th and Jack DAVIDSON (-5) 9th.

Click here to view the – 2017 St Andrews Links Trophy Results

Click here to view the – 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results 

Past Winners

Click here to view a full list of the – St Andrews Links Trophy Past Winners

Only Craig WATSON (1992 and 1998), the current Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup captain, and Barclay HOWARD (1994 and 1996) have won the title twice.

The most famous winner is Justin ROSE who won in 1997.

Interestingly given the normally cosmopolitan nature of the fields the Links Trophy has only been won by players from outside GB&I on three occasions – Australia’s Stuart BOVIER (1990), Daan HUIZING from The Netherlands (2012) and FedericoZUCCHETTI from Italy (2015).

Huizing, who had won the 2012 Lytham Trophy by 11 shots just a few weeks earlier, set a scoring record of -23 in 2012 (65 New, 64, 68 and 67 all Old) and won by an astonishing 14 shots.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2018, Mark Eley. All Rights Reserved.

The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2017 Preview, Reports & Results

11th June 2017

Royal Liverpool’s Matthew JORDAN continued his amazing run of form by today winning the St. Andrews Links Trophy.

Matthew Jordan (Photo: Kenny Smith)

He must now be assured of a place in the 2017 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Team.

Final day rounds of 69 and 70 took Matthew to a finishing total of -11. He bogeyed the last two holes in round 4 as he played in conservatively.

JR GALBRAITH (IRE) shot 70 and 71 (-10) to secure second place with Ben FERGUSON (AUS) finishing 3rd on -9.

From a GB&I perspective there were also encouraging results for Laird SHEPHERD (-8) 4th, David BOOTE (-8) 6th, Liam JOHNSTON (-6) 7th , Gian-Marco PETROZZI (-5) 8th and Jack DAVIDSON (-5) 9th.

Click here to view the – 2017 St Andrews Links Trophy Results

ME.

___________________________________________________________

10th June 2017

JR GALBRAITH (IRE) retained his 1 shot advantage over the field with a 71 (-1) over the Old Course.

Six players are 1 shot back on -6. These include Matthew JORDAN (ENG) 68 and Jamie STEWART (SCO) 71.

Recent Brabazon Trophy winner Kyle MCCLATCHIE (RSA) 69 moved up into tied 8th place on -5, alongside the impressive Alejandro TOSTI (ARG).

English pair Bradley MOORE (66) and Laird SHEPHERD (67) shot the best two rounds of the day to get their tournaments back on track. They’ll both start the final day on -2.

Colm CAMPBELL (IRE), Robin DAWSON (IRE) both -4 , Craig HOWIE (SCO) -3, David BOOTE (WAL), Liam JOHNSTON (SCO), Alfie PLANT (ENG) and Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG) all -2, Robert MACINTYRE (SCO), Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) both -1 and Jack DAVIDSON (WAL) Ev also made the cut and will be hoping to boost their Walker Cup claims tomorrow.

Unfortunately Connor SYME (SCO) had to withdrawal early in his second round due to a severe migraine.

The Top 40 and Ties cut fell at Even par with a total of 45 players progressing.

With 32 players on -2 or better, i.e. within 5 shots of the lead, an exciting final day’s play appears guaranteed.

ME.

___________________________________________________________

9th June 2017

Day 1 of the the St. Andrews Links Trophy on the Jubilee Course was dominated by the weather. A rainy and windy morning giving way to improved conditions in the afternoon enabling the later starters to shoot some impressive numbers.

Having started with two bogeys Ireland’s JR GALBRAITH reeled off 8 birdies in his remaining 16 holes to shoot a best of the day 66. His -6 total being good enough for a 1-shot lead over David MICHELUZZI (AUS) and Claudio CONSUL (GER).

On a good day for GB&I Walker Cup hopefuls, Craig HOWIE, Robin DAWSON (both 69 -3), Matthew JORDAN, Jack SINGH BRAR (all 70 -2), Jake BURNAGE, Jack DAVIDSON, Liam JOHNSTON, Robert MACINTYRE and Connor SYME, (all 71 -1) also finished round 1 in the Top 25.

ME.

7th June 2017

144 golfers from 21 different countries will tee off on Friday 9th June in the 29th St. Andrews Links Trophy.

This Championship has quickly established itself as one of the ‘Majors’ in men’s amateur golf.

A list of all the past winners can be found in an Appendix at the end of this article. The most famous is Justin Rose who won the Links Trophy in 1997.

St Andrews Clubhouse

R&A Clubhouse, St. Andrews (Photo: R&A Website)

Competition Format

The Links Trophy is a 72 hole scratch stroke play competition normally played over a combination of the Old and New Courses at St. Andrews in early June.

After various National Golf Union nominations the field is determined by World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) rather than handicap as is normally the case.

This year Round 1 will be played on the Jubilee Course and Round 2 on the Old Course.

Following a top 40 and ties cut the leading players will play 36 holes on the Old Course on Sunday.

The Jubilee Course plays 6,742 yards to a par of 72. The front nine is 3,238 yards long with a par of 36 whilst the tougher back nine is 266 yards longer also with a par of 36.

Jubilee Course Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The Old Course is 6,721 yards off the white tees and has a par of 72. Both nines have a par of 36 and have similar yardages – the front is 3,336 yards long whilst the back is a little longer at 3,385 yards.

Old Course Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The winner will be the player who returns the lowest 72 hole score. In the event of a tie a sudden death play-off will be held over holes 1 and 18.

Ties for other places are decided by the lowest score for the last 18 holes or the last 9 or 6 or 3 or 2 or 1 hole if necessary.

The Field

The start sheet can be viewed here – 2017 St Andrews Links Trophy Rounds 1 and 2 draws

The Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) placed the Links Trophy 6th in its 2016 Amateur Tournament Ranking based on the strength of it’s field. The 2017 field is impressive so there is no reason to think it will be any lower in this year’s list.

18 of the 21 members of the GB&I Walker Cup squad are in action this weekend. Many of them drawn together in the opening rounds to help the selectors follow them all closely. David BOOTE (WAL), Jack DAVIDSON (WAL), Craig HOWIE (SCO), Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) and Connor SYME (SCO) will all be looking to continue their good play whilst the others will be hoping to kick start their selection claims.

Of the missing trio Scott GREGORY (ENG) is preparing for the US Open and Stuart GREHAN (IRE) is competing in the Arnold Palmer Cup in Atlanta.

Other GB&I players who have been doing well this year, like Jake BURNAGE (ENG), Josh HILLEARD (ENG), Matthew JORDAN (ENG), Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG), Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) and Jamie STEWART (SCO), are all playing.

The attraction of St. Andrews ensures a strong overseas entry. Players of particular interest to me this year are Harrison ENDYCOTT (AUS), Min Woo LEE (AUS – 2016 US Junior Amateur champion), Kyle MCCLATCHIE (RSA), David MICHELUZZI (AUS), Travis SMYTH (AUS), Alejandro TOSTI (ARG – Florida University) and Albert VENTER (RSA).

Weather Forecast (as at Wed 7th June)

Fri     9th June – Showers. Wind 13mph SW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 10°C.
Sat   10th June – Showers. Wind 13mph SE. Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 13°C.
Sun 11th June – Showers. Wind 18mph SW. Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 11°C.

Tee times in Rounds 1 and 2 start at 7.00am and end at 3.10pm so as with any links course the draw could play a big part in the outcome.

Prizes

The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy and a cheque for £500.

The runner-up and third place finisher also receive commemorative medals.

Reducing cash prizes are awarded to the top 10 finishers in all.

In addition to the main prizes The Ian Forbes Memorial Cup is awarded for the best aggregate score on the first two days of the event.

2016 Event

In something of a surprise Ireland’s Conor O’Rourke won the 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy with a magnificent performance that saw him lead from start to finish.  

Conor O'Rourke St Andrews Links Trophy 2016

 Conor O’Rourke (Photo: Kenny Smith / @TheHomeofGolf)

Conor shared the lead after a round 1 65 on the New Course and followed it up with rounds of 69, 71 and 70 on the Old to pick up by far the biggest title of his amateur career with a 275 (-12) total.

Prior to play commencing O’Rourke was ranked 1,245th in the SPWAR. He was a higher 549th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).

Home players Sandy SCOTT (-11), who is the 2017 field, and Ewen Ferguson (-10) pushed the Naas man hard eventually picking up 2nd and 3rd spots respectively.

Click here to view the full results – 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results 

Appendix – Past Winners & Notable Past Performances

As one would expect for a competition held at the home of golf the list of past winner’s is impressive:-

2016  Conor O’Rourke (IRE) 275
2015  Federico Zucchetti (ITA) 214 (54 holes only)
2014  Grant Forrest (SCO) 278 (after play-off)
2013  Neil Raymond (ENG) 282
2012  Daan Huizing (NED) 264 (lowest 72 hole score)
2011  Tom Lewis (ENG) 279
2010  Matthew Southgate (ENG) 275
2009  Alan Dunbar (N.I.) 285
2008  Keir McNicoll (SCO) 283
2007  Llewellyn Matthews (WAL) 273
2006  Oliver Fisher (ENG) 280
2005  Lloyd Saltman (SCO) 275
2004  Jamie McLeary (SCO) 284
2003  Richard Finch (ENG) 276
2002  Simon MacKenzie (SCO) 289
2001  Steven O’Hara (SCO) 281
2000  Matthew King (ENG) 140 (36 holes only)
1999  David Patrick (SCO) 152 (36 holes only)
1998  Craig Watson (SCO) 276
1997  Justin Rose (ENG) 284
1996  Barclay Howard (SCO) 282
1995  Graham Rankin (SCO) 276
1994  Barclay Howard (SCO) 294
1993  Garry Hay (SCO) 280
1992  Craig Watson (SCO) 281
1991  Ricky Willison (ENG) 289
1990  Stuart Bovier (AUS) 280
1989  Russell Claydon (ENG) 284

Only Craig Watson (1992 and 1998), the current Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup captain, and Barclay Howard (1994 and 1996) have won the title twice.

Interestingly given the normally cosmopolitan nature of the fields the Links Trophy has only been won by players from outside GB&I on three occasions – Australia’s Stuart Bovier (1990), Daan Huizing from The Netherlands (2012) and last year Federico Zucchetti from Italy.

Huizing, who had won the Lytham Trophy by 11 shots just a few weeks earlier, set a scoring record of -23 in 2012 (65 New, 64, 68 and 67 all Old) and won by an astonishing 14 shots.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2017, Mark Eley. All Rights Reserved.

SaveSave

SaveSave

The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2016 Preview & Results

5th June 2016

Ireland’s Conor O’Rourke won the 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy with a magnificent performance. He showed admirable composure, mental strength and no shortage of golf game to lead from the front throughout the event.

Conor O'Rourke St Andrews Links Trophy 2016

Conor O’Rourke (Photo: @TheHomeofGolf / Kenny Smith)

Conor shared the lead after a round 1 65 on the New Course and followed it up with rounds of 69, 71 and 70 on the Old to pick up by far the biggest title of his amateur career with a 275 (-12) total.

Prior to play commencing O’Rourke was ranked 1,245th in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR). He was a higher 549th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). His starting odds were amongst the highest at 250-1 to win the Links Trophy. His surprise win lifted him to 193rd in the SPWAR and he is now the 7th highest ranked Irishman in that list.

Home players Sandy Scott (-11) and Ewen Ferguson (-10) also played very well to pick up 2nd and 3rd spots in what was a stellar field. The SPWAR moved Scott up to 56th from 177th and Ferguson up to 69th from 170th.

Click here to view the full results – Links Trophy Results

1st June 2016

144 golfers from 21 different countries will tee off on Friday 3rd June in the 28th St. Andrews Links Trophy, a 3-day Championship which has quickly established itself as one of the ‘Majors’ in men’s amateur golf.

The Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) placed it 6th in it’s 2015 Amateur Tournament Ranking based on the strength of it’s field.

A list of all the past winners can be found in an Appendix at the end of this article. The most famous is Justin Rose who won the Links Trophy in 1997. Only Craig Watson (1992 and 1998), the current Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup captain, and Barclay Howard (1994 and 1996) have won the title twice.

Interestingly given the cosmopolitan nature of the field the trophy has only been won by players from outside GB&I on three occasions – Australia’s Stuart Bovier (1990), Daan Huizing from The Netherlands (2012) and last year Federico Zucchetto from Italy.

Huizing, who had won the Lytham Trophy by 11 shots just a few weeks earlier, set a scoring record of -23 in 2012 (65 New, 64, 68 and 67 all Old) and won by an astonishing 14 shots.

Competition Format
The Links Trophy is a 72 hole stroke play competition normally played over a combination of the Old and New Courses on the first weekend in June. The Jubilee is occasionally used if The Open is being played at St. Andrews later in the summer as was the case last year.

Entry, which cost £60 and closed at the end of April, was open to golfers whose handicap did not exceed scratch (0.4). After various National Golf Union nominations the ‘ballot’ is determined by World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) rather than handicap as is normally the case.

This year round 1 will be played on the New Course and round 2 on the Old Course. Following a top 40 and ties cut the leading players will play 36 holes on the Old on Sunday.

The New Course plays 6,625 yards to a par of 71. The front nine is 3,270 yards long with a par of 36 whilst the tougher back nine is 85 yards longer but with a par of 35.

The Old Course is 6,721 yards off the white tees and has a par of 72. Both nines have a par of 36 and have similar yardages – the front is 3,336 yards long whilst the back is a little longer at 3,385 yards.

St. Andrews Scorecards

Scorecards for the Old and New Courses (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The winner will be the player who returns the lowest 72 hole score. In the event of a tie a sudden death play-off will be held over holes 1 and 18. Ties for other places are decided by the lowest score for the last 18 holes or the last 9 or 6 or 3 or 2 or 1 hole if necessary.

The 2016 Field
The start sheet for Rounds 1 and 2 can be viewed here – 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy Draw.

The field is impressive with many highly ranked players competing. Teams come in force from both Australia and South Africa and with the US College season all but done most of the top GB&I players will also be on show.

With around 15 leading US golfers about to turn pro this week a good result in St. Andrews will really propel some players up the amateur rankings.

With such a strong field almost any of the entrants could lift the title this year. However, the players of particular note (with their nationality and SPWAR* shown in brackets) are: –

Jack Hume (IRE / 13) – the highest ranked played in the field who has enjoyed a superb season to date highlighted by wins in both the South African Amateur and European Nations. He finished T6 last year.

Grant Forrest (SCO / 22) – in form winner of the Battle Trophy at Crail with strong recent performances in the Lytham Trophy (T5) and last week’s Scottish Open Amateur (T2). Winner of the Links Trophy in 2014.

Harrison Endycott (AUS / 29) – a superb home season with recent wins in the Lake Macquarie Amateur, Avondale Amateur, Riversdale Cup and South Australia Amateur Classic. It will be interesting to see how he fairs in Britain this summer.

Connor Syme (SCO / 31) – winner of the Australian Amateur with solid form since returning back to Europe. T7 at the Irish Amateur and 5th at last week’s Scottish Open Amateur. Now pushing Forrest hard for the Scottish No. 1 spot. He finished T3 last year.

Jamie Bower (ENG / 35) – ran up the SPWAR after a superb early season run of results in South Africa but hasn’t quite found the same form since returning home. T18 in the Lytham Trophy being the highlight of his recent play.

Travis Smyth (AUS / 48) – runner-up in this year Australian Amateur with solid 2016 form. Can take confidence from his T17 finish last week at Gullane in the Scottish Open Amateur.

Cameron John (AUS / 49) – any 17 year old with two overseas men’s wins to their name already has to be respected. Winner of the Argentina Amateur and more impressively the Scottish Open Amateur in 2016.

Albert Venter (RSA / 50) – winner of the inaugural African Amateur earlier this year with five other Top 5’s to his name this season.  I’ve picked out Albert but could have easily chosen any of his compatriots Jovan Rebula (46), Aubrey Beckley (54), Tristen Strydom (59), James du Preez (62), Jason Smith (97) or Andre Nel (109).  Having completed their busy home season the South African’s arrive with good competitive experience like the Australians. It will be interesting to see if any of them can really break through away from home and justify their seasonally high SPWARs.

Craig Ross (SCO / 52) – winner of the 2016 South African Amateur and Edward Trophy back home in Scotland.

Kyle McClatchie (RSA / 63) – I picked out Kyle as the other South African to watch because of his T8 and T9 finishes in the French International Amateur and Scottish Open Amateur respectively in recent weeks.

Robert MacIntyre (SCO / 69) – Winner of the Scottish Champion of Champions event having left McNeese State University in the US. Finished T11 in this event last year.

Marco Penge (ENG / 76) – must start as one of the favourites after his T4 at the Irish Amateur and 2nd in the French International Amateur. Marco did not defend his Scottish Open Amateur title last week choosing instead to caddie for his girlfriend, Sophie Lamb, at the St. Rule Trophy. With the St. Rule being played on the New and Old Courses at St. Andrews he should certainly be well prepared.

Alfie Plant (ENG / 79) – something of a late bloomer in modern terms but now right at the top table after his superb 2016 Lytham Trophy win. Led England in their victory over France at Formby and followed it up with a T11 at the France International Amateur so clearly maintaining his form. Won’t be lacking for support either.

Ugo Coussaud (FRA / 85) – experienced and proven winner with a T2 at Lytham and a T11 in France by way of recent form.

Craig Howie (SCO / 90) – improving Scotsman who is clearly in good form with a 2nd place at the Welsh Open Amateur and a 4th at the Scottish Open Amateur in recent weeks.

Colm Campbell (IRE / 96) – the 2016 Irish Amateur Open champion can be expected to give a good account of himself.

* The SPWAR quoted above were accurate as at 31st May 2016.

Other players that I would not be surprised to see feature given their recent performances are Bradley Moore (ENG / 103), Stuart Grehan (IRE / 105), Federico Zucchetti (ITA / 127 – reigning champion), Grégoire Schoeb (FRA / 178), Jon-Ross Galbraith (IRE / 188 – who finished T3 last year), Sandy Scott (SCO / 188) and Barry Hume (SCO / 268).

Guido Migliozzi (ITA) was a late withdrawal whilst Mathias Eggenberger (SUI), Mario Galiano (ESP) and Ivan Cantero (ESP) are all playing on the European Challenge Tour in Switzerland.

Betting Odds
SkyBET have today posted the following St. Andrews Links Trophy Outright odds.

As they are removed from their website when play starts I have taken photos of them so we can look back once the results are known.

St Andrews Links 2016 SkyBET 1

St Andrews Links 2016 SkyBET 2

Weather Forecast (as at Wed 1st June, 7.00pm)
Fri 3rd June – Light Cloud. Wind 6 mph N. Max. 14°C / Min 11°C.
Sat 4th June – Sunny. Wind 14 mph NE. Max. 13°C / Min 9°C.
Sun 5th June – Sunny. Wind 9 mph E. Temp. Max. 13°C / Min 8°C.

Prizes
The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy and a cheque for £500. The runner-up and third place finisher also receive commemorative medals. Reducing cash prizes are awarded to the top 10 finishers in all.

In addition to the main prizes The Ian Forbes Memorial Cup is awarded for the best aggregate score on the first two days of the event.

Appendix – Past Winners
As one would expect for a competition held at the home of golf the list of past winner’s is impressive:-

2015 Federico Zucchetti (ITA) 214 (54 holes only)
2014 Grant Forrest (SCO) 278 (after play-off)
2013 Neil Raymond (ENG) 282
2012 Daan Huizing (NED) 264 (lowest 72 hole score)
2011 Tom Lewis (ENG) 279
2010 Matthew Southgate (ENG) 275
2009 Alan Dunbar (N.I.) 285
2008 Keir McNicoll (SCO) 283
2007 Llewellyn Matthews (WAL) 273
2006 Oliver Fisher (ENG) 280
2005 Lloyd Saltman (SCO) 275
2004 Jamie McLeary (SCO) 284
2003 Richard Finch (ENG) 276
2002 Simon MacKenzie (SCO) 289
2001 Steven O’Hara (SCO) 281
2000 Matthew King (ENG) 140 (36 holes only)
1999 David Patrick (SCO) 152 (36 holes only)
1998 Craig Watson (SCO) 276
1997 Justin Rose (ENG) 284
1996 Barclay Howard (SCO) 282
1995 Graham Rankin (SCO) 276
1994 Barclay Howard (SCO) 294
1993 Garry Hay (SCO) 280
1992 Craig Watson (SCO) 281
1991 Ricky Willison (ENG) 289
1990 Stuart Bovier (AUS) 280
1989 Russell Claydon (ENG) 284

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2015 Preview & Results

UPDATE – Italy’s Frederico Zucchetti (-2) won the 2015 Links Trophy with compatriot Filippo Campigli (-1) second.  The competition was reduced to 54-holes after strong winds saw Saturday’s Rd. 2 cancelled on the Jubilee Course.

Federico Zucchetti

Federico Zucchetti – 2015 Champion (Photo: @TheHomeOfGolf / Kenny Smith) 

—————————————————————————————–

4th June 2015

144 golfers from 22 different countries will tee off tomorrow in the 27th St. Andrews Links Trophy, a Championship which has quickly established itself as one of the ‘Majors’ in men’s amateur golf.  Played over three days the competition will finish this Sunday, 7th June.

A list of all the past winners can be found in an Appendix at the end of this article.  The most famous is Justin Rose who won the Links Trophy in 1997.  Only Craig Watson (1992 and 1998) and Barclay Howard (1994 and 1996) have won the title twice.  Interestingly given the cosmopolitan nature of the field the trophy has only been won by players from outside Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) twice – Australia’s Stuart Bovier in 1990 and Daan Huizing from The Netherlands in 2012.  Huizing, who had won the Lytham Trophy by 11 shots just a few weeks earlier, set a scoring record of -23 (65 New, 64, 68 and 67 all Old) and won by an astonishing 14 shots.

Competition Format
The Links Trophy is a 72 hole stroke play competition normally played over a combination of the Old and New Courses on the first weekend in June.  Due to ongoing preparations for The Open the Jubilee is unusually being used for two rounds in 2015.

Entry, which cost £60 this year and closed at the end of April, was open to golfers whose handicap did not exceed scratch (0.4).  After various National Golf Union nominations the ‘ballot’ is determined by World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) rather than handicap as is more often the case.  This year, when the entries were finalised and ignoring nominations, the lowest qualifying player stood at 563rd in the WAGR list.

Days 1 and 2 will see a total of 36 holes contested on the Jubilee, a 6,742 yard par 72 course (white tees) that many believe to be the toughest across the whole Links. St Andrews Jubilee

Jubilee Course – St Andrews

Following a top 40 and ties cut the remaining players will contest a final day 36 holes on the Old, which plays 6,721 yards, again to a par of 72 (white tees).

With The Open being held at St. Andrews in 6 weeks time most of the stands and signage will be in place which will no doubt add to the event’s atmosphere this year.

IMG_3833

  The Old Course on 6th June 2015 (c. Mark Thistleton)

The winner will be the player who returns the lowest 72 hole score.  In the event of a tie a sudden death play-off will be held over holes 1 and 18.  Ties for other places are decided by the lowest score for the last 18 holes or the last 9 or 6 or 3 or 2 or 1 hole if necessary. St Andrews Scorecards

Scorecards for the Jubilee and Old Courses

The 2015 Field
The start sheet for Rounds 1 and 2 can be viewed here – 2015 St. Andrews Links Trophy Draw.

The field is impressive with many world renowned amateur players competing.  Teams come in force from the Commonwealth and with the US College season all but done virtually all of the top GB&I players will be on show.  You don’t normally travel from Australia or South Africa to an event in Scotland unless you have a bit of game !  Players of particular note this year, at least in terms of their high Scratch Players World Amateur ranking * (SPWAR – shown in brackets alongside nationality), are: –

Ryan Ruffels (AUS / 19) – Australian Boys champion in 2014 and 2015.
Cormac Sharvin (IRE / 21) – Recently placed at Lytham as well as the Irish and Scottish Amateurs.
Gary Hurley (IRE / 22) – finalist at the Spanish Amateur and 2015 Palmer Cup team member.
Romain Langasque (FRA / 26) – recent winner of the Southern Cross Invitational and Mouchy Cup.
Mario Galliano (ESP / 29) – early season winner of the Beleares Cup and European Nations event.
Lucas Herbert (AUS / 30) – finished 4th, setting a new CR, at last week’s Scottish Amateur.
Ashley Chesters (ENG / 32) – 2013 and 2014 European Amateur champion. 2nd in Welsh Amateur.
Nick Marsh (ENG / 35) – Top 10s in the West of England, Welsh and Scottish Amateurs in 2015.
Cameron Davis (AUS / 36) – 2015 Australian Amateur champion.
Grant Forrest (SCO / 44) – defending champion with solid 2015 US College form.
Ewen Ferguson (SCO / 47) – two wins in Scotland in 2015 and recent Top 5 at Irish & Scottish Ams.
Gavin Moynihan (IRE / 48) – 2013 Walker Cup player with welcome win at the Irish Amateur in May.
Ben Eccles (AUS / 57) – Top 10s in most of the big 2015 Australian amateur events.
Teaghan Gauche (RSA / 65) – Northern Open champion with a good home season behind him.
Jack Hume (IRE / 69) – greatearly season form overseas, albeit form has dipped a little back home.
Craig Ross (SCO / 73) – winner on the 2014 EuroPro Tour and is a consistent performer.
Jason Smith (RSA / 78) – South African SP champion in 2014 with sound 2015 form.
Mattias Eggenberger (SUI / 79) – Good experience in GB&I whilst a student at Stirling University.
Taylor MacDonald (AUS / 81) – 2014 Federal Amateur Open champion and 4th at Riversdale Cup.
Daniel Young (SCO / 82) – 2015 South African Amateur finalist and winner of the Battle Trophy. St Andrews Old couse

Old Course – St Andrews

Other players whose recent form also places them in the favourites bracket are: –

Dermot McElroy (IRE / 90) – West of Ireland champion, with top 10s at Lytham and in the Irish.
James Allan (ENG / 110) – winner of the Hampshire Salver, West of England and Lagonda.
Jimmy Mullen (ENG / 114) – good 2015 form culminating in a win at the Welsh Amateur.
Antonio Murdaca (AUS / 125) – 2015 Asia Pacific Amateur and South Australia Amateur champion.
Marco Penge (ENG / 126) – winner of the junior McEvoy Trophy and Scottish Amateur in 2015.
Ashton Turner (ENG / 144) – Darwin Salver winner. Top 10s – Duncan Putter, Lytham and Scottish.

* The SPWAR quoted were accurate as at 3rd June 2015.

You may also find it interesting to look through some betting odds for the St. Andrews Links Trophy – here’s the SkyBET assessment of the field.

Weather Forecast (@Thurs 4th June, 8.00am)
Fri 5th May – Overcast. Wind 16 mph. Max. 17°C / Min 8°C.
Sat 6th May – Partly Cloudy. Wind 28 mph. Max. 14°C / Min 7°C.
Sun 7th May – Partly Cloudy. Wind 21 mph. Temp. Max. 15°C / Min 6°C.

Prizes
The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy and this year a cheque for £500.  The runner-up and third place finisher also receive commemorative medals.  Reducing cash prizes are awarded to the top 10 finishers in all.  In addition to the main prizes The Ian Forbes Memorial Cup is awarded for the best aggregate score on the first two days of the event – this year played solely on the Jubilee.

Appendix – Past Winners
As one would expect for a competition held at the home of golf the list of past winner’s is impressive:-

2014  Grant Forrest (SCO)             278 (after play-off)
2013  Neil Raymond (ENG)           282
2012  Daan Huizing (NED)            264 (lowest 72 hole score)
2011  Tom Lewis (ENG)               279
2010  Matthew Southgate (ENG)  275
2009  Alan Dunbar (N.I.)               285
2008  Keir McNicoll (SCO)            283
2007  Llewellyn Matthews (WAL)  273
2006 Oliver Fisher (ENG)              280
2005  Lloyd Saltman (SCO)           275
2004  Jamie McLeary (SCO)         284
2003  Richard Finch (ENG)           276
2002  Simon MacKenzie (SCO)    289
2001  Steven O’Hara (SCO)          281
2000  Matthew King (ENG)           140 (36 holes only)
1999  David Patrick (SCO)           152 (36 holes only)
1998  Craig Watson (SCO)           276
1997  Justin Rose (ENG)            284
1996  Barclay Howard (SCO)       282
1995  Graham Rankin (SCO)        276
1994  Barclay Howard (SCO)       294
1993  Garry Hay (SCO)                280
1992  Craig Watson (SCO)           281
1991  Ricky Willison (ENG)          289
1990  Stuart Bovier (AUS)            280
1989  Russell Claydon (ENG)      284

Copyright © 2015, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.