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