The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2021 Preview & Results

6th June 2021

Play-Off

Jack COPE won the 2021 St Andrews Links Trophy after coming through a sudden death play-off on the Old Course’s 1st and 18th holes against Robin WILLIAMS and George BURNS.

Speaking to the tournament organisers Jack said “I was committed to every shot I hit out there over those four holes. I probably played the best I played all week tee to green. I guess that was a nice time to really peak. I love the home of golf. I particularly like the Old Course, mainly because I normally score alright round there which helps. Just walking over that bridge, taking photos, thinking about all the players who have won here and played here. This is very special to me.”

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Jack Cope With The St Andrews Links Trophy (Photo: Cope Family)

Cope and Williams parred the 1st to eliminate the Scotsman Burns.

The English pair then halved the 18th in birdie and the 1st in par before Cope prevailed with a birdie on the 18th, the fourth extra hole they played. Cope’s drive to 25 feet on the home hole this time proving to be decisive.

Round 4

Reigning English Amateur champion Jack COPE shot a bogey free final round of 67 to take the early clubhouse lead on Sunday evening. Cope had entered the final day tied 13th on -2 and five shots behind the overnight leader Charlie THORNTON.

As the later players came in Robin WILLIAMS and George BURNS both birdied their 18th hole for 70’s to join Cope on 280 (-8).

John GOUGH recorded a 66 in the final round, the best score of the three rounds played on the Old Course this weekend.

Here are the final results which include the play-off: –

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Round 4 Leaderboard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

Click here to view the – 2021 St Andrews Links Trophy Results

Round 3

Charlie THORNTON (-8) leads Scott WORMLEIGHTON (-7) and Sam BAIRSTOW, Callan BARROW, Robin WILLIAMS and George BURNS (-6) with 18 holes to play on the Old Course.

Wormleighton produced the best Round 3 score, matching Callan Barrow’s 67 on the Old yesterday.

Scottish pair Liam WALDRON (-4) and Ruben LINDSAY (-2) moved up the leaderboard with morning rounds of 69 and 68 respectively.

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Round 3 Leaderboard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

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5th June 2021

Charlie THORNTON recorded a 71 in Round 2 on the Old Course to maintain his 1-shot lead on 137 (-7).

Richard KNIGHTLY matched the leader’s score to also stay in second place. He is now joined on 136 (-6) by Dubai-based Englishman Josh HILL who went out in 32 to post a 68.

There were six other 68’s in Round 2 of the St Andrews Links Trophy but the best rounds of the day were 67’s (-5) from Darren HOWIE and Callan Barrow. Howie’s highlight being a front nine 30 which included a hole-in-one on the 8th.

img_5219 Darren Howie’s Round 2 Scorecard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

Scotland’s Rory FRANSSEN and George BURNS are joined in tied 3rd by 2021 GB&I Walker Cup player Jack DYER on 139 (-5).

With 36 holes to play on Sunday there is clearly an opportunity for a player well down the leaderboard currently to come from well back to take the title.

50 players ultimately made the top 40 and ties 36-hole cut.

Here is a summary of the leading players and those that made the cut: –

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Round 2 Leading Scores (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

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4th June 2021

Teeing off at 7.40am Yorkshire’s Charlie THORNTON produced seven birdies in his 66 (-6) on the Jubilee Course to secure the opening round lead at the 2021 St. Andrews Links Trophy.

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Charlie Thornton’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

George GRIFFITHS, Richard KNIGHTLY and Matthew HIBBS all fired 67’s to finish the day tied for 2nd place, one shot back of our leader.

Griffiths enjoyed a particularly memorable round with a hole-in-one on the 17th.

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George Griffith’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

Pre-Championship favourites Jack DYER (-4), Dan BRADBURY (-1), Arron EDWARD-HILL (-1) and Olly HUGGINS (Ev) are all well placed to mount an attack over the weekend.

Here is the top 25 leaderboard after Round 1: –

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Round 1 Leading Scores (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

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2nd June 2021

144 golfers will tee off on Friday 4th June in the 32nd St. Andrews Links Trophy.

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

I will add the live score link to this article once it becomes available and provide daily reports on play over the weekend.

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.

The field is primarily determined by reference to the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) as at 29th April 2021 and finished off with various National Golf Union and St. Andrews Links Trust nominations.

This year Round 1 will be played on the Jubilee Course – sometimes the New Course is used – 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 Jubilee Course plays 6,847 yards to a par of 72. The front nine is 3,257 yards long with a par of 36 whilst the tougher back nine is 333 yards longer but to the same par.

The Old Course has been set up at 7,201 yards for the event and has a par of 72. Both nines have a par of 36 and have similar yardages – the front is 3,555 yards long whilst the back is a little longer at 3,646 yards.

The winner will be the player who returns the lowest 72 hole aggregate score.

In the event of a tie a sudden death play-off will be held over holes 1 and 18 on the Old Course.

Ties for other places will be 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

Click here to view the – 2021 St Andrews Links Trophy Rd 1 and Rd 2 Tee Times

Due to the early playing of the Walker Cup and COVID-19 travel restrictions the field is much weaker than has previously been seen.

Whereas we normally see over 20 countries represented only a handful of overseas players have been able to make the journey in 2021.

The impact of the R&A’s decision to agree to play the Walker Cup in early May is going to be seen very clearly in men’s amateur events this summer.

There are just 15 of the leading 30 GB&I players in today’s Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) competing. This excludes the seven international class amateurs who have turned pro since the Walker Cup team was announced on 30th March. Extending the same analysis to the top of the current tree there are only 10 of the top 20 and just 3 of the top 10 playing in St. Andrews this week.

The highest ranked players in the SPWAR are Jack DYER (ENG) #75, Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) #114, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #119, Dan BRADBURY (ENG) #125, Olly HUGGINS (ENG) #131, Callan BARROW (ENG) #144, winner of last week’s Scottish Open Men’s Championship, and Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #148.

The highest ranked Irish, Scottish and Welsh players are Marc BOUCHER #351, Calum SCOTT #404 and Matt ROBERTS #1,427.

Perhaps the most interesting entry is Paul HOWARD (ENG). Paul turned pro in March 2015 shortly after a successful tour of Australia where he won the New South Wales Amateur. He went on to win on the PGA EuroPro Tour in June 2015 and then the European Challenge Tour in August 2017. He has clearly now regained his amateur status and I assume must have received one of the nominations from either England Golf or the St. Andrews Links Trust as he currently has no ranking. Best wishes to Paul on his return to elite amateur competition.

Whilst it doesn’t overly affect the field quality it should be noted that most of the Irish players are staying at home to play in the Ulster Men’s Stroke Play Championship which starts on Monday 7th June at Royal County Down GC and that the Arnold Palmer Cup match starts on 11th June at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois.

Weather Forecast (as at Wednesday 2nd June)

The current weather forecast looks great with a dry championship currently expected.

Friday 4th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 12 mph SW. Temp. Min. 9°C / Max. 15°C.
Saturday 5th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 11 mph SW. Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 18°C.
Sunday 6th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 13 mph W. Temp. Min. 10°C / Max. 17°C.

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

Prizes

The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy, a commemorative medal and vouchers to the value of £500.

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

Reducing voucher 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 Championship.

2020 St. Andrews Links Trophy

The 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019 St. Andrews Links Trophy

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) from Saunton G.C. won the 2019 St. Andrews Links Trophy.

Burnage recorded a 268 (-20) total and completed a memorable comeback, having started the final day 6 shots back of the 36-hole leader Matty LAMB (ENG), who ultimately had to settle for 2nd place on -19. Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) finished 3rd on -17.

It was a surprise to many that the Devonian links specialist was subsequently overlooked for the GB&I Walker Cup team that played USA at Royal Liverpool G.C. just two months later.

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Jake Burnage and Family (Photo: Burnage Family)

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Final 2019 Results (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Click here to view the complete – 2019 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 former 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 Federico ZUCCHETTI 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 © 2014-2021, Mark Eley. All Rights Reserved.

The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

9th June 2019

Round 4

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) from Saunton G.C. is the 2019 St. Andrews Links Trophy champion.

In a superb performance he recorded a 268 (-20) total and completed a remarkable comeback, having started the day 6 shots back of the leader Matty LAMB (ENG).

Talking to the St. Andrews Links Trust organisers afterwards Jake said “I love this pace that’s for sure. It’s basically my home because I’m a links golfer. It’s nothing new for myself. I forgot about last year (when he finished tied 3rd) and concentrated on doing the job this year. It’s amazing to turnaround and you suddenly see a lot of people behind you. It’s pretty cool. I love a crowd. I’m not scared of one, I’d much prefer to have one than not have one that’s my take on it.”

Burnage rose 96 places to 30th in the updated Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking and as an existing initial squad member now looks a certainty for the GB&I Walker Cup team.

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Jake Burnage and Family (Photo: Burnage Family)

Matty LAMB (ENG) finished 2nd and whilst he will be frustrated there was much to admire in his play this week.

Today’s 36 holes were never going to be a straight forward coronation for Lamb and with conditions much better than originally expected there was always hope for the chasing pack.

Burnage made inroads this morning reducing Lamb’s lead to 3 shots at lunch.

Both players completed the front nine this afternoon in level par, Lamb appearing to be the steadier. However, Burnage then seized the initiative on the 10th with a birdie, reducing Lamb’s lead to 2 shots. The 618 yard par 5 14th proved to be the 2019 Championship’s pivotal hole. Burnage eagled from 10 feet whilst Lamb bogeyed. The three shot swing suddenly put Burnage in the driving seat, now with a 1 shot advantage with four holes to play. A little surprisingly, given the holes in question and the circumstances, both players pared in and the man from Devon was crowned the winner.

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) shot 66 this afternoon to secure 3rd place on 271 (-17). James WILSON (SCO) 67 and Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) 68 also finished strongly to tied for 4th on 275 (-13).

Bailey GILL (ENG) recorded the best Round 4 score. His 65 lifted him up to tied 12th.

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The Final Results (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Click here to view the complete – 2019 St Andrews Links Trophy Results

Round 3

The good news for Matty LAMB (ENG) was he shot a solid 69 (-3) in his morning around on the Old Course. Five birdies were offset by a double bogey 6 on the 16th. As a result he continues to lead the St. Andrews Links Trophy on -20 after 54 holes.

The bad news was his nearest challenger Jake BURNAGE (ENG) showed no signs of going away.  The Devonian shot the best round of the remaining 40 players; a 66 (-6) including 7 birdies to move onto -17, now only 3 shots back with 18 holes to play.

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Jake Burnage’s Rd 3 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

The final pair are playing some great golf including these two par rescues on the Road Hole – well worth a watch.

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Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) 67, Tiarnan MCLARNON (IRE) 68 and Josh GREER (AUS) 68 all moved up the leaderboard after good rounds.

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8th June 2019

Matty LAMB (ENG) followed yesterday’s 64 (-8) on the Jubilee Course with an even more impressive 63 (-9) on the Old Course today. After a bogey on the relatively straight forward first he produced 10 birdies in his remaining 17 holes, finishing with a back nine of 29.

It is believed that Lamb’s back nine 29 is the first recorded in a competitive round on the Old Course.

I also assume his 127 (-17) 36 hole total must be a Championship record.

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Matty Lamb’s Rd 2 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Conditions were a little better than anticipated with fewer showers and only modest winds all day. There were numerous low scores once again as the links was left relatively defenceless.

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) recorded the second best round of the day with a 64 (-8) to move into 2nd on -11.

Jake Burnage’s Rd 2 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

One shot further back are Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) and Thomas PLUMB (ENG). Rafferty shot a 65 to move himself nicely into the mix whilst Yeovil’s Plumb produced a steadier 70. Both players will start the final day on -10.

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Caolan Rafferty’s Rd 2 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

The top 40 and ties cut fell at 140 (-4) with 40 players progressing to the final day.

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) recorded a 66 (-6) on Day 2 to make the cut and deliver the best recovery after his opening 74 (+2).

Colm CAMPBELL (IRE) 68, Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) 68, Casey JARVIS (RSA) 68, David MICHELUZZI (AUS) 66, Joe PAGDIN (ENG) 68, Matt ROBERTS (WAL) 66 and Jamie STEWART (SCO) 68 were amongst those to enjoy good scores today. All went down fighting on the Old Course but had simply left themselves too much to do to make the cut.

Nicklas REGNER (AUT) missed the cut on 142 (-2) although he had the consolation of leaving St Andrews having holed his approach on the Old Course’s 18th hole for eagle.

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7th June 2019

Round 1 was played on the Jubilee Course. With sunny intervals and just a modest breeze blowing the 6,847 yard course was there for the taking. Many of the competitors were happy to oblige particularly on the front nine which played down wind.

Matty LAMB (ENG) and Tom PLUMB (ENG) both recorded 8 under par 64’s on Day 1 to set a sparkling pace.

Matty Lamb’s Rd 1 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Tom Plumb’s Rd 1 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Alexander FRANCES (DEN), Kyle MICHEL (AUS), Stuart EASTON (SCO), Callum FARR (ENG) and Rowan LESTER (IRE) are all tied 2nd, two shots back of the two leaders, after 66’s (-6).

There were two notable shots in Round 1. Ronan MULLARNEY‘s (IRE) round of 68 (-4) included a hole-in-one on the 192 yard 9th hole while Euan MCINTOSH (SCO) finished his round of 69 in style by holing his approach to the 468 yard 18th.

76 of the 144 players shot an under par score on Day 1 with a further 17 on level par.

36 players scored 69 (-3) or better.

Given the very low scoring today, the forecast of rain for much of tomorrow and the top 40 and ties cut after Round 2 on the Old Course many players will have already played themselves out of the Championship. Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) +3, Wilco NIENABER (RSA) +3, David MICHELUZZI (AUS) +5, Jamie STEWART (SCO) +5 and Matt SAULEZ (RSA) +8 are amongst the more notable names who would appear to have no way back.

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6th June 2019

144 golfers from 21 different countries will tee off on Friday 7th June in the 31st St. Andrews Links Trophy.

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

The field is primarily determined by reference to the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) as at 2nd May 2019 and finished off with various National Golf Union and St. Andrews Links Trust nominations.

This year Round 1 will be played on the Jubilee Course – the New 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 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 but to the same par.

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 aggregate score.

In the event of a tie a sudden death play-off will be held over holes 1 and 18 on the Old Course.

Ties for other places will be 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

Click here to view the – 2019 St Andrews Links Trophy Rd 1 and Rd 2 Tee Times

The Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) placed the Links Trophy 7th in its 2018 Amateur Tournament Ranking based on the strength of it’s field. It was 8th in the same ranking in 2017.

22 of the 26 members of the 2019 GB&I Walker Cup Squad will be competing at St. Andrews this week.

From the Squad leading contenders Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG), Bailey GILL (ENG), Harry HALL (ENG), Ben JONES (ENG), Josh MCMAHON (ENG), Tom PLUMB (ENG), Conor PURCELL (IRE), Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE), Tom SLOMAN (ENG) and Euan WALKER (SCO) will all be looking to cement their places on the GB&I team in front of the watching selectors.

The defending champion John MURPHY (IRE) also returns to Scotland to try and become just the third player to win the Championship twice.

Of the four missing Walker Cup players Sandy SCOTT (SCO) is playing for the International Team at the Arnold Palmer Cup at The Alotian Club in Arkansas whilst Archie DAVIES (WAL), Conor GOUGH (ENG) and Mark POWER (IRE) are all busy with exams.

The attraction of St. Andrews always ensures a strong overseas entry. Blake COLLYER (AUS), Jordan DUMINY (RSA), Adrien DUMONT DE CHASSART (BEL), Mateo FERNANDEZ DE OLIVEIRA (ARG), Falko HANISCH (GER),

Michael HIRMER (GER), Alex HIETALA (FIN), Casey JARVIS (RSA), Jerry JI (NED), Jeong Weon KO (FRA), Charles LARCELET (FRA), Kyle MICHEL (AUS), David MICHELUZZI (AUS), Therion NEL (RSA), Wilco NIENABER (RSA), Yurev PREMLALL (RSA), Matt SAULEZ (RSA), Jayden SCHAPER (RSA), Sam SIMPSON (RSA) and Martin VORSTER (RSA) are amongst the most highly rated international entries.

Weather Forecast (as at Tuesday 4th June)

The current weather forecast appears mixed with rain over the weekend and swirling winds throughout.

Friday 8th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 13 mph SE. Temp. Max. 14°C / Min 10°C.
Saturday 9th June – Heavy Rain. Wind 11 mph NE. Temp. Max. 13°C / Min 9°C.
Sunday 10th June – Light Rain. Wind 16 mph SW. Temp. Max. 15°C / Min 8°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 Championship.

2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy

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

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

Both players completed the 72 holes in 278 shots (-9). De Bruyn fired a final round 68 on the Old Course to force the play-off.

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

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) and Haydn BARRON (AUS) finished tied 3rd on 279 (-8), just one shot back.

The two other leading GB&I players were Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) who tied 5th on 280 (-7) and Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) whose 281 (-6) total was good enough for tied 8th.

Click here to view the – 2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results

Past Winners

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) won in 2017. Click here to view the – 2017 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results

Conor O’ROURKE (IRE) won in 2016. Click here to view the – 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results 

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

Only Craig WATSON (1992 and 1998), the 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 Federico ZUCCHETTI 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 © 2015-2019, Mark Eley. All Rights Reserved.