St Andrews golf scholars triumph in the sun
University of St Andrews golf scholars enjoyed a welcome break from Fife’s winter winds recently when they played at Troia Golf Club in Portugal as part of the R&A Student Tour Series.
The scholars triumphed in a tour which sees leading student golfers outside the USA and Mexico compete in elite amateur championships on prestigious world-class European golf courses. Players can earn Tour Series Order of Merit points by playing in two or more of the four qualifying events which take place in Scotland, France, Portugal and Spain. The top players after the Tour Series: Spain qualify for The R&A Student Tour Series Final in April 2023 over the Jubilee and Old Course in St Andrews.
It was a particularly tough trip for the St Andrews 600 Golf Club as they faced the treacherous Troia course, described as “one of the toughest tests in Continental Europe” and nicknamed ‘Troia the destroyer’ by the students. Whilst similar in nature to St Andrews links courses, the Troia demands significantly more of its players: the fairways are much narrower and the greens a lot smaller, which requires a high level of accuracy from the tee and on approach shots.
New Zealander Tom Parker was on top form, firing an impressive level par around the tricky Troia course to grab a tie for the lead in the first round of the men’s event, while Megan Ashley and Lucy Jamieson slotted themselves into the top five of the Women’s event. All the scholars were still in the game after Day 1.
Day 2 saw Adam Charlton (pictured left) showing his talents with an excellent one under par, propelling himself into a tie for third place, with Tom Parker coming in just behind him in seventh. Lucy and Megan continued to push for the lead, with Megan sitting in second and Lucy fourth going into the final round. Although the round didn’t go to plan for the men, Lucy and Megan triumphed in their event, coming first and third respectively.
Lucy’s performance was topped off with an unbelievable recovery shot on the 18th, followed by an even better eight-foot par putt to seal the deal – all the more impressive considering she nearly withdrew from the event during round two with a back injury.
Director of Golf, Ian Muir, said: “Anyone who has played Troia knows how easy it is to run up a big score, so I am absolutely thrilled that we have managed to secure a win and a third place. At times it was more a battle of will than skill as the course demands so much accuracy for each shot.
“As we move our focus to the next R&A Student Tour Series event in Spain, our competitiveness shows there is lots to play for in both the Women’s and Men’s Order of Merit.”
All the 600 Golf Scholars – Megan Ashley, Josie Baker Elise Bishop, Adam Charlton, James Conn, Will Draper, Lucy Jamieson, Roddy McAuley and Tom Parker – got to grips with ‘Troia the destroyer’ and are all set for Parador de Golf Malaga in Spain and the fourth event in the R&A Student Tour Series, where they will be looking for even more success.
For more on this story please see the University’s press release.