Booth and Macdonald clinch scholars titles

Stirling University’s David Booth edged out teammate Jack McDonald with a play-off victory on the iconic 18th hole of the St Andrews Old Course to win the 2012 R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament.

The women’s title was won by another Stirling student, 2010 champion Kelsey Macdonald, who claimed her second title by two shots.

Scoring was difficult due to torrential rain with Conor Wilson of Plymouth shooting 70, the lowest round of the day, to join Booth and McDonald on a 54-hole total of 215 to set up a three-way play-off for the overall title.

Wilson, however, caught his approach to the first hole a little heavy and found the burn, putting himself out of contention. With the Stirling pair both making par it was onto the 18th where Booth claimed victory with an eight-foot birdie putt.

Kelsey Macdonald, meanwhile, added a final round of 71 to scores of 76 and 72 over the Eden course on the first day for a total of 219 to claim the title ahead of teammate Hannah McCook who finished on a total of 221.

Booth, playing in his sixth and final Scholars tournament before turning pro after he graduates later this year, said: “Every year it seems to get harder and the conditions were tough so you just have to grind out a score. The scores weren’t as low as some of the guys expect but you still have to go out there, play hole-by-hole and try and win and that’s what I did.

“It’s my second play-off against Jack in a couple of months and in the back of my mind I’m thinking, is he going to try and get his own back but I just thought no, I’m going to go out there and try and make birdies.

“I played awesome tee-to-green but couldn’t hole a putt. I holed on 17 and 18 in regulation and that one on the second hole in the play off and that’s all I’ve holed this week.”  

The 23-year-old from Rotherham can now look forward to taking his place on the European team for this year’s Palmer Cup against the USA, which takes place in June at Royal County Down.

“It’s amazing to get into the team, “the sports management student who has won his first three events this season added. “I played with Nick MacAndrew over the last couple of rounds and I live with Patrick Spraggs, both past winners, and obviously I’ve been jealous when they’ve told me what goes on at the Palmer Cup.  

“You play the best guys in the world because the US team has the number one, two, three players in the world. It’s such a big prize.”

Women’s champion Kelsey MacDonald, who is a reserve for this year’s Curtis Cup, has secured a place in a Ladies European Tour event later in the year with victory over a field that included last year’s winner Jane Turner.

“It was quite tough this week, I struggled on the greens on the Eden Course,” said the 21-year-old from Nairn. “I struggled a wee bit today but hit it in really close which helped a lot.”

The third-year student added: “The standard is really high. Stirling has, for men, the best golfers in Britain. They were European champions, so were the girls. Italy, France and Belgium come over so you have got a lot of good, good players playing in the event.”

Fifty-three competitors played 36 holes over the Eden Course on Monday 9 April, before contesting the Old on Tuesday.

For the 2011/2012 academic year, The R&A awarded around 100 Foundation scholarships, taking its support of student golf to more than £300,000.

Final Results Sheet - Overall

      Round 1 Round 2 36 Holes Round 3 Total
1 Conor Wilson Plymouth 72 73 145 70 215
= David Booth Stirling 73 69 142 73 215
= Jack McDonald Stirling 74 68 142 73 215
4 Alexander Culverwell Stirling 70 70 140 76 216
5 Graeme Robertson Stirling 71 74 145 72 217
6 Oliver Roberts Stirling 75 71 146 72 218
= Kit Holmes Stirling 74 69 143 75 218
= Daniel Sommerville Dundee 72 70 142 76 218
9 Kelsey Macdonald Stirling 76 72 148 71 219
= Gareth Jenkins Birmingham 74 73 147 72 219
= Michael Daily Stirling 71 70 141 78 219
12 Dewi Merckx Stirling 72 70 142 78 220
13 Jamie Lynch Forth Valley College 73 75 148 73 221
= Matthew Wheeler St Andrews 74 72 146 75 221
= Tai Yasuda Loughborough 75 70 145 76 221
= Hannah McCook Stirling 75 70 145 76 221
= Darren Timms Stirling 69 74 143 78 221
18 Laurie Potter Exeter 79 72 151 71 222
= Patrick Spraggs Stirling 76 74 150 72 222
= Fraser Moore Stirling 71 74 145 77 222
= Andrew Wallace Stirling 74 70 144 78 222
22 Mathias Eggenberger Stirling 76 76 152 71 223
= Susan Jackson Edinburgh 76 73 149 74 223
= Martin Tavoda Birmingham 72 73 145 78 223
25 Gabrielle Macdonald St Andrews 74 74 148 76 224
26 Nick Macandrew Aberdeen 74 75 149 76 225
= Charlotte Austwick York 73 73 146 79 225
= Thomas Jessamine Birmingham 73 72 145 80 225
= Mike Howard Stirling 70 73 143 82 225
30 Jean Pierre Verselin France 72 79 151 75 226
= Jack Scott Edinburgh 73 77 150 76 226
32 Jane Turner Robert Gordon 71 75 146 81 227
33 Melissa McMahon Buckinghamshire New 77 74 151 77 228
= Kate McIntosh Elmwood 74 77 151 77 228
= Eilidh Briggs Stirling 71 74 145 83 228
36 Allexandra Braida Italy 76 76 152 77 229
= Julien Richelle Belgium 79 72 151 78 229
38 Clement Lemaire France 77 78 155 75 230
39 Lauren Spray Birmingham 81 74 155 77 232
= Lewis Hollingworth Lincoln 74 80 154 78 232
41 Bronwyn Davies Myerscough 76 80 156 77 233
= Alison Knowles Exeter 73 79 152 81 233
43 Rebecca Wilson Stirling 81 74 155 79 234
= Matt Hill Loughborough 75 72 147 87 234
45 Chiara Brizzolari Italy 80 75 155 80 235
46 Harriet Beasley Stirling 76 79 155 81 236
= Gemma Bradbury St Andrews 76 76 152 84 236
48 Karlis Broders Loughborough 83 75 158 79 237
49 Jordana Graham Stirling 79 75 154 84 238
50 Nicola Rawlinson Loughborough 79 77 156 83 239
51 Steve Martin Loughborough 89 76 165 81 246
= Gillian Scanlan Strathclyde 75 80 155 91 246
53 Alice Barnes Exeter 87 85 172 79 251