Young Icelander wins the Duke of York Trophy 2012

Duke of YorkRagnar Gardarsson won the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy after a dramatic three-way play-off at a windy Royal Troon yesterday.

The 17 year-old from Iceland won at the third extra hole after an excellent up-and-down par from a bunker defeated England’s Max Orrin who could only make a bogey. The 18 year-old Englishman missed a six foot putt for the championship at the second extra hole.

Katja Pogacar, the overnight leader from Slovenia, was eliminated from the play-off after a bogey at the second extra hole. The 18 year-old Slovenian girls champion had missed a four foot putt for victory at the first extra hole and had three-putted the 18th green in regulation play when two putts would have won her the trophy.

Gardarsson made a late surge with two birdies in the last three holes to card a level par 72 and make the play-off. “It’s the best round I’ve ever played in bad weather. It’s been really fun this week and I’ve enjoyed it very much,” he said.

Orrin, who represented his country in the recent Boys’ Home Internationals, said: “I thought it was going to be Katja’s week, so it was disappointing for me to miss my chance to win. I’m frustrated but there are so many positives for me.”

This was the 12th staging of the championship which is supported by The R&A. A group of 53 young champions from 31 countries took part in the three-day event at the historic Open Championship venue. The standard of competition was extremely high with a handicap average of +2.5. Current USPGA champion and former US Open champion Rory McIlroy and two-time winners on their respective tours Matteo Manassero and Carly Booth are among the leading players who have previously played in the event.

The trophy was presented by HRH The Duke of York, who congratulated the players on their performance in such challenging conditions.