Mathias Eggenberger secured a place in the European Arnold Palmer Cup team for the second time after his dramatic play-off victory in the men’s division of the annual R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament in St Andrews today. Chloe Ryan won the women’s event and will gain a place in a 2016 Ladies’ European Tour event.
The international field of 60 student golfers played the final round on the Old Course after yesterday’s opening two rounds on the Eden Course were reduced to 27 holes due to torrential rain.
Eggenberger, who studies at the University of Stirling, took a two shot lead into the final round and shot a steady one-under-par 71. The 24-year-old Swiss finished on five-under-par to tie with England international Andrew Wilson, who carded an excellent three-under-par 69.
The players matched each other for four holes of the play-off on the 1st and 18th holes before Eggenberger holed a 12 foot putt on the 1st green to achieve a memorable win.
The two-time champion will now line-up in the European team to face the United States in the Arnold Palmer Cup at Formby in June.
“I wanted to get back into the Palmer cup team – I just want to get the trophy back after we lost last year and I’m really looking forward to playing Formby. So that’s my goal achieved,” said Eggenberger.
“It is something special to get support from The R&A – it helps financially and makes life a lot easier for all the students who receive it.”
Maynooth University’s Ronan Mullarney finished third on three-under-par.
In the women’s competition, University College Dublin’s Ryan, posted a final round 72 to win by two shots from Jessica Ross from Queen’s University Belfast.
Ryan, who competed in the South American Amateur in Peru in January, has secured a starting place in a Ladies’ European Tour Event this year as a result of her victory.
“It feels great. I’ve been working hard all winter and it’s nice that my work is paying off. I’m absolutely thrilled,” she said.
“The work The R&A do around the world is incredible. They spread the game around the world. The funding The R&A give me goes towards my golf and obviously that can only benefit me.”
Ross came close after carding 68 for a four-under-par total. The University of Stirling’s success continued with Eilidh Briggs finishing in third position. The Curtis Cup player shot a final round 73 on Tuesday for a three-under-par total.
The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament takes place each year in St Andrews and features student golfers who receive financial assistance from The R&A to enable them to continue to play competitive golf while completing their studies. Previous scholars include European Ryder Cup player Francesco Molinari, and former Women’s British Open champion and Solheim Cup player, Catriona Matthew.
Today, The R&A supports 15 universities, including St Andrews, and over 100 individual scholars.