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Three Champions crowned in Portugal

Lorna McClymont, Ryan Griffin and Jordan Boles walked off as R&A Student Tour Series – Portugal winners on a dramatic final day at Tróia Golf Resort.

Not even a three-hole play-off could separate Maynooth University teammates Griffin and Boles from sharing first place at Tróia. 

They were declared joint winners when darkness brought proceedings to an abrupt halt at 6:24pm local time. They had traded three straight pars in the waning light following Edge Golf College student Max Weaver’s elimination at the first extra hole after the trio had finished on 7-over-par 223.

McClymont walked the three play-off holes with a sizeable gallery after taking first place in the women’s tournament. She had finished nearly five hours earlier following a four-shot victory over University of Stirling teammate Nicola Slater.

Low round of week

It is McClymont’s second R&A Tour Series win, given the Milngavie Golf Club member won the R&A Student Tour Series – Ireland at Carton House last year. 
The 21-year-old was the only player in the women’s field to break par over the three days around the tough Tróia layout. Her closing one-under 71 was the low round of the week.

While McClymont’s victory was a straightforward affair, the men’s tournament was nip and tuck all day. Twenty-year-old physics and astrophysics student Boles fired the best round of the day of the three play-off contenders, posting a level-par 72 to get into sudden death.

Weaver, who got into the filed at the last minute as a reserve, posted a 73, while Griffin arrived in the clubhouse with a 74. Weaver bogeyed the first play-off hole to leave the stage to the two Maynooth players. Matching pars at the next two holes meant they were declared joint winners.

A fair result

“It’s a fair result,” Griffin said. “We matched each other shot for shot over the three playoff holes and I have no problem sharing this trophy with Jordan. We’re not only teammates, we’re great friends.”

Griffin finished second in last year’s R&A Student Tour Series – Ireland, and followed that with second place in the Irish Intervarsity Championship in his next outing. He arrived in Portugal looking to go one step higher.

“I finished second twice last year and now I’ve finished joint first,” he added. “Next step has to be first on my own, but I’ll take a joint win over a tough golf course like this one.”

Delight at joint win

This was just Boles’ second appearance in the Student Series. He placed 10th at Carton House and was just looking to better that result this week. 

“I started off well today, got shaky in the middle and then I finished off well, so I was happy with my form,” said Boles. “I made a great birdie at 16 and finished with two good pars to get into the play-off. 

“I’m delighted to be declared joint winner with Ryan, especially since this is only my second time playing in one of these. I’ll take a lot of confidence from this week.”

David Kitt made it three Maynooth players in the top four. Kitt, who won the R&A Student Tour Series – Scotland last year, returned a low-round of the day, a two-under 70, to finish alone in fourth place, two shots out of the play-off.

McClymont goes one better

McClymont arrived at Tróia Golf Resort hoping to go one place better than the last time she played one of the toughest tests in Europe. The 21-year-old was second to Stirling teammate Louise Duncan two years ago. 

“The goal was to try and finish one spot higher than two years ago and so I’m proud to have done that,” the 21-year-old sports studies student said.

“I played out of my skin today. I’m delighted to have shot under par around this golf course because it’s so tough. We’re used to hard courses back home, but this one might be a bit tougher. The greens are quick and small, you can get a bad bounce and get into tough spots very easily.  

“The goal today was not to have any bad holes. The conditions were extremely tough yesterday and I had four blow ups without actually doing much wrong. This course just punishes you if you’re not on it here. It really gets you and it got me yesterday.”

Fighting spirit

She continued: “During yesterday’s round I didn’t think I had a chance of winning, but when I finished and saw the scores I knew it could be done. My grandpa has always drilled into me that it’s not over until it’s over and you have to just keep going. I had that in mind today: I just hung in there and it paid off.”
It is McClymont’s third win in her last four starts: she also won the BUCS Golf Tour – Fife Tournament to go with her Irish win.

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