The R&A - Working for Golf

McClymont & Kitt in Pole Position

Lorna McClymont and David Kitt take commanding order of merit leads into the R&A Student Tour Series Final as Europe’s best student golfers gather over the next three days at Dumbarnie Links, and The Castle and Jubilee courses in St Andrews.

 

McClymont is seeking her fourth straight Student Tour Series win after recent victories in Spain and Portugal to go with last year’s triumph at Carton House, Ireland. The Stirling University student ran out a four-shot winner of the Portugal event at Troia Golf Resort, one of Europe’s toughest golf courses. She came through extra hole playoffs to win in Ireland and Spain, defeating fellow Stirling teammate Penny Brown in the former, and Welsh player Darcey Harry in the latter. Both players take their places in the final.

 

140 point advantage

 

Those three wins have taken Scottish international McClymont, the highest ranked player in the women’s draw at 167th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking®, to the top of the order of merit with 380 points, a 140 point advantage over Stirling teammate Nicola Slater. The English player has form in Fife: she won the R&A Student Tour Series – Scotland over the Fairmont Torrance Course in St Andrews last September. Brown sits third on the order of merit with 185 points.

 

Consistency pays off for Kitt

 

Maynooth University student Kitt sits atop the men’s order merit with 360 points. He holds an 87-point advantage over fellow Maynooth student Ryan Griffin, joint winner in Portugal with teammate Jordan Boles. Stirling’s Adam Bolton is third with 258 points. 

 

Kitt has forged his number one place thanks to consistent play, recording four top 10 finishes in Student Tour Series tournaments. The Athenry Golf Club member was victorious at the Fairmont Torrance Course last year when he returned a closing 64 for a one-shot victory. He placed third in Ireland, fourth in Portugal and eighth in Spain.

 

Much to play for

 

Order of merit winners gain automatic spots in the international side to play in this year’s Arnold Palmer Cup at Golf Club de Genève from 1-3 July, with the final winners attaining spots in professional tournaments. The women’s champion receives an exemption to an LET Access Series tournament, while the men’s winner earns a place in a Challenge Tour event.

Double points on offer 
 
With order of merit points doubled for this week’s tournament, McClymont and Kitt’s positions at the top of the respective tables are by no means secure. They will need to pay close attention to the chasing packs in case they are overtaken at the final hurdle.
 

Three great links courses

 

The running order for this week sees Europe’s best student golfers play three great links in the St Andrews Jubilee course on Monday, a visit to the recently created Dumbarnie Links on Tuesday, with the Castle Course holding the third and final round on Wednesday. 

 

Potential to grow

 

“The series is the perfect way to combine a university education at home with competitive golf,” said one-time European Tour professional Dean Robertson, Stirling’s High Performance coach. 

 

The former Walker Cup player and 1999 Italian Open champion added: “I see huge value in the series long term. The standard is good now, but it has the potential to grow and become even more competitive with more strength in depth.”

 

Maynooth coach Barry Fennelly agrees. “I think it’s a massive step forward for student golf in Europe that we have a tour run by the R&A,” said Fennelly, a former Irish Boys Champion. “The key thing is we’re getting the best players together and giving them the opportunity to showcase their skills, and challenge them on championship golf courses.”

 

The R&A created the Student Tour Series to provide elite amateur championships to enhance high performance competition amongst the leading student golfers outside of the USA and Mexico. Every event on the R&A Student Tour Series takes place over a golf course that has hosted Open Final Qualifying, a European Tour and Ladies European Tour event.

 

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