Student Series

Maynooth sweep STS order of merit titles

The R&A
03 Apr 24
3 mins

Maynooth University has a rich history in The R&A Student Tour Series. That history just got richer as Maynooth scholars Kate Lanigan and Ryan Griffin were crowned women’s and men’s order of merit winners after the final event of the 2023/24 season, the STS – St Andrews, in sodden, almost sullen conditions over the Old Course.
It is the first time Maynooth has swept the men’s and women’s order of merits. It's debatable if there have been three days of worse weather at the home of golf since Old Tom Morris was in his pomp. Women’s STS – St Andrews winner Lucy Jameson was shivering noticeably when she stepped off the Old Course’s 18th green, the St Andrews student trying to stop her body trembling from the cold that seeped into every core of her being.

 Success on golf’s most iconic course

Lanigan and Griffin were also seeking the solace of a hot bath. What warmed all three was the joy of success on golf’s most iconic course. Griffin’s delight was doubled by winning the final event of the 2023/24 season, a victory that gave him his second straight order of merit title and his third STS win. Lanigan, order of merit leader by 25 points over Halmstad student Elice Fredriksson heading into the final event, pipped the Swedish golfer to the title by just three points. The 180 points Griffin picked up gave him a 104-point advantage over Halmstad’s Hugo Stark, who finished in joint seventh.  
Lucy Jamieson battled tough conditions to win the final event on the Student Tour Series.

Automatic Amateur and Women’s Amateur spots

Lanigan and Griffin head back to Dublin with automatic places in The Amateur and Women’s Amateur Championships. Only seven points separated Griffin and Will Coxon at the start of the day. The Maynooth student just needed to finish ahead of the University of Stirling player. The psychology student not only did that by eight spots, he headed the field by three strokes over teammate Eoin Murphy and St Andrews student Trevor Binau thanks to a closing level par 72 that gave him a two-over 218 total. Coxon placed equal ninth to place third on the order of merit with 350 points, one behind Stark. “This is the most special moment I’ve had on a golf course because I knew I needed to win to guarantee the order of merit,” said Griffin, who earned Maynooth its 10th STS victory. “And to win around St Andrews doesn’t really get any better. It’s unbelievable.” 

Every shot counts 

Lanigan looked a dejected figure when she stepped off the 18th green with a closing 83, eight-over. She bogeyed the home hole when she failed to get up and down from the left of the putting surface, her final stroke a seven-foot putt. Had she missed, Fredriksson, who finished fourth, would have won the order of merit. Lanigan's joint fifth-place finish with Royal Agricultural University student Darcy Harry proved the difference. “I wouldn’t say that putt won me the order of merit, I think it saved it,” Lanigan said. “It just goes to show the phrase every shot counts is true. “It was a brutal day. On the 11th tee I lost all feeling in my hands. They were completely numb. It was insane.” Lanigan took the order of merit thanks to a consistent season that saw her win the STS – Italy, and record two runner-up finishes and a fourth place.  “It feels a bit weird to win the order of merit because I didn’t have a good tournament here but it shows consistency is rewarded," he added. "My results gave me a cushion, and it’s a testament to all the hard work from September.”

Eight-shot victory 

Lucy Jamieson backed up an outstanding six-under-par 68 over the Jubilee Course with a best of the day, level par 75 in the windy, wet conditions. That score was two better than 77s for Lorna McClymont and Fredriksson. Stirling student McClymont, playing in her final STS event after dominating the series with seven wins, finished solo second in front of St Andrews pupil Ellie Monk. Jamieson’s five-under-par 218 gave her a third STS title by eight shots. “I’ve been absolutely freezing since the 10th hole,” Jamieson admitted. “It’s probably the worst conditions I’ve ever experienced. That was hard and mentally quite gruelling, especially over the back nine.” Jamieson placed fourth on the order of merit with 313 points, 17 behind third-placed McClymont. With McClymont graduating, expect Jamieson to contend for more titles next year. Ditto for Lanigan, who has another year of her master’s degree. Meanwhile, Griffin is considering a master’s degree next year too. All three will add much lustre to the 2024/25 season which starts in September.