A week featuring the top student golfers from 25 European universities ended dramatically when sudden death play-offs were required to settle the men’s and women’s champions in The R&A Student Tour Series – Spain.
10 Mar 22
At Infinitum Golf in Tarragona in Spain, University of Stirling student Lorna McClymont reeled off a third straight R&A Student Tour Series victory, while Eoin Sullivan of Trinity College bettered McClymont’s closing hole heroics to take the men’s title.Sullivan brilliantly eagled the first play-off hole, the 18th on the Lakes course, when he chipped in from 30 yards to deny Stirling double joy by defeating Ben Brookes after the pair had tied on a four-under-par total of 209. It was the second day in a row the Carton House member had eagled the closing hole.McClymont began the final round two shots behind Royal Agricultural University student Darcey Harry, but returned a closing 72, one over par, to join her 18-year-old Welsh counterpart at the top of the leaderboard on five-over 218.
Birdie for glory
The 21-year-old sports studies student did so with a clutch birdie on the par-5 final hole when she hit the green in two and two putted to join the play-off. She replicated that feat in extra time to break the deadlock.“I knew I had to go for it at the last and was pleased to see the ball land on the green,” said McClymont, who has won the last two R&A Series Tour events in Portugal and Ireland. “In the play-off I was even closer to the green and hit a 4-iron, so that hole was crucial for me today.“It’s a bit special to think I’ve won the last three (Tour Series events). It gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season. I’m back in Spain in two weeks for the European Nations Cup at Sotogrande, and how I played this week will help me with that experience. It will also help me for the rest of the season.”The University of Stirling’s Performance director Dean Robertson added, “Lorna’s been working hard on her game and this win just proves it. She managed her game well today. Those two shots at 18 were clutch. I’m proud of her.”
Harry comes up just short
Harry was hoping to win on her Student Tour Series debut. The 18-year-old got off to a bad start in the final round with bogeys on the first two holes, but battled back hard to get into the play-off.“I didn’t putt well on the front nine but I got it back to be one stroke ahead coming down the last,” said Harry. “I just wanted to par the 18th because I’m not long enough to reach that green.”“It’s been a great experience playing this week,” added the plus 4 Royal Porthcawl member. “To be in a play-off in my first one was special. I wouldn’t change anything I did this week. I played my own game and it nearly paid off. Lorna’s a great player, a really nice person, and she deserved to win.”Belgian Elise Bishop finished in third place of the women’s section with an eight-over-par total of 221.Sullivan broke his wrist before Christmas and only made his return to action in the Student Tour Series – Portugal.
Chip in glee
“I’m delighted,” said the business and economics student who returned scores of 70, 69 and 70. “I was just looking to chip the ball close on the play-off hole and so was glad to see it drop into the hole.“It was a grind all day, and I was happy just to be in contention. I haven’t been in contention since before Covid-19, so to come out here and not only contend but win is just fantastic. I’m proud of the way I handled myself this week. “I broke my left wrist in September, and my first round of golf was at Troia (in The R&A Student Tour Series – Portugal event) so to think I’ve come out here and won so soon after the injury is almost unbelievable.“My coach Gavin Lunny has worked hard with me. I have to mention my parents and my family too, because they’ve sacrificed a lot for me. I owe them this.”
Brookes was consistent all three days, returning rounds of 69, 69 and 71 to get into the play-off. “I played well all three days,” he said. “I birdied the play-off hole, so I can’t really complain about losing to an eagle.”Alan Hill and Adam Charlton shared third place in the men’s section on one-under-par.The Spanish tournament wraps up qualifying for The R&A Student Tour Series Final with the top players advancing to Scotland from 4-6 April with rounds over Dumbarnie Links, and The Castle and Jubilee courses in St Andrews.Final Women's LeaderboardFinal Men's Leaderboard