Student Series

Fredriksson and Murphy open Student Tour Series season with victories

The R&A
14 Sep 23
3 mins

Players who win R&A Student Tour Series events naturally receive generous plaudits from their peers, but there was a special feeling around La Sella Golf Club’s 18th green at the conclusion of the first tournament of the 2023/2024 season.

Europe’s best student golfers gathered to help Halmstad University’s Elice Fredriksson and Eoin Murphy of the University of Maynooth reach special milestones in their Student Series careers: both players earned their maiden wins.

Steadfast support 

The pair have steadfastly supported the series along with their respective teammates from Halmstad and Maynooth, enthusiastic supporters of The R&A initiative since its inception. Both players have featured on previous leaderboards without getting their hands on a trophy. That all changed over three hot and humid days on a tough course that staged this year’s €1million La Sella Open on the Ladies' European Tour. Fredriksson fashioned a closing 68 after consecutive rounds of 75. She finished on two-over-par 218 to pip St Andrews student Lucy Jamieson by two shots in the women’s tournament.  Murphy was a model of consistency over the three days, returning rounds of 71, 70 and 71 for a four-under-par 212 tally. He also won by two strokes, with Halmstad’s Hugo Stark taking second place.

Peerless bogey free rounds

Both shared a stat no one else in the field matched: they had bogey free rounds. Murphy recorded that feat in an opening one-under-par 71, while Fredriksson didn’t drop a shot in her closing 68. “It feels fantastic, great to get my first win,” Fredriksson said. “I can’t believe it.” The Halmstad student, who is ranked 1,040th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®), had four top-ten's last season including second in the Grand Final at St Andrews.

Elice Fredriksson - Sweden

“It feels fantastic, great to get my first win. I can’t believe it. I feel I’m a better player this year because I had some problems with my confidence and believing in myself. So this win will do a lot for my confidence."

Confidence booster

“Of course you always want to win, but I’m just focussed on my process goals rather than on winning,” she added. “I feel I’m a better player this year because I had some problems with my confidence and believing in myself. So this win will do a lot for my confidence.   “I couldn’t see not making at least one bogey on this course because it’s very tricky, especially on the front nine so it’s great that I didn’t make any.” Jameson put up a strong fight over the final day as she sought her third victory. She began with a two-shot lead over the field and played the front nine in level par. However, three bogeys in five holes from the 10th made the difference along with Fredriksson’s sterling play. 

A monkey off his back

Murphy is in his final year at Maynooth. He heads into the workplace in April after finishing his Masters degree in business and management. He arrived in Spain intent on getting at least one win in the Student Tour Series after having previous chances only to fall short.  “I’m delighted,” said the 23-year-old, who’s ranked 2,265th on the WAGR® standings. “It’s nice to get the monkey off my back early. It was a solid week from the get-go. It’s great to play steady golf for three days and it’s always nice when it comes together.” Over the summer, Murphy returned to his boyhood sport of hurling to try get in shape for his final fling at the Student Series. He arrived in Spain feeling leaner and stronger as a result, and it paid dividends. “Being that bit fitter has to help, especially coming down the stretch on a sunny day like today when the temperature is in the high twenties," he added. "I might have struggled before.”

Arnold Palmer Cup dreams

Murphy’s other goal this season is to make the Arnold Palmer Cup team, the reward that goes to the order of merit winner. “I’ll hopefully kick on now. That’s the plan. You can’t ask for a better start than that to try to get on the Arnold Palmer Cup team.” As far as his final season on the Student Tour Series goes, Murphy wants to enjoy his remaining time between now and the final event in St Andrews next April. “The Student Tour Series is brilliant," he said. "It’s just got better and better. Getting the chance to play courses like these is fantastic, and great for everyone’s development. I’m sad in a way but it’s time to move on, but I will miss it because it’s been great craic to stay on site at these courses and enjoy times with my teammates. I’m going to make the most of this final ride.” Both players naturally move to the top of the order of merit and those potential Arnold Palmer Cup spots for next year’s match at Lahinch Golf Club on the West Coast of Ireland. Fredriksson placed third to Lorna McClymont last year, while Murphy was joint 31st behind Maynooth teammate Ryan Griffin.