St Andrews golf scholars triumph in the sun

Wednesday 15 February 2023

University of St Andrews golf scholars enjoyed a welcome break from Fife’s winter winds recently when they played at Troia Golf Club in Portugal as part of the R&A Student Tour Series.

The scholars triumphed in a tour which sees leading student golfers outside the USA and Mexico compete in elite amateur championships on prestigious world-class European golf courses. Players can earn Tour Series Order of Merit points by playing in two or more of the four qualifying events which take place in Scotland, France, Portugal and Spain. The top players after the Tour Series: Spain qualify for The R&A Student Tour Series Final in April 2023 over the Jubilee and Old Course in St Andrews.

It was a particularly tough trip for the St Andrews 600 Golf Club as they faced the treacherous Troia course, described as “one of the toughest tests in Continental Europe” and nicknamed ‘Troia the destroyer’ by the students. Whilst similar in nature to St Andrews links courses, the Troia demands significantly more of its players: the fairways are much narrower and the greens a lot smaller, which requires a high level of accuracy from the tee and on approach shots.

New Zealander Tom Parker was on top form, firing an impressive level par around the tricky Troia course to grab a tie for the lead in the first round of the men’s event, while Megan Ashley and Lucy Jamieson slotted themselves into the top five of the Women’s event. All the scholars were still in the game after Day 1.

Day 2 saw Adam Charlton (pictured left) showing his talents with an excellent one under par, propelling himself into a tie for third place, with Tom Parker coming in just behind him in seventh. Lucy and Megan continued to push for the lead, with Megan sitting in second and Lucy fourth going into the final round. Although the round didn’t go to plan for the men, Lucy and Megan triumphed in their event, coming first and third respectively.

Lucy’s performance was topped off with an unbelievable recovery shot on the 18th, followed by an even better eight-foot par putt to seal the deal – all the more impressive considering she nearly withdrew from the event during round two with a back injury.

Director of Golf, Ian Muir, said: “Anyone who has played Troia knows how easy it is to run up a big score, so I am absolutely thrilled that we have managed to secure a win and a third place. At times it was more a battle of will than skill as the course demands so much accuracy for each shot.

“As we move our focus to the next R&A Student Tour Series event in Spain, our competitiveness shows there is lots to play for in both the Women’s and Men’s Order of Merit.”

All the 600 Golf Scholars – Megan Ashley, Josie Baker Elise Bishop, Adam Charlton, James Conn, Will Draper, Lucy Jamieson, Roddy McAuley and Tom Parker – got to grips with ‘Troia the destroyer’ and are all set for Parador de Golf Malaga in Spain and the fourth event in the R&A Student Tour Series, where they will be looking for even more success.

Back row (left to right): Tom Parker, Roddy McAuley, Adam Charlton, James Conn, Will Draper, Ian Muir, Charlie Reynolds  Front row (left to right): Lucy Jamieson, Elise Bishop, Megan Ashley, Josie Baker

Saints Sport at the University of St Andrews aims to provide a comprehensive and world-renowned programme for its performance golfers through golf scholarships, which provide all the resources needed for players to take their games to the next level whilst studying at St Andrews. The scholarships are supported and funded through the 600 Club and a community of donors and supporters around the world, alongside Saints Sport and The R&A.

The Saints Golf performance programme is incredibly fortunate to be supported by the St Andrews Links Trust, who provide the University’s top golf scholars with access to the world-class facilities at the Golf Academy all year round.

Saints Golf performance scholars represent the University in tournament golf around the world, competing domestically within the BUCS calendar and across Europe as part of the R&A Elite Student Tour. Additional competitive opportunities include invites to high-level tournaments in North and South America.

During the summer, Art History and French student Megan and Chemistry student Lucy represented Scotland and England respectively in the Home Internationals in Ireland, and Megan was asked to join the Scottish Golf Ladies High Performance squad for the 2022-2023 season.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Category University news

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