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Forrest wins St Andrews Links Trophy

10th June 2014

(Reproduced courtesy Colin Farquaharson)

 

Grant Forrest (Photo courtesy Kenny Smith)

Scotland's top man in the world amateur rankings, Grant Forrest (Craigielaw), lived up to his billing by winning the St Andrews Links Trophy in a drama-packed finish at the Old Course.

And, in a great advert for Scottish amateur golf, Forrest and young Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie), who is the second highest Scot in the WAGR, contested the play-off at the end of a day of fluctuating fortunes.

San Diego University student Forrest, who celebrates his 21st birthday on the 19th of this month, made it difficult for himself to score the biggest win of a career which includes victory in the 2012 Scottish amateur championship at Royal Dornoch and four wins on the US college circuit.

The North Berwick man looked to be in cruise control when he led by two strokes at the halfway stage and still had that clear-cut lead after the third round.

But Forrest took his foot off the accelerator for the first half of the final 18 holes and could manage only 10 pars and a bogey for his first 11 holes.

That opened the gates for players of the calibre of Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie), Tom Rowland (Prudhoe), Federico Zucchetti (Italy) and the  18-year-old rising star Bradley Neil, Scottish U18 boys champion last year.

They moved into a share of the lead at eight under par with six or seven holes to play.

But it was young Neil who showed his class by shooting a 68 - four under par for the Old Course - for a clubhouse target of nine-under-par 278.

The Blairgowrie teenager birdied the third, long fifth, seventh, ninth, 10th, long 14th, and 16th in halves of 33 and 35. He wasn't perfect, thought, and shots dropped at the fourth, short 11th and 17th gave Forrest a chance to breathe new life into his victory bid.

Forrest, after his long spell in the doldrums, lit the blue touch paper with a birdie at the 12th ... then another at the long 14th. Standing on the 16th tee he needed three pars to figure in a play-off with Neil, two pars and a birdie to win the title over 72 holes.

Forrest bogeyed the 16th and was really under self-imposed pressure after that.

He needed to birdie the 17th or 18th to force a play-off.

Forrest could "only" get a par at the par-4 Road Hole 17th. All or nothing on the 18th now - and Grant responded to the challenge. He birdied the last hole for a 71 to match Neill's nine-under total of 278 - one stroke ahead of a quartet who tied for third place.

On to the play-off and Neill, who had been back in the clubhouse about an hour before Forrest finished, finished second best to Forrest but still enhanced his growing reputation.

Jack McDonald (280) and Jame Savage (281) gave Scotland four players in the top 10.

ST ANDREWS LINKS TROPHY
New and Old Courses
FINAL TOTALS

Par 287 (1x71, 3x72) CSS 73 75 73
278 Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie) 68 71 71 68, Grant Forrest (Craigielaw) 66 68 73 71 (play-off)
279 Thomas Rowland (Prudhoe) 69 74 71 65, Paul Howard (Southport and Ainsdale) 70 70 69 70, Daniel Wasteney (Lindrick) 71 69 71 68, Federico Zucchetti (Ita) 64 73 73 69
280 Mathieu Decottignies-Lafon (Fra)     68 73 70 69, Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock Barassie) 70 70 69 71
281 Antonio Murdaca (Aus)  68 70 74 69, Teremoana Beaucousin (Fra) 68 72 69 72, Jamie Savage (Cawder) 65 72 73 71
282 Mathias Eggenberger (Swi) 70 73 70 69, Julian Taylor (York) 66 74 75 67
283 Clément Sordet (Fra) 66 71 73 73
284 Gary Hurley (Ire) 69 73 70 72, Paul Kinnear (Formby) 71 70 72 71, Geoff Drakeford (Aus) 64 76 73 71, Lars van Meijel (Net) 69 68 74 73, Matthew Clark (Kilmacolm) 69 68 73 74
285 Harry Casey (Enfield) 70 73 70 72, Adam Chapman (Windermere) 68 74 73 70, Edward Richardson (Rye) 69 72 73 71, Reeve Whitson (Mourne) 72 69 75 69, Tae Koh (NZ) 67 69 74 75
286 Jamie Bower (Meltham) 71 72 71 72, Ryan Evans (Wellingborough) 69 73 74 70, Jack Hume (Ire) 67 74 76 69, Ben Westgate (Trevose) 68 73 71 74, Grégoire Schoeb (Fra) 60 79 74 73
287 Robbie Van West (Net) 69 74 72 72
289 Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten) 70 73 74 72, Mathieu Fenasse  (Fra) 69 73 76 71, Mark Geddes (Prenton) 67 75 77 70, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 68 74 75 72, Daniel Brown (Bedale) 70 72 75 72, Daniel Kay (Dunbar) 66 71 78 74

290 Ben Stow (Rushmore) 71 72 72 75
291 Seb Crookall-Nixon (Silloth) 74 69 76 72, Greig Marchbank (Thornhill) 71 71 77 72, Lawrence Allan (Alva) 72 71 73 75
293 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (SAf) 70 72 76 75
294 Alexander Culverwell (Dunbar) 71 72 76 75
295 Alastair Jones (Radyr) 71 71 75 78, Graeme Robertson (Glenbervie) 69 71 76 79.   

299 Javier Sainz (Spa) 70 73 76 80, João Girão (Por) 69 72 79 80

SCOTS WHO MISSED THE CUT
144 D Young (Craigie Hill) 72 72, J Ross (Royal Burgess) 71 73, S Borrowman (Dollar) 69 75, C Robb (Meldrum House) 69 75
146 A Dunton (McDonald Ellon) 72 74, C Ross 9Kirkhill) 72 74, B Kinsley (St Andrews) 71 75, C Syme (Dumfries and Co) 69 77
147 C Macneal (Prestwick) 73 74, E Ferguson (Bearsden) 72 75
149 J Bunch (Prestwick) 71 78
150 G Stevenson (Whitecraigs) 72 78, L Johnston (Dumfries and Co) 72 78
151 E Scott (St Andrews) 75 76, S Gibson (Southerness) 69 82
152 C Hill (Tantallon) 75 77 .

 

 




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