Grehan wins R&A Scholars; Sexton and Ryan second in women's event
 Stuart Grehan. Picture R&A

Stuart Grehan. Picture R&A

Maynooth's Stuart Grehan weathered roaring winds to come from three shots behind teammate John Murphy and win The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament by three shots at St Andrews.

But there was some disappointment for Irish golf in the women's event as overnight leader and defending champion Chloe Ryan finished tied for second alongside Lahinch and Stirling's Sinead Sexton, two shots behind Exeter's Emily Toy.

The event is contested over 54 holes at the Eden and Old Courses by student golfers who receive financial assistance from The R&A to enable them to continue to play competitive golf while completing their studies.

The men's champion earns a place in the European Arnold Palmer Cup team to face the USA, with the leading women’s player receiving a starting place at a Ladies European Tour event.

As it turned out Grehan had already been picked for the trip to Atlanta Athletic Club for the Palmer Cup in June.

But he was still delighted to battle his way to a level par 72 on the Old Course for a three-stroke win on five-under par 207 over Stirling's Jordan Sundborg (75) and Kinsale native Murphy, who shot a final round 78.

World No 55 Grehan, the highest-ranked player in the field, recorded four birdies in difficult conditions to clinch the title and he was understandably delighted. 

“I’m over the moon," the Tullamore player said. "I just got back from Spain on Sunday night so to come here and play well and get the win makes me really happy.

“It is always special coming back to the Home of Golf. I really enjoy the course, it gives you a lot of different options off the tees. Every time I come here I relish playing it.

“It was really tough. It was tricky so I was just delighted to shoot even par.”

Grehan, who helped Ireland to a third place finish in the Eisenhower Trophy at the World Amateur Team Championships in Mexico in September, as well as featuring in the St Andrews Trophy in July, continued: “The support The R&A has given me over the past few years has been great in terms of events and also financially with trying to get through college. 

"I thank The R&A a lot and especially Alison White for all she has done for student golf – I think she deserves a lot of credit.”

West of Ireland champion Jonathan Yates from UCD and Naas was tied fifth in a confidence-boosting performance ahead of his title defence at Rosses Point next week while the in-form Robin Dawson was tied seventh on one-over par just days after finishing second in the European Nations Cup in Sotogrande.

Women's champion Toy posted a final round of 74 to win by two shots on eight-under-par from defending champion Ryan (77) and Stirling University’s  Sexton (73).

The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament 2017

First 2 rounds Eden Course, St Andrews; Third round, Old Course. 

Men

Detailed scores Par 216 (3x72) CSS 71 71 75

207 S Grehan (Maynooth) 67 68 72.

210 J Sondborg (Stirling) 68 67 75, J Murphy (Maynooth) 68 64 78.

211 C Low (Abertay) 73 65 73.

212 J Yates (UCD) 64 75 73, L Shepherd (Stirling) 64 69 79.

213 M Myers (St Andrews) 72 68 73, R Dawson (Maynooth) 67 70 76.

215 W Russell (Ulster) 70 72 73, J Glen (Durham) 71 71 73, G Burns (St Andrews) 71 70 74, C Rudhag (Durham) 67 71 77.

216 C Woodroofe (Maynooth) 69 72 75, K LeBlanc (Maynooth) 69 71 78.

217 E Griffin (Maynooth) 73 75 69, R Mullarney (Maynooth) 72 73 72, S Flanagan (Maynooth) 75 71 71, J Hood (Maynooth) 74 71 72, S Molumby (Durham) 74 70 73.

218 C Maclean (Stirling) 71 72 75, E Smith Maynooth) 67 75 76, J Du Feu (South Wales) 72 69 77.

219 M Hayes (Northumbria) 71 71 77, G Leon (St Andrews) 68 73 78.

220 G Fitzmaurice (UCD) 72 76 72, T Collins (UCD) 74 71 75, R Dutton (Ulster) 69 70 81.

221 J Blyth (Exeter) 71 75 75, L Gorman (Birmingham) 72 72 77, J Wilson (Stirling) 72 71 78.

224 P Kerr (St Andrews) 75 70 79, K McCarron (Maynooth) 69 75 80.

225 J McDonnell (Maynooth) 72 77 76, D C McCarthy (St Andrews) 71 74 80,  J Rooney (Edge Hill) 73 67 85.

226 J Voss (Durham) 75 71 80

227 C Nolan (NUI Galway) 73 77 77, C Butler (Maynooth) 77 72 78, A Wilson (Northumberland) 71 73 83.

229 J Sutherland (Queens) 72 81 76.

230 C Johnston (Newcastle) 78 74 78, R Samson (Duchy) 72 68 80.

232 L Grehan (Maynooth) 76 72 84.

235 J Harling (UHI) 77 81 77.

 

Women

Par 224 (2x74, 1 x 76. CSS 72 72 79

Detailed scores

214 E Toy (Exeter) 68 72 74

216 S Sexton (Stirling) 72 71 73, C Ryan (UCD) 71 68 77.

217 C Goadby (Stirling) 75 68 74

221 G Batty (Stirling) 69 76 76.

225 T Mactaggart (Stirling) 74 72 79.

228 M Danielsson (St Andrews) 75 73 80, M Lockett (Birmingham) 74 71 83.

229 Molly Dowling (Maynooth) 72 72 85

238 E Hale (Glasgow Caledonian) 78 71 89, Mary Doyle (Maynooth) 82 77 79.

244 S Burke (Maynooth) 76 82 86.

246 G Galatolo (Liverpool) 78 78 90

250 H Holden (Sheffield) 81 81 77