Fern Clark (St Andrews) and Liam Johnston (Scottish Golf), the overnight leaders, maintained their dominance over their respective fields to claim the Stirling International titles, the first event of the new SSS/BUCS Student Tour season.
Liam Johnston enjoyed a one shot lead heading into the final day over Robert Foley (Stirling) and after they both dropped shots at second, Liam began to assert his class with eagle at 3. Three more birdies followed on the 4th, 6th, and 7th, to take him out in 32 and giving himself some breathing space. By this stage his nearest competitor was Craig Howie (Scottish Golf) who had the started the day only 3 shots back but a level par front nine saw him drop back and into a competition for the podium places. As Johnston picked up a another shot on the back nine to finish the competition at -7 after a round of the week 67, other were struggling to make an impact. Howie couldn’t make any headway on the back nine, a 37, seeing him secure second place nine shots back after a closing 73. Rounding out the podium places was Scottish Golf’s John Paterson, whose round was damaged almost before it started with an opening whole double bogey. An eagle on 4 helped him reach the turn one under for the day but two dropped shots on the back nine saw him sign for a 73 and +3 overall for the tournament. These strong Scottish Golf performance saw the comfortably win the team competition, 37 shots ahead of the Stirling first team.
On women’s side of the competition, Clark enjoyed a four stroke lead at the start of the day and despite dropping 4 shots in the opening 3 holes, was never in real trouble as her competitors failed to take advantage of a player looking to secure her first SSS/BUCS Tour event. A solid stretch around the turn ensured that Clark signed for an 82 and a four stroke victory. Finishing runner up in her debut Tour event was Cassie Kneen (St Andrews). The first round leader started and finished the day 4 shots back from Fern Clark, and outward 45 hitting any hopes that she had of victory. Rounding out the podium, and a St Andrews clean sweep, was Marie Danielsson. A double at the first hole was enough to ensure that victory was always just too far out of sight but a solid rest of her round gave her a +15 finishing total for the tournament. The debut performance of Kneen helped the St Andrews second team upset their first team, finishing 16 strokes clear to win the team competition.
For full competition results, please see Golf Box.
Thanks to all the team at the Fairmont St Andrews for their tireless help in delivering the competition, to our referee Neil, and to Dean Robertson and his Stirling University team for delivering another fantastic curtain raiser to the season. The Tour continues with events in the Midlands and at Blairgowrie in the next fortnight.