Ireland’s Alex Maguire has lifted the coveted St Andrews Links Trophy with a stunning final round display over the Old Course at the Home of Golf to seal victory by five strokes from his nearest competitor.
The Laytown & Bettystown man shot the lowest round of the week with a closing 64 to pull himself clear of the chasing pack and become the third Irishman to lift the renowned trophy.
He began the final round as joint leader with England’s Charlie Crockett but a fast start from Maguire, carding five birdies in his opening nine holes, gave him a lead that ultimately proved unassailable. The 22-year-old added a further three birdies in his inward nine for a flawless round of eight under to finish at -21 for the tournament.
Sweden’s Albert Hansson’s final round of 68 was enough for second place while Scotland’s Calum Scott and England’s Harry Crockett tied for third following a closing 67 and 69 respectively.
The win catapults Maguire to the top of the new amateur exemption category introduced by The R&A, with the top points scorer across the St Andrews Links Trophy, the Amateur Championship and the European Amateur Championship qualifying for a spot in The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool.
Maguire, who won the East of Ireland Championship last week, said: “It feels great. It’s the Old Course and what a place to win. Walking up the last, I got my dad to push the trolley up the last hole to have a special moment. There’s so much history here that I’m delighted to add my name to it.
“I felt like I played great golf on the way out. I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens and cleaned up very well around the greens. Once I birdied 11 I knew I was seven under and then I birdied 14. I think I needed to birdie 14 to give myself a little bit of breathing room because I didn’t know what I was in the tournament, if I was leading or tied with someone at the top. I checked after the 17th tee shot because if I was only one shot ahead and checked on 17 I probably would have been a bit more nervous.
“My dad and mum love coming out to watch and they’re so proud of me. They think it’s very special to be over here at the Old Course. It was their first time here so to walk away with the trophy here at the Old Course is pretty special.”
The 2023 St Andrews Links Trophy saw 144 of the best elite amateur players from across the world compete in the Home of Golf with one round on the New Course, followed by three rounds on the Old Course.
Maguire’s victory sees him join former winners Justin Rose, Richard Finch, Oliver Fisher and Matthew Southgate in hoisting the trophy at the Home of Golf.
The final leaderboard is available here: https://salt-standrewslinkstrophy2023.golfgenius.com/pages/3989803