Not even a three-hole playoff could separate Maynooth University teammates Ryan Griffin and Jordan Boles at the R&A Student Series – Portugal at Tróia Golf resort.
The pair were declared joint winners when darkness brought proceedings to an abrupt halt at 6:24pm local time. They had traded three straight pars in the waning light following Edge Golf College student Max Weaver’s elimination at the first extra hole after the trio had finished on 7-over-par 223.
Twenty-year-old physics and astrophysics student Boles fired the best round of the day of the three play-off contenders, posting a level-par 72 to get into sudden death.
Weaver, who got into the filed at the last minute as a reserve, posted a 73, while Griffin arrived in the clubhouse with a 74. Weaver bogeyed the first play-off hole to leave the stage to the two Maynooth players. Matching pars at the next two holes meant they were declared joint winners.
“It’s a fair result,” Griffin said. “We matched each other shot for shot over the three playoff holes and I have no problem sharing this trophy with Jordan. We’re not only teammates, we’re great friends.”
Griffin finished second in last year’s R&A Student Tour Series – Ireland, and followed that with second place in the Irish Intervarsity Championship in his next outing. He arrived in Portugal looking to go one step higher.
“I finished second twice last year and now I’ve finished joint first,” he added. “Next step has to be first on my own, but I’ll take a joint win over a tough golf course like this one.”
This was just Boles’ second appearance in the Student Series. He placed 10th at Carton House and was just looking to better that result this week.
“I started off well today, got shaky in the middle and then I finished off well, so I was happy with my form,” said Boles. “I made a great birdie at 16 and finished with two good pars to get into the play-off.
“I’m delighted to be declared joint winner with Ryan, especially since this is only my second time playing in one of these. I’ll take a lot of confidence from this week.”
David Kitt made it three Maynooth players in the top four. Kitt, who won the R&A Student Tour Series – Scotland last year, returned a low-round of the day, a two-under 70, to finish alone in fourth place, two shots out of the play-off.
“It was a bit of a strange one but I’m delighted for both lads,” said Maynooth’s Golf Programme Manager, Barry Fennelly, who revealed greens were rolling at around 13 on the stimp all week.
“Ryan was so steady this week (video below). He really pulled away on the front nine – birdied 7 and 8 to get a bit of a cushion – he was back to plus-three at that stage, and was really unlucky to make a double on 9. It’s just such a penal golf course.
“But they’re two great lads so it’s great to see them find form first time out. David Kitt as well made a super charge up the leaderboard but all-in-all it was a good week. 1, 2 and 4 for the guys and Clodagh Walsh finished T6 in the women’s event. Off the back of a week’s training with the coaches at Vilamoura, it’s a really encouraging outing that should leave us in good stead for the rest of the season.
In the women’s event, Stirling’s Lorna McClymont walked the three play-off holes with a sizeable gallery after taking first place. She had finished nearly five hours earlier following a four-shot victory over University of Stirling teammate Nicola Slater.
It is McClymont’s second R&A Tour Series win, given the Milngavie Golf Club member won the R&A Student Tour Series – Ireland at Carton House last year. The 21-year-old was the only player in the women’s field to break par over the three days around the tough Tróia layout. Her closing one-under 71 was the low round of the week.
“The goal was to try and finish one spot higher than two years ago and so I’m proud to have done that,” the sports studies student said.
“I played out of my skin today. I’m delighted to have shot under par around this golf course because it’s so tough. We’re used to hard courses back home, but this one might be a bit tougher. The greens are quick and small, you can get a bad bounce and get into tough spots very easily.”
Trinity’s Kate Lanigan finished best of the Irish in the women’s event, tying third at 22-over, five shots better off than Maynooth’s Walsh who shared sixth at plus-27.
- Full scoring HERE