Walker holds nerve to win maiden Student Series title, Lanigan second

Ronan MacNamara

Winners Simon Walker of Maynooth University and Lucy Jamieson of University of St Andrews at the R&A Student Tour Series at Troia Golf (Photo by Octavio Passos/R&A via Getty Images)

A birdie on the last gave Maynooth University’s Simon Walker a two-shot win in the R&A Student Series Portugal event in Troia as he became the fourth Maynoothian to win at the venue.

Walker led the way after a second round 70 and a very solid back nine saw him shoot a final round of 71 for a level-par total as he shook off Switzerland’s Noah Brunner in a pulsating final round battle.

Leading by a shot going up the 54th hole, Walker holed for birdie from a foot after a sensational iron shot from 150 yards as he bookended a bogey-free back nine with birdies to win his first Student Series title.


The Roscommon Golf Club man opened in dramatic fashion with an eagle on the first before three successive bogeys threw the event wide open.

“It was a long round and I’m exhausted,” Walker said. “I knew it was down to Noah and I today because he was playing great golf. I knew I was one ahead with three holes to go so I was just trying to par my way in, but was lucky enough to nearly hole my third shot at the last.”

Walker’s previous best experience in golf was representing Ireland in the 2019 R&A Boys Home Internationals at Ashburnham Golf Club, but topping the Troia field may just pip that experience.

“I was proud to represent my country, but winning this is definitely up there,” said the final year accounting and finance student. “This is the best I’ve played in a tournament, the best I’ve managed myself over three rounds.”

Maynooth University Team R&A Student Series (Image: Maynooth University)

The win makes it three in a row for Maynooth in Troia with Paul Conroy (2020) and Jordan Boles & Ryan Griffin (joint winners 2021) picking up titles.

“It’s a great victory for Simon he really turned it on in the back nine and got a bonus 30-foot birdie from just off the green on ten which was a great momentum swinger for him,” said co-ordinator Barry Fennelly. “He was very solid on the back nine and kept it together really well and got a great up and down on 14 for a par.

“He hit some quality shots down the stretch under pressure so I am thrilled for him. He hit it into ten feet on 16 and fifteen on 17 missed both. He played 18 as a three-shooter and sealed the deal. Thrilled for him, he played so steady and that’s a great win.”

Had it not been for an opening round 81, Maynooth’s Aaron Marshall might have been in the final shakeup but rounds of 71 and 72 saw him eventually finish a credible third on eight-over-par.

West of Ireland winner Alan Fahy also of Maynooth University was the other Irishman in the top-10 on twelve-over.

Trinity College student Kate Lanigan posted the low round of the week in the women’s competition as her final day charge came up agonisingly short.

The Hermitage golfer shot a two-under 70 to power up the leaderboard and into second place, just one shy of winner Lucy Jamieson on thirteen-over.

Lanigan was in the lead until bogeys on 16 and 17 scuppered her challenge.

Maynooth University’s Kate Dwyer was fifth on eighteen-over while Annabel Graham was 16th.

Overnight leader and overwhelming favourite Lorna McClymont collapsed to final round 85.

Scoring HERE

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