Superb 67 fires Maynooth’s Griffin to within a shot at Student Series finale

John Craven

Maynooth's Ryan Griffin - Getty Images

Maynooth’s Ryan Griffin sits just one shot off Ryan Coxon’s lead after a brilliant five-under par 67 bolted him into contention ahead of the final day at the R&A Student Series finale at St Andrews.

Griffin fired seven birdies on the Jubilee Course to not only put himself into title winning contention at six-under par but he also hit the front in the season-long Order of Merit race ahead of Wednesday’s conclusion.

With one-and-a-half times the points on offer this week, as well as spots in the Arnold Palmer Cup, The Amateur, and a Challenge Tour invite to the season-long race winner, Griffin knows opportunity knocks, and having been in this very position 12 months ago, he’s now ready to answer the call.


“I was happy enough, played solid golf the whole way around,” said Griffin who’s looking to follow in the footsteps of David Kitt who won the Order of Merit for Maynooth last year.

“I started out with a nice birdie on the second. Hit a really nice bunker shot on 3 for another birdie and just played smart golf from there.

“I had a couple of bad swings but my course management was really solid so I was missing it in the right spot. I’m delighted and looking forward to tomorrow now – especially playing on the Old Course.

“I’ve a bit of experience there from last year so not going in totally blind. I had another refresher there walking it on Saturday too so hopefully I can go out there tomorrow and play another solid round of golf.

“I’m happy with my game-plan. I was here last year in a similar sort of position and it didn’t go as well but I’ll learn from that experience and do my best tomorrow – just take it one shot at a time and we’ll see what happens.”

With long-time points leader George Cannon struggling this week at plus-eight, Griffin’s fellow Maynooth man Simon Walker also remains in the hunt for the Order of Merit crown , although he’ll need the cards to fall his way after an even par 72 left him in a share of sixth, six shots back of the lead.

Walker went into the week in sixth spot on the Order of Merit but will look to make his presence felt at the Home of Golf on Wednesday as the Paddy Harrington Scholars take aim at the prestigious title, much to Programme Co-Ordinator Barry Fennelly’s delight.

“It was a brilliant round of golf from Ryan today,” Fennelly beamed. “67 was a great score and exactly what he needed to get himself back into the Order of Merit mix.

“Simon Walker certainly has an outside chance tomorrow too and it’s great to have the squad in the race right until the end.

“The forecast is for a bit of rain on the Old Course tomorrow but it’s always the toughest test and a great examination for the players so I’ve no doubt the cream will rise to the top on the Old Course and it’s very much all to play for.”

In the women’s event, Maynooth’s Kate Dwyer will need to dig in deep after only managing to add a second round 80 to her opening 76 to fall nine back of Lorna McClymont’s lead.

The Scot has been a dominant force on the women’s scene this year but Fennelly has no doubt his charge can launch a challenge at golf’s spiritual home for Wednesday’s curtain closer.

“It’s going to be a battle but Kate’s playing good golf – she’s in a great place,” Fennelly says.

“She’s had two wins so far this year with the Intervarsity Championship and winning at Woodbrook so I have no doubt she can turn it on tomorrow and finish strong.”

  • Full scoring HERE
  • Men’s Order of Merit table HERE

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