Laytown & Bettystown star Alex Maguire’s sensational summer form continues after he romped to a five-shot win at the St Andrews Links Trophy to claim one of the biggest amateur prizes in the UK and Ireland.
Maguire took the Old Course by storm shooting rounds of 66 and 64 on Sunday to come from two shots back. Having been tied for the lead after two birdies in his last three holes in the morning he left the field for dust in the afternoon as he fired eight birdies including six in seven holes to hit -21.
The 22-year-old is in the form of his life having successfully defended his East of Ireland title last week after finishes of 4th in the Irish Amateur and 14th in the Brabazon Trophy.
Having played the New Course at St Andrews in the opening round the Mornington native dropped just two shots in 54 holes on the Old Course which ultimately proved the difference.
Having been omitted from the Great Britain and Ireland provisional Walker Cup panel for September’s contest against the USA, Maguire is proving extremely difficult to ignore and his latest win at the site of this year’s Walker Cup will pose a huge selection headache for captain Stuart Wilson.
“It feels absolutely amazing to be able to call myself the St Andrews Links champion. What a place to win. You couldn’t pick a better place to have a victory than the Old Course. I’m absolutely delighted,” said Maguire.
“It was my first time playing the Old Course this week. And it’s a strange thing, I have a habit of winning in my first time playing events. I’ve done it the North, did it Connacht Stroke Play. I did well at British Am my first time playing it and then obviously this.
“Two titles in two weeks. I probably wouldn’t have wrote it but I just felt like the pressure I had last week made it a lot easier this week because there was no crowds out watching. I knew it was a big event but I didn’t really feel much pressure.
“I didn’t really feel nerves just because I was so exhausted after last week so I guess it kind of helped me. And obviously form sort of helps coming into an event on a links course that I really really enjoy, the Old Course.
“It’s been a great two weeks, my phone is blowing up now so it’s hard to manage that a bit.”
Sweden’s Albert Hansson was third on sixteen-under-par while Nairn’s Calum Scott also strengthened his own Walker Cup aspirations with a final round 67 to claim third on fifteen-under-par.
Caolan Rafferty birdied three of his last five holes for a final round 70 and a twelve-under total to claim seventh place while Roscommon’s Thomas Higgins made a big move to round off his debut in fourteenth place on eight-under after a final round 67.
Castle’s Robert Moran was the leading Irishman at the halfway stage but Sunday rounds of 73 saw him slip to six-under and 22nd place.
Sean Keeling (-3) was 32nd while Paul Conroy (+1), Mark Power (+2) and Colm Campbell (+4) rounded off the Irish scoring.