Fleming dreaming of Old Course glory after Student Series win

Ronan MacNamara
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Emma Fleming, William Leu (Photo by Octavio Passos/R&A via Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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UCD student Emma Fleming marched to the finish line as she picked up her maiden R&A Student Tour Series win in Portugal, on her tournament debut.

Fleming teed off in a share of the lead with Lorna McClymont and after a mixed front nine she held her nerve to pull away to win by four shots on two-over after a final round of 73.

“It obviously feels really good to win, especially in my first one,” beamed Fleming. “I was just happy to be here playing.”

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The Elm Park star becomes the second female Irish winner of the series after Kate Lanigan won in Italy – Lanigan finished T2 this week alongside Elice Frediksson.

Fleming mixed birdies on 4 and 8 with dropped shots on 2 and 5 before a run of eight pars and a bogey on the par-3 12th saw her cruise home to victory and hold off the chasing pack.

“Kate and Lorna are both unreal players and I was just trying to keep up with them half the time. So even to just watch them today was an experience.” 

The Bridgestone Order of Merit winner, who is studying economics and finance, could have played college golf in the United States of America but chose UCD based on academics.

“I really love my course. It’s quite intense and I’m learning a lot,” she added.

The Irish international now has a chance to win the Order of Merit at St Andrews, the final event of the season.

“I’ve never played the Old Course, so that would be a huge thrill.” 

On the men’s side, a superb final round of 68 from Ryan Griffin saw his charge come up just shy as William Leu held on for a one shot win no three-under despite a final round of 76.

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