Griffin and Lanigan win STS Order of Merit awards in historic Maynooth clean sweep

Ronan MacNamara
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Ryan Griffin and Kate Lanigan of Maynooth University (Photo by Oisin Keniry/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Maynooth University continued its rich history in the R&A Student Tour Series as Ryan Griffin and Kate Lanigan claimed the men’s and women’s Order of Merit titles at St Andrews.

It’s the first time Maynooth has claimed both the men’s and women’s order of merits.

Lanigan and Griffin were seeking the solace of a hot bath when they finished on the 18th green but what warmed them was the overwhelming joy of success on golf’s most iconic golf course.

There was double joy for Griffin who won the Student Tour Series final which helped him to back-to-back Order of Merit titles.

Lanigan, the order of merit leader by 25 points over Halmstad student Elice Fredriksson heading into the final event, pipped the Swedish golfer to the title by just three points.

The 180 points Griffin picked up gave him a 104 point advantage over Halmstad’s Hugo Stark, who finished in joint seventh.

Both Griffin and Lanigan are guaranteed exemptions into the Amateur and Women’s Amateur Championships this summer in Ballyliffin and Portmarnock respectively.

Only seven points separated Griffin and Will Coxon at the start of the day. The Maynooth student just needed to finish ahead of the University of Stirling player.

The psychology student not only did that by eight spots, he headed the field by three strokes over teammate Eoin Murphy and St Andrews student Trevor Binau thanks to a closing level par 72 that gave him a 2-over 218 total. Coxon placed equal ninth to place third on the order of merit with 350 points, one behind Stark.

“This is the most special moment I’ve had on a golf course because I knew I needed to win to guarantee the order of merit,” said Griffin, who earned Maynooth its 10th STS victory. “And to win around St Andrews doesn’t really get any better. It’s unbelievable.”

Lanigan cut a dejected figure leaving the 18th green after holding for seven feet for a closing bogey for a final round of 83 but it left her in fifth place with Royal Agricultural University student Darcy Harry and it was good enough for her to hang on to top spot in the order of merit.

“I wouldn’t say that putt won me the order of merit, I think it saved it,” Lanigan said. “It just goes to show the phrase every shot counts is true.“It was a brutal day. On the 11th tee I lost all feeling in my hands. They were completely numb. It was insane.”

Lanigan took the order of merit thanks to a consistent season that saw her win the STS – Italy, and record two runner-up finishes and a fourth place. 

“It feels a bit weird to win the order of merit because I didn’t have a good tournament here but it shows consistency is rewarded. My results gave me a cushion, and it’s a testament to all the hard work from September.”

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