Maguire saviours special win: I got my dad to caddy for the last hole

Ronan MacNamara

Alex Maguire is presented with the St Andrews Links trophy.

Alex Maguire has ticked off two ‘bucket list’ wins over the last six days. On Bank Holiday Monday he successfully retained his East of Ireland title a mere 15 minutes from his home in Mornington before romping to a sensational victory at the Home of Golf.

Sunday rounds of 66 and 64 saw Maguire (-21) claim a five-shot win at the St Andrews Links Trophy as he etched his name into the folklore of one of the most prestigious amateur events in the UK and Ireland.

“It’s the first time I’ve won a tournament by more than a shot. It was nice to have a walk up 18 knowing that unless the lad behind me makes eagle, eagle I should be OK to make a four and win. I played pretty well all week but played some of my best golf towards the end there,” said Maguire who was taking in the scenery of the picturesque town of St Andrews while waiting on a well earned fish and chips.


“It’s very rewarding when you have a busy schedule and it’s taxing on the body and mentally as well being in contention so much but when you get two wins it’s all worth it. I could play 12 out of 12 weeks and to win twice would be great I wouldn’t care if it was like the last two weeks.

“Winning the East at home in front of family and friends was special and then to win at St Andrews a week later, they are two bucket list wins for me and I’ll go to the Amateur with a bit of form and see how I get on.”

Maguire – with the emotion in his voice audible – savoured every moment of the walk up the 18th hole and had his father by his side as they stood on the Swilcan Bridge creating a very special memory.

“I got my dad, he usually stands on the fairway and spots ball for me but I got him to take my bag and walk the last hole with me so he could have a good moment and have a special moment for both of us walking over the Swilcan Bridge taking it all in, looking at the clubhouse and all the surroundings. It was surreal I couldn’t really believe it was me there, but thankfully it was.

“I can’t stop smiling, it’s just incredible I would love to have more words but I can’t believe it myself, I just want to soak it up as much as I can. What a place to win, there’s not many places you would have on your bucket list to win, Augusta would be one of them! The Masters and St Andrews would be the other one and I’m absolutely ecstatic to win it.”

Having ground out a one-under 70 on the New Course in round one, the 22-year-old dropped just two shots in 54 holes on the Old Course with some short game wizardry on and around the greens proving the difference as he sauntered away from the field.

Maguire’s form on links golf is sensational winning in Portrush, Baltray (twice) and now St Andrews while he was fourth in the Island last month and reached the semi-finals of the Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham last year.

“I cleaned up so well this week. My putting was the key, I putted so well this week, I committed to every single putt which was my goal. Whenever I miss putts it’s due to lack of commitment but this week I was fully decisive and committed to everything and cleaned up very well. You get so many long putts here with the double greens I had ten 100 footers and two putted them all on the Old Course.

“Because I have grown up on links I am used to seeing the ball roll out. I play my best around the greens on links because the ball has to realise and it’s fairly generous around the greens here if you miss in the right spots. I just saw the lines and the speed, even off the green putting and had a really nice feeling this week. Luckily for me it has happened a few times over links courses. I can knock down the ball flight a little and around the Old Course you can hit it higher. Coming in with a good short game is comforting because you know if you miss I can get up and down.”

The Laytown & Bettystown golfer’s Walker Cup bid continues to gather pace as he looks to force his way into September’s Great Britain and Ireland team. The Irish outlook is a positive one with he and Liam Nolan (The Brabazon) claiming major titles in key selection events.

“It’s nice that the Irish get to come over and win in the UK. Liam had an amazing win at the Brabazon so it’s nice to put Irish golf on the map and show the UK boys that we can play over in Ireland and in the UK. Being patriotic it’s nice to get a few Irish wins in the UK and hopefully that continues next week whether it’s myself or someone else to lift the British Amateur Trophy.”

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