8am Round-Up: Connor Syme ‘Battles’ to trophy triumph at Crail

Connor Syme won the Battle Trophy at Crail Golfing Society by five shots
Connor Syme won the Battle Trophy at Crail Golfing Society by five shots
Share this article
0
Have your say

Connor Syme boosted his Walker Cup prospects with a wire-to-wire win in the Battle Trophy, the Scottish Golf Order of Merit event at Crail Golfing Society.

Last year’s Australian Amateur champion from Drumoig took a 10-shot lead into the final round, having opened with scores of 68-68-70 on the testing Craighead course.

And he still won comfortably - by five shots from Clydebank & District’s Steven Maxwell - despite a closing 79 in tough final-day conditions on the Fife coast.

“It was a real grind this afternoon,” Syme, the world No 10, told scottishgolf.org. “It was 40mph winds, it was tough and everyone struggled.

“The pins were in tough positions, so it was difficult to get it close and easy to drop shots.”

The 21-year-old, one of six Scots in the squad for this year’s Walker Cup in Los Angeles, added: “I was six over after 11 and knew I had a few tough holes coming, so I went and had a talk with myself and refocused.

“It was one of those days, but I’m pleased to get the job done having come close in this event the last two years.

“I’m delighted to win as it sets me up for the next few weeks, going to the Lytham Trophy and to Ireland, in what is a Walker Cup year.”

Congratulating Syme, Crail Golfing Society captain Pam Smith said: “The golf this weekend has been a real inspiration and the competitors have also impressed with their behaviour and good manners.

“We are delighted that the trophy will have a local name on it and be associated with a golfer destined for success.”

***

World No 1 Lydia Ko’s new caddie is Peter Godfrey, according to a Golf Channel report.

Godfrey was on Thai Ariya Jutanugarn’s bag when she won the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Woburn last summer.

More recently, he was working for Korean Ha Na Jang, the world No 8, when he was named the LPGA’s Caddie of the Year in March.

Godfrey is Ko’s tenth caddie and replaces Gary Matthews, who lasted just nine events with the Kiwi, who turns 20 today.

The pair will start at this week’s LPGA event, the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout in Irving, Texas.

***

A closing 75 saw Martin Laird drop out of contention in the final round as Kevin Chappell claimed victory in the Valero Texas Open.

Laird, the 2013 winner, had started the final round in San Antonio sitting fourth, just two shots off the lead.

He looked set to put in another last-day challenge for the title after picking up a birdie at the par-5 second only to then drop three shots in the next four holes.

The Scot’s only deviaton from par thereafter was a bogey at the 14th as he closed with a 75.

On three-under, he finished nine shots behind Chappel in joint-18th.

Chappel holed an eight-foot birdie putt at the last to claim his first PGA Tour title triumph by a shot from former Scottish Hydro Challenge winner Brooks Koepka.

***

Jimmy Gunn has chalked up his second top-10 finish of the season on the Web.com Tour.

He ended up in sixth spot in the United Leasing & Finance Championship in Newburgh, Indiana, behind Korean D H Lee.

The effort lifted Gunn, who closed with a 70 for a one-over par 289 total, up one spot to ninth on the circuit’s money-list this year.

***

Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco joined forces to win the weather-shortened Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf, a team event on the Champions Tour at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri.

The duo closed with a course-record 12-under-par 42 for a 15-under total over the par-3 Top of the Rock course.

They won by a shot from Jeff Sluman/Fred Funk, Paul Goydos/Kevin Sutherland and Corey Pavin/Duffy Waldorf.

***

Sweden’s Linn Grant recorded an imprssive five-shot victory in the Helen Holm Women’s Scottish Open at Troon.

The 17-year-old, whose grandfather, James, hailed from Inverness, stood firm over the final 18 holes at Royal Troon to post a closing level-par 72 for a seven-under-par 209 total.

Aboyne’s Shannon McWilliam finished runner-up, having also been the bridesmaid in the girls’ equivalent at Montrose Links nine days earlier.

“I’m happy, but annoyed, in a way,” said McWilliam who is also 17, after her closing 75. “I had two double bogeys at the 7th and the 15th and it was hard to get that back.

“It’s maybe one that got away, but Linn had two doubles as well, so it’s just golf for you.”