Hazel MacGarvie records impressive St Andrews success

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Royal Troon’s Hazel MacGarvie capped a sparkling performance by carding seven birdies on the Old Course as she stormed to a four-shot success in the St Rule Trophy at St Andrews, writes Martin Dempster.

MacGarvie, who started the final circuit one shot ahead after opening rounds of 68 and 70 on the New Course, closed with a six-under-par 70 to finish with an impressive 18-under-par 208 total.

Spencer Henderson, Carmen Griffiths (u18), Gregor Graham (u16), Dean Walsh (u18) and Tish Douglas.

Spencer Henderson, Carmen Griffiths (u18), Gregor Graham (u16), Dean Walsh (u18) and Tish Douglas.

England’s Lianna Bailey, last year’s winner, was her closest challenger following a last-day 74, with two of MacGarvie’s compatriots, Dubai-based Alison Muirhead and Chloe Goadby of St Regulus, sharing third spot with two others on 13 under.

It was a timely triumph for MacGarvie, who is the 16th Scot to claim the coveted prize since the event was inaugurated in 1984. The first six players for the Great Britain & Ireland team for this year’s Vagliano Trophy are set to be announced on Monday and, though she wasn’t among five Scots in the initial squad, MacGarvie is now a strong contender for that match against Continental Europe.

On the men’s front, Barassie’s Euan Walker boosted his Walker Cup hopes by signing off with a joint best-of-the-day 66 to finish third in the Brabazon Trophy at Alwoodley.

Walker, winner of the African Amateur at Leopard Creek earlier in the year, signed for an eagle and six birdies as he ended up on seven under, six shots behind Ben Schmidt as the as the 16-year-old from Rotherham became the youngest player to claim the prize.

In the junior ranks, Aboyne’s Carmen Griffiths, Dean Walsh of Lochgelly and Blairgowrie’s Gregor Graham were the title winners in the Barrie Douglas Scottish Junior Masters at Strathmore.

Griffiths set up her victory in the girls’ event, which was being held for the first time, with opening rounds of 72 and 70 at the Perthshire venue.

She then closed with an 81 to finish with a four-over-par total, winning by a single shot from host club player Megan Ashley (79-69-76).

Walsh recovered from an opening 76 with rounds of 67-71 to top the boys’ under-18s leaderboard on two-under, finishing four shots ahead of Lachlan Reynolds (Hilton Park).

A play-off was required in the boys’ under-16s event, with Graham beating Nairn’s Calum Scott in that after the pair had tied on two-over.