Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Champion Craig Howie sets Moray Old

Course record of 62
Records have fallen and champions have been crowned at the 94th Scottish students' championships at Moray Golf Club, Lossiemouth.
The men's event - which had been tight at the halfway stage - was rocked by a magnificent 62 from Stirling University's Craig Howie. Craig, pictured right, fired nine birdies and an eagle on his way to a course record nine-under-par round over Moray Old.
With Howie sitting at -10 the afternoon was a case of 'catch me if you can'  for the chasing pack, which included Lukas Michel (St Andrews) on -4 and Laird Shepherd from Stirling on -1.

The best score of the afternoon came from Sebastiano Galeppini (UHI) who shot a three-under-68 to advance up the leaderboard to sixth place.

No-one could ultimately get close to Howie, although Lukas Michel threatened for a spell on the front nine before stuttering slightly on his way to a +1 final round of 72, which matched Laird Shepherd's score and secured second place on a -3 total of 279, three shots clear of Shepherd in third place.

The Stirling team of Andrew Davidson, Mathias Eggenberger, Craig Howie and Chris MacLean also prevailed in the team stroke-play standings, finishing well clear of the field with a +5 combined total.

The women started the final day on the New Course and overnight leader Gemma Batty, pictured right, stretched away from the rest, thanks to the best round of the morning, a four under par 67, taking her to a 54 hole total of 6 under par.

Playing partners Lieve Van Veggel and Alexa Hammer (both St Andrews) managed to stay in touch, thanks to rounds of 69 and 71 respectively, giving them some hope ahead of the final round, which they commenced six strokes behind Batty.

The afternoon saw Batty hold her nerve to post a +1 final round and win the title for the second year in a row  with a very impressive -5 total of 287.

Jen Saxton (Stirling) carded a 3 over round of 78 which was enough to come through for second place ahead of Abertay's Nastja Banovec, who finished the week on a high with an outstanding 72 (-3) to grab third place on a countback ahead of Lieve Van Veggel from St Andrews.

Stirling University completed a famous day by prevailing in the women's team stroke-play with an imperious combined total of +1 over the eight counting rounds.

The focus of the week now turns to match-play, with the men's team event (foursomes and singles) starting at a quarter-final stage, i.e. line-up of eight teams, and a six- strong women's field playing 18 hole individual ties.

The match-play draws:

Men's teams

Stirling 1 v Stirling 3

UHI v Glasgow

St Andrews v Aberdeen

Stirling 2 v Strathclyde

Women's individuals

Gemma Batty: first-round bye

Marie Danielsson v Alexa Hammer

Chloe Goadby v Tara MacTaggart

Jen Saxton: first-round bye