England's Neil Raymond secured victory today in the St Andrews Links Trophy following a final day birdie blitz.
The 27-year-old Englishman compiled rounds of 72-73-68-69 for a four-round total of 6-under 282. Good enough for a two-shot victory over compatriots Max Orrin, Ryan Evans and Nathan Kimsey.
Raymond adds the prestigious St Andrews Trophy, sponsored by St Andrews Links global partner Allianz, to the two Brabazon Trophy titles he has won the last two years. He is the third Englishman to win the title in the last four years.
“To win any international amateur tournament is special, but to do it at St Andrews is extra special,” Raymond said.
“I’ve always wanted to win here. It’s unbelievable. It’s my last time playing this tournament as an amateur and it’s good to go out in style.”
The Englishman began the last two rounds six shots off the pace but had the best 36-hole aggregate score in the field, 7 under, with a barrage of eleven birdies over the final day's 36 holes, including three on the spin to start the final round.
“I putted lovely today,” Raymond said. “I’ve been working really hard on that part of my game a lot recently and it paid off this week.”
Raymond is a member of the England Elite squad. Already this year he’s lost in the final of the Spanish Amateur, and reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Amateur.
Orrin would have been in a playoff with Raymond if not for a double-bogey six at the 17th. It was his second double bogey of the round after another at the second hole. However, he had seven birdies in the round along with two bogeys to give himself a chance.
Orrin was chasing his third win in less than a month. He won the South of England Links Championship and Lagonda Trophy last month. Last year he made history when he became the first Englishman to win the AJGA's Thunderbird Invitational.
Ryan Evans, from Wellingborough Golf Club, enjoyed a fantastic week on the Links and was in contention from day one. Holding the halfway lead after rounds of 66 and 73 he remained in the mix until the very end when Raymond's birdies took him into an unassailable lead.
Leading Scot was Barassie's Jack Macdonald, who continued his recent good form with final day rounds of 67 and 71, to finish three under and in a tie for 5th.
St Andrews Links Director of Golf John Grant said, "We have had a fantastic championship, blessed with fantastic weather and a thrilling final day's play worthy of the tournament's reputation.
"Neil came from several shots back and played very aggressively, netting a great number of birdies to edge ahead and hang on for the title. We'd like to thank everyone involved for their tremendous support and assistance, including our sponsors Allianz. We look forward to welcoming everyone back for next year's tournament."