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Homecoming Triumph for McKinney

June 06 2022

Connor McKinney enjoyed a memorable homecoming as the Australian lifted the St Andrews Links Trophy, presented in association with Allianz.

The 19-year-old, born in Dunfermline but resident in Western Australia since he was 12, produced a spectacular final round 65 to leapfrog fellow Aussie Adam Brady to secure victory.

McKinney’s winning aggregate was 272 – 17-under after two rounds on the Jubilee Course and two on the Old Course on Sunday.

A number of friends and family from Fife had joined Connor, who was playing as part of a sizeable contingent of golfers from Golf Australia touring the major amateur events in the UK and Europe this summer.

“To win the Australian Amateur was my previous highlight, but to win at the Home of Golf is pretty special, you can’t ask for more than that,” he said. “I was born just an hour from here as well.”

A storming run around the loop in the final round set up McKinney’s final round charge. Brady, from the same Western Australia stable, had taken a three-shot advantage on the field after 54 holes.

But McKinney was still in the final group of the day having shared the lead at halfway, and was able to turn a strong start into a brilliant final surge.

The run of six birdies in eight holes, starting from the 7th, turned the tournament back his way. He could afford the safety-first five at the Road Hole 17th, his only bogey of the round.

“I struggled in this third round in the morning, but I finished with a birdie there and that gave me some real momentum for the final round.

“Back in Perth nearly every afternoon we get a good bit of wind, and my home course is pretty exposed to it, so even though it was tricky I was used to it.

“It’s pretty cool to play the course as it’s getting ready for The 150th Open. You’re picking the lines off the tee off the TV Towers, and walking up 18 there was a pretty special thing.”

George Burns, a former student at the University of St Andrews, lifted the Ian Forbes Memorial Cup for the halfway lead, but fell away on Sunday with rounds of 77 and 71.

The St Andrews Links Trophy, presented in association with Allianz, will return from 9 to 11 June 2023. Following The 150th Open next month, the Links will welcome its traditional fortnight of August Tournaments, including the Eden and Strathtyrum Tournaments as well as the St Andrews Boys’ and Junior Ladies’ Open.

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