England’s Andrew Sullivan improved his chances of a place in the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup to face the United States at Royal Aberdeen this September, with victory in the Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship. The 24-year-old saved his best golf for last, finishing birdie, eagle, birdie at Blairgowrie for a closing 69 and a one-shot victory over countryman Steven Brown. Scotland’s Paul Shields finished third, four shots off the pace.
Sullivan began the tournament with a 65, and added a second round 71 to take the halfway lead. However, a disappointing 77 in round three meant he had to play well in the fourth round. He did just that to win his sixth tournament in the last 18 months.
Sullivan moves five spots on this week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking as a result, breaking into the top 10 in 10th place. He is the leading European on the WAGR table.
Brown moves up 162 spots in the world order, thanks to finishing runner-up. The Englishman has an outside chance of joining Sullivan at Royal Aberdeen. A member of the Wentworth Club, venue for the recent BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour, Brown has caught the eye of the GB&I Walker Cup selectors with steady performances this season.
Daan Huizing of the Netherlands triumphed in his country’s National Stroke Play Championship and improves his ranking by 33 places to world number 134.
France’s Gary Stal won the Coupe Murat tournament and moves to world number 173, an improvement of 47 spots.
Australia’s Ashley Ona will long cherish the 34 strokes she played over the back nine of the New Course at St Andrews. Those 34 shots made Ona the proud winner of the St Rule Trophy, one of the most prestigious women’s amateur events in the British Isles.
She’ll also look back on one of the strangest wins of her life.
Gusting winds of 50mph reduced the 54-hole St Rule tournament to just 18 holes for the first time in its 28-year history. Only 11 players in the field of 59 managed to complete their second rounds before play was suspended. With no sign of the gales abating, organisers decided to reduce the tournament to 18 holes.
Ona was one of four players to score 73, two under par, on the New Course in the opening round. Breanna Elliot of Australia, Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom and Leona Maguire of Northern Ireland were the others. However, they all scored one shot higher – 35 – than Ona on the back nine. After a further count back, it was decided that Elliot took second, Sagstrom third and 16-year-old Maguire fourth.
Ona improves her ranking by 22 places as a result, moving to world number 71. Elliot improves her status 14 places to number 52. Sagstrom is up three places to world number 12, and Maguire advances one spot to 13th.
There is only one change in this week’s top 10. Austin Ernst of the United States moves three places to number 10, replacing Spain’s Marta Silva.
South Africa’s Henrietta Frylinck improves 49 places to 48th, following victory in the South Africa 72-Hole Teams Championship.
Lydia Ko remains world number one. The 14-year-old New Zealander solidified her number one status with victory at the North Shore Classic in her homeland.