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St Andrews pupil wins Schools Golf Challenge

ST ANDREWS, September 24, 2017 – Finlay Sey, an S4 pupil at Madras College in St Andrews, was the overall scratch winner of this year’s Alfred Dunhill Schools Golf Challenge. The tournament was played at the Duke’s Course in St Andrews, Fife on Sunday, September 24 where a strong field of young golfers from across Fife, Dundee and Angus competed for the honours.

15 year old Finlay recorded an excellent gross score of 72. A member of the New Golf Club, St Andrews, he played in his first Boys Scottish Amateur event at Drumoig and Scotscraig earlier this year in June. Speaking after today’s Alfred Dunhill Schools Golf Challenge, he said: “I’m delighted to have been this year’s scratch winner. My game has really come on since the start of the year with my handicap coming down from eight to five since January.

“I’m hoping to further improve my game over the next couple of years. If progress continues I will be looking to secure a golf scholarship in the US once I’ve finished school.”

Meanwhile the Senior Boys category of the competition was won by Ole Specht of St Leonards School who carded a net score of 66, shooting a gross 76 off a handicap of 10. Fellow St Leonards’ pupil Manuel Campos took the Junior Boys title with a net score of 72, playing off a handicap of 12.

The Senior Girls category was won by Porscha Wilson, a 15 year old student at Balwearie High School, who shot a net 69. An S4 pupil at the Kirkcaldy-based high school, Porchsa currently plays off a handicap of five. The Junior Girls title was won by 13 year old Waid Academy pupil Anna McKay with a net score of 72. Playing off a handicap of three, Anna recorded a gross 75.

The winners will be invited to receive their Alfred Dunhill Schools Golf Challenge prizes at the Old Course, St Andrews on the final day of this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday, October 8. All the participants will also be invited, together with their parents and a school representative, to attend an exclusive golf clinic on the Championship practice ground given by the internationally renowned golf coach Robert Baker.

Baker said: “The Alfred Dunhill Schools Golf Challenge continues to encourage young people from Fife and the surrounding area to participate in competitive golf. This event was once again over-subscribed, underlining the health of the game amongst school-aged players in the community. I congratulate all of today’s competitors and look forward to meeting these talented youngsters at this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship where they will participate in our annual coaching clinic. Getting the right direction and coaching early enough in their golf career can really help young golfers develop their game and potentially enable them to compete at the highest level.”

With a prize fund of US$5 million, the Alfred Dunhill Links incorporates two separate competitions – an individual professional tournament for the world’s leading golfers and a team championship in which the professionals are paired with amateur golfers which creates a unique atmosphere.

This year the professional field has a classic line-up of Major Championship winners: Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Danny Willett. Also playing are former World No.1 Luke Donald, Ross Fisher, Matthew Fitzpatrick, World No.17 Tommy Fleetwood, Branden Grace, Chris Wood and Lee Westwood. Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton returns to St Andrews attempting to become the first to win back-to-back Alfred Dunhill Links titles.

Among the amateurs confirmed so far are actor Jamie Dornan, rock stars Ronan Keating, Brian McFadden and Tom Chaplin, plus legendary sportsmen Sir Ian Botham, Sir Steve Redgrave, rugby’s Brian O’Driscoll, former England footballer Jamie Redknapp, cricketers Shane Warne, Kevin Pietersen, Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis and Mark Nicholas and horse racing’s Sir Anthony (A.P.) McCoy.

In June 2011 the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation was established as the official Foundation of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The Foundation is committed to developing young amateur golfers in Scotland and South Africa and also supports the University of St Andrews and the St Andrews Pilgrim Foundation, which refurbishes and preserves historical monuments in the town.

Admission is free for all spectators over the first three days with final day tickets on Sunday, October 8 available to purchase at the entrance gates for £20 (Seniors £15) or in advance. To purchase visit: https://tinyurl.com/ydh336kh

Media accreditation is via the European Tour at http://media.europeantour.com