ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — After carding a final round 2-under par 70, Jordan Niebrugge’s great play at the 144th Open Championship earned him the Silver Medal, awarded to the low amateur of the Championship.
The Oklahoma State senior started the day just three shots out of the lead, at that time held by another amateur making a name for himself, Irishman Paul Dunne. He ended his day holding the record for lowest score posted by an amateur in tournament history.
“This means the world to me,” Niebrugge told the R&A. “It’s great to win the Silver Medal and to do it at St. Andrews makes it even more special. It’s definitely a dream come true.
“Now I want to do everything I can to play my way onto the (Walker Cup) team,” he added. “I’ve got a couple of events left so we will see how it goes.”
As winner of the Silver Medal, Niebrugge will play at next year’s Open Championship as it moves to Scotland’s Royal Troon Golf Club.
After being “the” story of the tournament through Sunday’s third round, Dunne came back to earth on a rainy Monday to shoot a disappointing 78 after posting a 66 in Sunday’s weather-delayed third round.
“It was just one of those days,” admitted the 22 year-old Dunne. “I just never settled into the round. I’ve always struggled in the rain a bit. The conditions didn’t suit me but that’s no excuse."
Dunne’s day had a treacherous start as he bogeyed the first two holes, and on No. 2 he had to take two provisional tee shots. He dropped six shots on the front nine to effectively knock himself out of the championship.
“The first three days were brilliant,” he added. “That was something I will never forget but I don’t think there are too many positives to put on a 78 in the final round.”
During Monday’s final round, Niebrugge got off to a blazing start with consecutive birdies at holes 4, 5, and 6 to make the turn at 33.
After a birdie on 14, bogeys on 15 and 17 left Niebrugge at 11-under for the tournament, finishing tied for sixth overall with names like Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia.
Three other amateurs to play the weekend (and Monday) were Oliver Schneiderjans, Ashley Chesters, and Romain Langasque, and all were impressive during a week.
Schniederjans, who shot a final round 67 to finish at 9-under, will turn pro immediately. Chesters also finished at 9-under, while Frenchman Romain Langasque posted his only over-par round of the week, a 2-over 74 to finish at 2-under.
American Zach Johnson won the Claret Jug in a 4-hole aggregate playoff to become the 2015 Open Champion.
Royal & Ancient Golf contributed to this story.