FIFE, Scotland (June 5, 2016) -- Ireland's Conor O'Rourke edged Scotland's Sandy Scott by a single shot over 72-holes to capture the 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy.
O'Rourke opened with a 6-under 65 on St. Andrew's New Course on Friday. He backed that round up with a 3-under 69 on the famous Old Course to take a one stroke lead over Scott into Sunday's 36-hole final round.
A number of players gave chase, including Ewen Ferguson (Scotland) but it was Scott that kept things close, matching O'Rourke's 54-hole total after edging him by a stroke in Sunday's morning round at The Old.
In the afternoon, O'Rourke separated himself from Scott with three-straight birdies on Nos. 3, 4, and 5. With Scott suffering a double bogey on the first hole after landing his approach shot in the Swilcan Burn in the afternoon, O'Rourke's lead was as large as 4 strokes until Scott birdied Nos. 9, 10, and 12 to get back in the game.
Indeed, it was the famous Road Hole that made the difference for O'Rourke. After bogeying No. 16 to give up a 1-stroke lead, he was able to par the difficult 17th from just steps from the infamous "road" to the right of the green, while Scott bogeyed after failing to save par from the road hole bunker.
Both players made par on No. 18 and the title belonged to the up-and-coming Irishman, who just this year became a member of the Irish National Squad.
“To win is fantastic, to win my first proper tournament here is just unbelievable,” O'Rourke told The Courier. “The only thing I’ve won before was a wee scratch event in Ireland. I’m just relieved I managed to keep my head together.”