A superb Sunday of low scoring on the Old Course from Lloyd Saltman of Craigielaw, near Edinburgh, saw him clinch the Links Trophy. A third round 69 followed by a final round 65 gave the nineteen-year-old the title by four shots from overnight leader Jamie Moul. Saltman's aggregate of 275, 13 under par, is a new tournament record.
Fresh from a six shot win in the previous week's Brabazon Trophy, the English amateur strokeplay championship, Saltman came to St Andrews in great form. His fantastic fortnight looks certain to land him a place in the Great Britain and Ireland side that will take on America in this year's Walker Cup in Chicago.
'I hadn't won a top level men's event until last week, so that was a big breakthrough,' said Saltman. 'Doing well enough to be noticed by the GB&I selectors has been my main aim for the season but I didn't expect to do it this quickly.'
Saltman blazed round the Old Course in 10 under par on the final day of competition, following up his earlier 69 and 72 on the Jubilee. He was 8 under par for his final round after the 14th but a bogey at the Road Hole pegged him back. At that point, Jamie Moul was only one shot behind but a double bogey at the 15th gave him too much to do over the closing stretch. Last year's champion, Jamie McLeary, carded a final round 66 to gain a share of third place with Antti Ahokas of Finland and Gary Lockerbie of Penrith.
The Links Trophy of 2005 attracted the strongest field on the European amateur circuit this year and the competitors were rewarded with excellent playing conditions. 'The Old Course was fantastic,' said Saltman after his victory.
Jaimie Moul from Stoke-by-Nayland in Essex, won the Ian Forbes Memorial Trophy for leading the tournament after the first two rounds. His 66 in the first round on the Jubilee was three better than anyone else in the field and his final total of 9 under par would have been good enough to win the Links Trophy itself most years.
Saltman is the 11th Scot to win the Links Trophy in its 17-year history, and he is one of a talented group of young Scottish golfers in the amateur ranks. For Lloyd, however, there is also plenty of competition from his own brothers. Elliot also qualified for the final rounds on the Old Course, while a third member of the family, Zach, plays off a handicap of one.