Seb Cave impresses at the illustrious St. Andrews Links Trophy
Seb Cave (St. Andrews Links Photo)
Seb Cave (St. Andrews Links Photo)

England’s Seb Cave has joined the long list of illustrious winners at the Home of Golf with victory in the 2024 St Andrews Links Trophy.

The Derbyshire man led from the first round and sealed the win with a six-under-par total across his 72 holes to hold off his compatriot Harley Smith and Scotland’s Calum Scott, who finished T2 and two shots back of Cave.

The win catapults Cave into pole position in the Open Amateur Qualifying series across the St Andrews Links Trophy, European Amateur Championship, and the Amateur Championship for a spot in The 152nd Open at Royal Troon in July.

Cave is ranked No. 172 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Rankings.

Cave had stormed into an early lead after an opening round of 66 on the New Course and was backed up with a 3-under 69 on the Old Course to sit two shots clear at the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage, with a further 36 holes to play on the Old Course.

Despite a 3-over 75 in the third round, Coxmoor GC’s Cave maintained his two-shot lead as blustery conditions proved equally tough for the majority of the chasing pack. Nairn’s Calum Scott was one man with a bit of momentum following a third-round 3-under 69 and overtook Cave at the top briefly during the final round. However, he couldn’t maintain his charge and fell short with three bogeys on his inward nine.

A par for Cave at the 72nd hole was good enough for a final-round 1-under 71 and a two-shot victory after Sweden’s Simon Hovdal, needing a birdie or better to overhaul his playing partner, pulled his tee shot out of bounds left.

Cave’s victory comes after a stellar first season in US collegiate golf, during which he was named American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year for the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He had two wins and six top-20 finishes.

Cave, who had his girlfriend on the bag, insisted he didn’t know where he stood on the leaderboard until he walked up the final hole.

He said: “It feels amazing. you can’t really get much bigger than this as an amateur. I’ve never really seemed to crack it around here, but I came here with a good mindset, and I genuinely believe having my girlfriend on the bag has helped massively, and I just stayed chilled. I didn’t know where I was coming down the stretch, and I just tried to play golf, and I loved every minute of it.

“36 holes on any golf course is a long day, but round here with the wind and the rain is something special. To win here in front of my family and friends and my girlfriend was great, so I’m over the moon, really.”

Speaking about his position at the top of The Open Amateur Series, he added: “In America now, there’s so many platforms and stages for those guys to go and play in the big leagues, so this is a great opportunity for us guys trying to compete and do well as an amateur.

“The British Amateur is straight after this. I’m just going to enjoy some time back at home from the States and prepare for that.”

Last year’s winner, Ireland’s Alex Maguire, went on to qualify for The Open thanks to his performances across the Open Amateur Qualifying Series.

Created in 1989, the St Andrews Links Trophy has attracted the world's top amateur golfers, many of whom have gone on to enjoy success on the PGA and European Tours, notably Ernie Els, Lee Westwood, Trevor Immelman, Geoff Ogilvy, Padraig Harrington, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, and Scotland's very own Robert MacIntyre.

The tournament sees elite amateur players from around the world compete at the Home of Golf, with one round on the New Course, followed by three rounds on the coveted Old Course. The R&A World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) ranks the St Andrews Links Trophy as one of the strongest amateur tournaments.

All 144 competitors played 18 holes on the New Course on Friday 7 June, followed by 18 holes on the Old Course on Saturday 8 June. The 40 lowest scores over these 36 holes, and any tying for 40th place, qualified for the final 36 holes on the Old Course on Sunday 9 June.

The field included recent Brabazon Trophy winner Gregor Graham, reigning Scottish Men’s Amateur Champion Cameron Adam, Lytham Trophy winner Will Hopkins, Africa Amateur Champion Altin Van Der Merwe, the Asia Pacific Champion Jasper Stubbs, R&A Gold Medal winner Charlie Gillespie and last week’s Scottish Men’s Open Championship winner Dominic Clemons.

Recap courtesy of St. Andrews Links

Results: St. Andrews Links Trophy
1EnglandSeb CaveEngland120066-69-75-71=281
T2EnglandHarley SmithEngland90075-68-72-68=283
T2ScotlandCalum ScottScotland90073-70-69-71=283
T4SwedenSimon HovdalSweden70071-66-78-69=284
T4FrancePaul BeauvyFrance70071-70-72-71=284

View full results for St. Andrews Links Trophy

ABOUT THE St. Andrews Links Trophy

72-hole stroke play that draws one of the top amateur fields in Europe. Field plays two rounds, one at the Old Course and one additional (sometimes the Jubilee, sometimes the New), then the field is cut to the low 40 and ties. The final two rounds are played on the Old Course.

View Complete Tournament Information

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