Maths student finds the formula to pick up top prize

George Burns on the Swilken Bridge with his prize.

George Burns on the Swilken Bridge with his prize.

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St Andrews student George Burns beat off some stern competition to lift the prestigious Boyd Quaich.

The local lad carded a 7-under par total to secure victory in the international student golf tournament played over the Old and New courses at St Andrews.

Burns (19), an honours maths student and golf blue at St Andrews, edged the tournament by one stroke from Stuart Easton of Western Kentucky University in the US.

It’s the first time since 2009 that a St Andrews student has won the prestigious competition, which this year attracted a strong field from USA, Canada, Europe, South Africa and Australia.

In a week of showers, sun and wind at St Andrews, Burns shot 73, 66, 68 and 72 for a total of 279. Stuart Easton’s final round 69 was enough to secure 2nd place from George Williams of the University of Central Florida in third.

Burns adds the Boyd Quaich to an impressive list of achievements. In 2013, the Newton Mearns youngster helped Glasgow end a 21-year wait to land the Scottish Boys Area Team Championship, with the team defending the crown 12 months later. In 2014 he starred for Scotland at European and domestic level, as well as claiming individual honours, including the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Trophy.

Burns was also a member of Great Britain and Ireland’s winning Jacques Leglise team and finished his season on a high by playing in the Alfred Dunhill Links Pro-Am on the European Tour. While 2015 was an injury blighted year, Burns did take the scalp of top seed Grant Forrest in the Fairstone Scottish Amateur Championship at Muirfield, reaching the quarter-finals.

He was the first St Andrews student to be awarded the Arnold Palmer Golf Scholarship.

The Boyd Quaich is one of the longest established international student golf tournaments in the world.

First played for in 1946, it’s organised and run by the Athletic Union (Saints Sport) of the University of St Andrews, and receives significant grant aid from the Golf Development department of the Royal and Ancient , with support from the St Andrews Links Trust.

Without this financial help it would not be possible for many of these young golfers, especially from overseas, to be able to play in this prestigious World Amateur Golf Ranking event.