Play-off drama at annual R&A event

Paula Grant and Louis Tomlinson.
Paula Grant and Louis Tomlinson.

The annual R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament saw Louis Tomlinson of Myerscough College winning the men’s division and Paula Grant of Ulster clinching her second consecutive women’s division victory in a play-off.

Sixty student golfers took to the Eden Course for 36 holes on Monday followed by Tuesday’s 18 hole final on the Old Course.

Tomlinson carded rounds of 67 and 69 on the first day of competition before delivering a 71 amidst blustery conditions on the Old Course.

The Lancashire resident finished with a total score of 207 to win the title by a single shot.

With the victory, Tomlinson earns a place on the European team that will face the United States at the Palmer Cup, set to take place in June at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey.

“I didn’t expect to win but it had been in the back of my mind all day knowing that I wasn’t far away,” said Tomlinson.

“I’ve been playing well for a while so I knew I had some momentum going, and the Palmer Cup is an added bonus.”

On the women’s side, Grant lipped out her putt on the 18th green to find herself in a sudden-death play-off with Stirling’s Eilidh Briggs.

Back on the 18th for the second playoff hole, Grant stuck her approach shot to five feet and rolled in her putt for birdie to successfully defend her title.

“This tournament has definitely been good to me,” said Grant.

“I was just over the moon when I won it the first time, and I really wanted to come back here again and prove myself, and it feels unbelievable to have won it two years in a row.”

The 20-year-old followed up her 2013 victory with a win at the Irish Ladies Close Championship at Ballybunion in June. She will now be awarded a starting place in a Ladies European Tour event in 2014.

The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament features student golfers from universities across Europe.