GOLF - Warwickshire county player Cave wins St Andrews Links Trophy - The Leamington Observer

GOLF - Warwickshire county player Cave wins St Andrews Links Trophy

Aaron Sutcliffe 14th Jun, 2024 Updated: 14th Jun, 2024   0

SEB Cave, who plays county golf for Warwickshire, joined a long list of illustrious winners after lifting the St Andrews Links Trophy.

The 20-year-old led from the first round and sealed victory on the final day after shooting six under par (-6) across 72 holes to beat fellow Englishman Harley Smith and Scotland’s Calum Scott who both finished two shots back.

English pair Will Hopkins and Josh Hill also secured top-10 finishes.

Cave 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.”

Cave, who plays out of Coxmoor Golf Club, is now in pole position in the Open Amateur Qualifying series across the St Andrews Links Trophy, European Amateur Championship and the Amateur Championship to secure a spot in the 152nd Open at Royal Troon in July.

The Warwickshire golfer produced an opening round 66 on the New Course and backed up that performance with a three under par 69 on the Old Course to lead by two shots at the halfway stage.

And despite a three over par 75 in the third round on the final day, Cave maintained his two-shot advantage as blustery conditions proved equally tough for the majority of the chasing pack.

He briefly lost the lead to Scotland’s Scott during the final round only for the latter to score three bogeys on his inward nine to relinquish top spot.

Cave needed par on the final hole to finish his final round on one under par (-1) after Sweden’s Simon Hovdal could only pull his tee shot out of bounds when needing a birdie or better.

His victory comes after a fantastic 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 and enjoyed two wins and six top-20 finishes.

Cave 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.”

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.

This includes Ernie Els, Lee Westwood, Trevor Immelman, Geoff Ogilvy, Padraig Harrington, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari and 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.

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.

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