Owner of £4 million St. Andrew's 'pad' has Ballymena roots

MILLIONS of people around the world watched South African Louis Oosthuizen win the Open championship but it was a millionaire hailing from Ballymena, who had one of the best views of the final putt, watching from his recently purchased multi-million pound home that over looks the famous final hole.

A view like this certainly doesn’t come cheap as it is believed that Jim Kinnear, whose family emigrated to Canada from Ballymena, paid out almost 4 million for Number 9, The Links, which overlooks the famous final hole of St Andrews course.

He may have been dressed in a traditional kilt but he was quick to remind the BBC reporter that his roots are from Ballymena.

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He said: “I’m a Kinnear, originally from Ballymena in Northern Ireland. I think some of my family may have eventually settled in Fife in Scotland, but Ballymena is where the family came from many years ago.”

He was certified as a financial analyst in 1979 and founded the Pengrowth Energy Trust in 1988.

He was awarded the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2001 and the Alberta Venture Businessman of the Year award in 2008 before retiring in September of last year.

On a visit to St Andrews he noticed the property for sale and despite it being one of the most expensive properties in Scotland, Mr Kinnear thought it too good an opportunity to pass up.

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He added: “I was here at St Andrews last year for a few rounds of golf and on my way to the Royal and Ancient I noticed the ‘for sale’ sign at 9, The Links. ‘Why not?’ I said to myself.”

Mr Kinnear said the house would be used by his family, friends and business colleagues to enjoy themselves when they come to play the famous course.

With the Open set to return to St Andrews in 2015, the millionaire hailing from Ballymena might have the perfect view of a Northern Irish golfer lifting the famous the Claret Jug.