Morrison turns it on at the home of golf

FORGET about Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, Londonderry's Sean Morrison, tamed the home of golf St Andrews, at the weekend.

The psychology student who has just completed his freshman year at Francis Marion University, Florence in South Carolina, won the 62nd Boyd Quaich international students' golf tournament at St Andrews, on Sunday.

He shot a 69 on the Old Course to win the tournament at the weekend.

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"I was three behind going into the final round, so I knew I had to get off to a good start," said Morrison.

"I turned in 32 and I knew I was in the lead and then just wanted to hang on."

Tied fourth overnight, three shots off the pace, the City of Derry member came to the front with a final round of 69 over the Old Course for a 72-hole total of 283, three under par for two rounds over the Old and two rounds over the New Course.

Joint leaders after three rounds, Alex Main (Edinburgh) and Karl Ochse (Stellenbosch), bidding to complete a memorable South African double at St Andrews over the past week, had final rounds to forget. Main had a 78 for 289 and Ochse a 76 for 287.

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That opened the door for players further down the leaderboard although not far enough for defending champion Gordon Stevenson (St Andrews), the first-round leader, to come back into the picture. He finished seventh on 289.

Morrison had a blemish-free first nine holes worthy of the Open Championship played on the same course, a week earlier, albeit off the back tees. He turned in four-under-par 32 and then added further birdies on the 10th, 14th and 15th holes.

That was as good as it got for the Ulsterman. He was four over par for the last three holes but a 69 gave him victory by two strokes from Sean Thompson (Stirling).

Thompson had a round which he'll never forget, but which he won't want to reflect upon. He birdied the first and 4th before eagling the fifth. He then birdied the sixth and got another eagled at the ninth, to be out in an incredible 29 strokes.

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The amazing run continued on the back nine where he birdied the 10th, 12th and 14th. At this point he was 10 under par and set to win the Boyd Quaich.

But he stumbled to a bogey on the 15th before consecutive double bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes. A par at the last concluded a memorable 67 giving Thompson outright second place ahead of Mark Dickson (Edinburgh) who finished a close-up third on 286.

Morrison's total of three-under-par 283 equalled the tournament record.