Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Batty wins epic tussle with Sexton while Shepherd
storms to six-shot men's win from Cellerino

Sports Manager | Scottish Student Sport (SSS)
Stirling University retained both the Smith-Murray and the Jack Allan Trophies at the end of the second and final day of the 95th Scottish Student Golf Championships over the Lossiemouth links of  Moray Golf Club.
Stirling's English-born, Moffat-based Gemma Batty, pictured right by Ben Philip, emerged from an epic tussle with team-mate Sinead Sexton, a full Ireland international cap, to claim her third successive Scottish students' women's stroke-play title.
Having shared the lead all week, the two leading players in the women's field battled it out in breezy and cool conditions over the testing Moray Old Course, sharing eight birdies in a tense final round.
It was Batty who emerged victorious, completing a final round of one-under 74 for an aggregate of six-under 286, two shots clear of Sexton with St Andrews' Alexa Hammer back in third place on 293.
Batty is the first person to win three successive Scottish student golf titles since E-A Macgregor of St Andrews in 1971-73. 
Commenting on her victory, Gemma Batty said: "I am delighted with the victory this week. My main focus was to come here and enjoy the golf, which I certainly did. This gives me a big boost and I can now look forward to the British Tour Finals in a couple of weeks with confidence."

Stirling University ace Laird Shepherd, pictured left by Ben Philip, from Sussex surged to victory in the men’s championship event.
With a three-shot lead at lunchtime after the third round, Shepherd would have been forgiven for a defensive approach to the final round, on what was a cold and tricky day on the Moray Old Course. 
However, he had quite different ideas as he set out aiming to add the Scottish title to his early season victory in the Stirling International.
Laird accelerated into a commanding position with a birdie 3 at the first and never looked back, reaching the turn in four-under-par, thanks to birdies at the fifth, eighth and ninth.
He backed this up with an impressive back-nine display in the fading light, adding a further birdie at the 15th on his way to the joint best afternoon round of 68. 
This gave Laird a six-shot winning margin and an impressive four-round total of eight-under 274.
His final round score was matched by University of Highlands and Islands, Dornoch student Ricardo Cellerino. The Italian came through the pack with excellent last-day scores of 68 and 71 to finish second on a four-round total of two-under 280.
Shepherd and Cellerino were the only male students to finish under-par for the 72 holes.
Chris Maclean of Stirling held on for third place after a closing 74 which gave him a final total of 283 (+1).
Speaking about his championship victory, Laird commented: "I am thrilled to get my name on the trophy alongside some great players, including recent champions Craig Howie and Mathias Eggenberger. It feels really special to have done it... Coming to Moray is always a big deal for all the student golfers and it is a privilege to have come out on top this week.'
The golf continues at Lossiemouth on Wednesday with the quarter-finals of the men's team match-play (foursomes in morning, singles in the afternoon) and a knock-out individual match-play tournament for the women.




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