A University of Stirling student has enjoyed a winning start to the season claiming a play-off victory in the opening Scottish Golf Order of Merit event.
Craig Howie, in his first year of a Sports Studies degree, joined an illustrious list of former champions by winning the weather-hit Craigmillar Park Open.
Howie, 18, shot a brilliant five-under par 65 in his final round to set up a play-off with Kyle McClung from Wigtownshire County after the event was reduced by organisers to 54 holes due to the heavy rain and blustery wind.
The 2012 Scottish Boys champion held his nerve at the third extra hole to secure his first-ever win at Men’s level. “It’s a nice feeling to win for the first time at this level,” said Howie, who hails from Peebles and now joins the likes of Sir Nick Faldo, Steven O’Hara and Andrew Oldcorn amongst others in winning the Craigmillar Park Open.
“I just played consistently and I’ve been playing a lot of golf with the University as well. Coming to Stirling was always attractive to me, and it was my coach Dean [Robertson], who got me involved in the scholarship programme so I could play golf alongside my studies at the University.
“It’s great living on campus because everything is so close. Since the golf course, sports centre and the University are all on the same grounds it’s easy to get around. I don’t live with people who play golf or other sports which is great because it means I can get a break from golf when I need it.
“I started playing golf when I was 11. Before that I was a footballer, but since my dad is a golfer I thought I would give a try.”
Several other Stirling students were also competing, with Marketing and Sports Studies student Mathias Eggenberger, a Swiss international and winner of the Scottish students' individual championship earlier this month, fourth on 204. Defending champion Graeme Robertson, also studying Marketing and Sport, finished seventh despite an impressive second-round 63.