The University of Stirling’s Lorna McClymont and George Cannon have been crowned the best student golfers in the UK after finishing the British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) Tour in top spot.
The golfers – who are sports scholars at Stirling, Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence – emerged victorious, winning their respective Order of Merit titles, following the completion of the 10-event tour in Blairgowrie this week. And it was a one-two for the University in both the women’s and the men’s Order of Merits, with Stirling’s Maria Toledo Bailey and Will Coxon finishing their seasons in overall second place.
The success came as McClymont was rewarded for an outstanding season on the golf course with selection for the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup – a Ryder Cup style competition between a team of student golfers from the United States and a team from the rest of the world. McClymont will compete for Team International at the event for the third time, having represented – and won the competition – in 2019 and 2022. It will take place at Laurel Valley Golf Club in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, from June 8 to 10.
Lorna, a third year Sports Studies student, said: “It is still early in our season, so winning the Order of Merit is a real confidence boost as we look ahead to upcoming events. BUCS provides the chance to play a wide range of courses across the UK – both links and inland – and it’s great to be able to challenge yourself in these conditions, against a good standard of player.”
Looking ahead to the Arnold Palmer Cup, the 22-year-old, from Dumbarton, added: “It will be my third time there – and there’s nothing that compares to it. The experience is great; you’re playing against the top players, so it’s nice to compare your games, and be in that environment and enjoy the experience. I was part of a winning team in 2019 and 2022 – and hopeful we can make it three.”
George, a second year Business Studies student, has made huge progress over the past year, having been playing in the University’s third team just 12 months ago.
The 20-year-old, from Falkirk, said: “To win the Order of Merit gives me great confidence going into the international season, knowing that I can compete against the top amateurs in the world.”
Head of Golf, University of Stirling
Lorna and George are deservedly at the pinnacle of UK student golf, and their success is testament to their talent, hard work and passion for their sport.
Dean Robertson, Head of Golf at the University of Stirling, said: “Lorna and George have both enjoyed successful seasons – competing across both the UK and Europe – and to win the BUCS Order of Merit in their respective fields, particularly given the high standard of opponent, is remarkable.
“Lorna and George are deservedly at the pinnacle of UK student golf, and their success is testament to their talent, hard work and passion for their sport. I am incredibly proud of their efforts, and the efforts of all of the golfers on our high performance programme, and look forward to seeing what we can achieve together next season.”
The 2022/23 BUCS Golf Tour was played at some of the UK’s most prestigious courses and culminated with the Tour Finals, played at Blairgowrie Golf Club on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday last week (April 24 – 26). The 2022/23 tour also included three events in the R&A Student Tour Series, in France, Portugal and Spain.
The Macpherson Order of Merit – named after Rob Macpherson, a former Golf Manager at BUCS – is calculated by using the points earned from a player’s best four results from the nine qualifying events, and their result from the Tour Finals.
McClymont triumphed in the Stirling International, Autumn Trophy, Scottish Student Championships, and the Tour Finals, as well as the R&A event in France, while Cannon won the Stirling International and the West of Scotland, and also had a second placed finish in the Scottish Student Championships and a tied fourth in the Tour Finals, where Coxon won the men’s event.
Both Lorna and George have busy summers ahead, competing in top amateur events across the UK, and Lorna heading off to the Arnold Palmer Cup. Both have set their sights set on turning professional when they graduate from the University and believe their sports scholarship experience will stand them in good stead as they take the next step in their golfing careers.
Lorna added: “My ambition is definitely to turn pro, and to do well as a pro, but I know it’s so hard, so I’m just taking in all the experiences here, putting the work in and hoping for the best.”
George said: “Ultimately, my plan is to try and turn pro and see if I can make it – but that’s a while away at the moment.
“The scholarship programme at the University is great. The team around me – led by Dean, and including a personal trainer and sports psychologist – is excellent; to have these guys around, giving me information, helps me to improve both on and off the course.”
Head of Performance Sport, University of Stirling
These results reflect the outstanding success of the high-performance golf programme here at Stirling and the dedication and effort of our respected coaching team, led by Dean.
David Bond, Head of Performance Sport at the University of Stirling, said: “I am absolutely delighted for Lorna and George on winning the BUCS Macpherson Order of Merit for the 2022/23 season, and for Maria and Will on their second-placed finishes too. These are impressive achievements and, on behalf of everyone at the University, I wish all four sports scholars our warmest congratulations.
“These results reflect the outstanding success of the high-performance golf programme here at Stirling and the dedication and effort of our respected coaching team, led by Dean. Through our sector-leading sports scholarship programmes, world-class coaching, and state-of-the-art facilities, I am confident the University will continue to set the standard for UK student golf for years to come.”
The golfing success comes just weeks after the men’s first tennis team were crowned best in the UK, and the men’s first football team won the Scottish universities cup.
The University of Stirling has held the designation of Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence since 2008, and its sports facilities ranked first in the UK and top five in the world in a recent sector-leading survey of international students. The University is home to record-breaking athletes, including those who have competed at the highest level of their sports, at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Championships.
Read more about University of Stirling golf scholarships.