Red-Hot Roger Lands Scottish Youths Crown

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Cruden Bay’s Stephen Roger credited his recent experience in Men’s golf after claiming his biggest title to date with victory in the Scottish Youths Open Championship at the Fairmont St Andrews.

The 18-year-old led a Scotland one-two over an international field, triumphing by three strokes from Rory Franssen (Inverness).

Over the Kittocks Course at the renowned Fife venue, Roger built on his two-shot lead after round two by adding closing scores of 70 and 68 for a fine eight-under-par total over 72 holes.

The north-east player fired six birdies and just two dropped shots over the final 36 holes to see off the challenge of European Boys player Franssen, who finished on five under.

“I played really solidly out there,” said Roger, a former North East Boys and Junior Jug champion. “Rory was absolute quality on the back nine but I held on down the stretch.

“I’ve been playing well recently, seventh in the East of Scotland Open and tied fifth at the Cameron Corbett Vase, both Men’s Order of Merit events. My game has been good for a while and came together even more this week.

“This is my biggest win by far. I was fifth on the Boys Order of Merit last year, but I’ve never won anything on this kind of scale to be honest. It was great to prove my game is at a good level. I’ve been playing full-time since I left school and my game has come on a lot, especially from learning in Men’s events the last few weeks as the standard is really good.”

The English pair of James Rooney and Christopher Handy shared third spot on three under par, with Lanark’s Andrew Thomson the next best Scot.