First year student BSc Sport & Exercise Sciences student and Sports Scholar, Aled Greville produced an impressive final round display to claim success in The R&A Foundation Scholars Tournament in St Andrews last week. The Tournament offers the male and female winners a place on the International Team of the Arnold Palmer Cup to face the USA, being held, this year, in one of America’s premier golf clubs – the Alotian in Arkansas, so it was a fantastic achievement from Aled.
Starting from tied third after the first two rounds on the Eden Course, Aled surged through the men’s field with a closing 65 on his first ever round on the Old Course. This superb effort saw Aled come out on top in the two-day World Amateur Golf Ranking counting event, featuring 60 men and women students representing 24 universities from across the world.
On a pleasant final day at the Home of Golf, with only a light breeze to contend with over the links, Aled clawed back his six-shot deficit to overnight leader, Caolan Rafferty (Maynooth University). His excellent seven under par effort on his Old Course debut, a score many professionals would be envious of, led to him winning by three shots on six-under-par.
“I hadn’t played the Old Course before, I was playing it blind,” said Aled, who has just turned 19. “I’ve been very consistent the last few years, but I’ve just come back from a back injury and had to take most of last year out. I struggled a lot with it, so today is reward for all the hard work I’ve put in to fight back.”
Aled was helped through his injury by several members of the Performance Team at the University of Birmingham; a dedicated team of experts who help sports scholars with their progression throughout the year. Ray Jakeman is Aled’s Strength and Conditioning coach, and said that the result was a testament to the hard work and progress he has made this year.
“Both myself and Dan (from the Phyisokinetic team) have been working hard this year with Aled to help improve his movement and strength qualities to support him whilst returning to playing competitively. Aled began the academic year having played little competitive golf in 2018 season due to a back issue. As a team we created a program which was specially focused on improving Aled’s physicality, aiming at increasing his strength capacity, improving how he moves to support the work he has undertaken with his coaches Gareth and Neil, and working on his swing to ultimately to allow him to return to playing the high level of golf he is capable of.”
Greville, involved with the Wales Golf set up since the age of 12, added, “Down the stretch I played some of my best golf, making birdies on 17 and 18. I holed two clutch par putts on 15 and 16 and then struck my approach on 17 to four feet, which was an amazing feeling on such a tough hole. Making birdie on the last just sealed it.”
“I can’t wait [to go to the Arnold Palmer Cup], it will probably be the trip of a lifetime. I can’t put it into words.”
As a result of his victory, Aled achieved an automatic spot in the International Team to face the United States of America in the 2019 Arnold Palmer Cup match being played at Alotian, Arkansas from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 June.
R&A University support
Each year, The R&A invests over £300,000 in student and university golf, supporting the University with through both an institutional grant and individual foundation scholarships to students.
The R&A has supported university and student golf for over 35 years with former scholars including: 2018 Champion Golfer of the Year Francesco Molinari (University of Turin); five-time PGA TOUR winner Hideki Matsuyama; and Catriona Matthew (University of Stirling), the 2019 European Solheim Cup Captain and former Women’s British Open Champion.