Ellie Monk passed the Royal Troon test with flying colours to become the 2024 Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open champion.

However, celebrations were put on ice for 24 hours as the St Andrews University student headed home to prepare for an economics examination!

The English golfer posted rounds of 75 on Friday and 72 on Saturday around Royal Troon’s Portland course to head into the final round two shots adrift of a quartet of golfers.

Ireland’s Kate Lanigan, England’s Jess Hall, Nathalie Borg from Sweden and Wales’ Katherine O’Connor had set up a final day shootout at the top of the leaderboard thanks to their efforts over the first 36 holes.

However, it was Monk, playing in the third last group, who sneaked up on the rails to take the title after 54 holes of stroke play.

A final one-under par round of 71 around Troon’s famous championship course – host of the 152nd Open in July – paved the way for Monk’s two-shot victory over England’s Nellie Ong and Lanigan.

It was an exciting finale to an excellent event featuring players from 10 different nations and contested over one of Scotland’s finest links venues.

Lanigan (pictured below) will, however, look back with regret on the 17th hole of her final round. At that stage the Hermitage golfer was leading by a shot, but an impossible lie in a cavernous greenside bunker led to her taking six shots on the par three.

Two games ahead, Monk, a member at Sunningdale, posted a fine round to take the clubhouse lead oblivious to events a few hundred yards back down the links.

After the win, Monk admitted she had been in the dark about the where her round had left her before team-mates and supporters from St Andrews passed on news of Lanigan’s troubles on the penultimate hole.

Cradling the famous trophy, Monk said:

“I was blissfully unaware of what was happening which helped.

“It’s amazing I can’t quite believe it. It’s a big achievement and an amazing honour to win on a course that will be hosting The Open this year.

“The celebrations are on hold until Monday – after this it’s straight to the library tonight.”
Monk’s final round started with a birdie and despite bogeys at three and four, she picked up two shots before the turn to stay on Lanigan’s coattails.

Lanigan did have a three-shot lead heading into the back nine helped by a two at Troon’s famous Postage Stamp hole, but Monk kept plugging away and a level par back nine allowed her to take the glory.

She added: “I was solid off the tee and I owe a lot to my caddie (Roddy McAuley) for keeping me calm and in the moment. It was a fun round on a great course.

“He was fantastic despite almost falling in the bunker on 18! I can’t thank him or my team enough.”

Over the three days of the event, the tournament ebbed and flowed.

Day one belonged to Jess Hall from Bishop Auckland (pictured below) who conquered the chill wind blowing off the Clyde to shoot a fine four-under par round of 68 featuring six birdies.

Lanigan was able to follow in Hall’s slipstream to card an excellent two-under par round of 70 and sit in a tie for second spot alongside England’s Saskia Owen.

Top Scot after the opening 18 holes of Royal Troon’s Portland course was Blairgowrie’s Megan Ashley on level par with Scotland’s girls’ squad player Summer Elliott a further shot back on one-over par.

Although the wind dropped on day two, the fiery links of Portland still tested the 118 competitors.

It also encouraged players further behind in the pack to rein in the leaders. By the end of day two the logjam in the top ten of the leaderboard involved players from seven different nations.

The key movers on day two were O’Connor and Borg. O’Connor fired a best of the day round of 70 (-2) while Borg posted just a 71 to go with her opening day round of 74.

That left them both on +1 for the tournament and in a tie for top spot with Hall, who dropped back with a round of 77, and Lanigan who followed her opening 70 with a 75.

With barely a puff of wind on Sunday, intermittent rain added to the difficulty of the course. However, Monk – a first year Biology student at St Andrews – emerged victorious in front of watching Curtis Cup captain Catriona Matthew.

The Curtis Cup will be staged at Monk’s home course of Sunningdale in August and that remains a target.

“Potentially it would be a dream of mine, if not this year then hopefully in the future,” admitted the champion.

“Royal Troon is intimidating if you’re not on your game, but it’s a great experience to win this and a lovely tournament to play.”

As well as Monk’s win, it was a successful day on the links for England as they also took the international team title.

Top Scot in the field was Blairgowrie’s Ashley who finished in a tie for 6th on +6 for the championship.