Icelander Gudmundur Kristjansson held his nerve to claim a one-stroke victory over Ireland’s Dermot McElroy in the Duke Of York Young Champions Trophy at Royal St George’s.
Kristjanasson compiled a final-round 72 to go with previous rounds of 75 and 71 for what was, given the windy conditions, a highly commendable 218 tally on an Open Championship course.
The highlights of his final round included a 25-foot birdie putt on the notoriously difficult 16th that saw him seize the lead in the tournament. Then, following an errant drive off the 18th tee and a wedge back to the fairway, Kristjansson showed his skill to get the ball up and down for a thrilling victory.
After being presented by the Duke of York, Kristjansson, said: ” It’s far and away the best result I’ve ever had.”
The win is somewhat indicative of the massive golf boom across the whole of Iceland. As recently as 1990, the country had no more than 1,000 golfers – as of 2010, the figure stands at over 17,000; with over 25% of the population saying they now play at least twice a year.
Perhaps the phenomenon is best understood by the unique situation whereby Iceland gets almost 24 hours of complete daylight in the summer months. “Sometimes we go out at midnight, and sometimes afterwards,” Kristjansson added.
Royal Liverpool will host the 10th anniversary of the Duke of York next September.