Icelander Outlasts Irish Duo
To Win Duke Of York Title
KENT, ENGLAND | Iceland’s Gudmundur
Kristjansson came from behind to win the Duke
of York Young Champions by a shot from Irish
Boys champion Dermot McElroy on Thursday.
Kristjansson shot 75-71-72 for a 5-over 218
“There is not so much snow and a lot less rain,”
total in wind-tossed conditions over the Open
championship links of Royal St George’s. McEl-
roy (71-77-71) finished at 219 while Ireland’s
Leona Maguire (73-75-74) was alone in third
place at 222.
“It’s far and away the best result I’ve ever had,”
said the winner, who left national junior champi-
ons from all over the world trailing in his wake.
“I was nervous on the first tee, but I’ve been in
contention in a lot of tournaments at home.”
Golf in Iceland has exploded over the last
20 years. As recently as 1990, the country had
no more than 1,000 golfers. Today, there are
as many as 17,000. There are now 70 courses
in the country, 19 of them 18 holes, and the
season is getting longer. Ten years ago, the
golfing year would stop in September, but now
stretches through October.
There has also been an upside to the recent
Eyjafjallajokull Volcano. Thanks to the ash, the turf
on the nearby golf courses has become a lot finer.
When it comes to the depth of winter, Krist-
Kristjansson saw his two-shot overnight
jansson and the other leading players all head
for warmer climes. In Kristjansson’s case, he will
spend this Christmas in Florida before having a
further golfing sortie to South Africa in March.
It came as no surprise that Kristjansson
should cope better than most in the buffeting
Kent winds. On a bad day at home, he will wear
two pairs of long johns under his trousers, one
made from wool and the other from fleece. At
Royal St George’s, he needed only the lighter pair.
lead reversed after the 13th and trailed McEl-
roy by two. But he drew level on the 14th when
McElroy drove out of bounds and made seven.
Maguire, the third member of the leading
Meanwhile, Kristjansson holed from nine
group, fell from contention when she made
double from the greenside bunker on the par- 3
6th, which arguably cost Thomas Bjorn the
2003 Open championship.
yards to re-take the lead at 5 over. As the putt
dropped, so he gave the air a Tiger-like punch.
It came down to the 18th, where the Ice-
lander opened the door for the Irishman by
pushing his drive into the right rough. But he
chopped out and then hit his third to within 10
feet. When he holed for the par, the champion-
ship was his. RESULTS