Katie Bradbury and Nick Wildman led the University of Exeter golfers out, halving the first match.

University Golf team through to BUCS Semi's

On 20 February the University of Exeter golf first Team hosted rivals Plymouth University in a coveted clash of the South West for a spot in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) knockout semi-final. With the introduction of three foursome’s matches to go alongside the six singles matches it was sure to be one of their toughest games of the season so far.

On the 20 February the University of Exeter golf first Team hosted rivals Plymouth University in a coveted clash of the South West for a spot in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) knockout semi-final. With the introduction of three foursome’s matches to go alongside the six singles matches it was sure to be one of their toughest games of the season so far.

The match started with second year Nick Wildman (Bio Sciences) pairing up with fresher and Welsh international Katie Bradbury (Accounting and Finance). The opening pair didn’t do much wrong but struggled to make birdies in the strong wind and were made to pay, being three down through 10. However, they never gave up hope and fought back to just one down with two holes to play, after a great chip from Bradbury from a tough position Wildman held his nerve and rolled in a breaking 6 foot par putt to square the match with just one hole remaining. The final hole was halved and Exeter gained a vital ½ point.

In match two the Cornish duo of Jack Irwin (Engineering) and Chris Fleming (Medicine) took on Plymouth’s second pair. Thanks to a fast start they quickly flew into a commanding lead, four up through nine and never looked back with Fleming holing putts left, right and centre. A closing couple of birdies on the back nine was enough to seal the deal 3&2 and give Exeter a 1 ½ - ½ lead.

The final morning match saw third years Laurie Potter (Exercise and Sports Science) and Danny Vallis (Accounting and Finance) use all of their experience to take on the final Plymouth pairing. A tap in birdie at the first set the tone for the match with the Exeter duo playing some of the best golf seen all day and stormed to a commanding 8&7 victory giving Exeter a 2 ½ - ½ lead at lunch.

The singles got underway with first team captain Laurie Potter leading the side out against Plymouth Captain Jeremy Larcombe.  Potter continued his good form from the morning foursomes with a solid first 10 holes finding himself three up. However, Larcombe hit back with two birdies of his own and narrowed the margin to just one with two holes remaining. Potter held his nerve and made par up the long 17th to take the match 2&1 and maintain his 100% win record this season. Exeter 3 ½ - Plymouth ½.

Match two saw fresher Katie Bradbury take on Plymouth’s number two. Despite her good golf in the morning, she struggled to replicate it in the afternoon and quickly found herself three down. She kept the deficit at three with three to play, and then produced some scintillating golf fighting back to win the last 3 holes and square the match. A fantastic fight back from the fresher. 4-1 to Exeter.

Third out was second year Nick Wildman. Wildman fast out the blocks wasted no time in dictating his match, with numerous birdies and few mistakes the Exeter Sports Scholar maintained his strong record this year with a crushing 5&4 victory over the Plymouth’s number three. This vital point secured victory for Exeter, but with three matches still on the course Exeter were not finished yet.

Out fourth thanks to a change of tactics EUGC steady man Danny Vallis produced some flawless golf firing five birdies and only a couple of bogies. Thanks to birdies at 14, 15 and 16 Vallis overturned his opponent 3&2. Exeter 6 – Plymouth 1.

In matches five and six the Cornish pair of Jack Irwin and Chris Fleming kept their heads and fine form going with more great golf. Irwin found his game closely poised at all square through 10 but three birdies on the back nine was enough to wipe aside his opponent 4&3, yet another win for Exeter. Fleming in the final match faced one of Plymouth’s toughest opponent’s, however, this did not intimidate him and Exeter ran out 4&3 winners to seal the deal and hammer the final nail in the Plymouth coffin.

A fantastic 8-1 victory sees the University of Exeter firsts safely through to the BUCS semi-finals on the 6 March where Exeter will host St. Andrews (the home of golf) in what promises to be a compelling England/Scotland battle for a place in the final.

The University of Exeter team will now travel to Trevose (Cornwall) for the Exeter Invitational where 12 teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will fight it out over three days in what should be ideal preparation for the semi’s.

Date: 26 February 2013

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