Golf 11th green body

Putting on the 11th Green

Loughborough and Stirling dominate at the Exeter Invitational Links Trophy

Teams from Loughborough and Stirling mastered the testing and varied conditions at the 3rd annual Exeter Invitational Links Trophy from 7-9 March.

Now in its 3rd year, the Exeter Invitational has partnered with BUCS to become part of the BUCS Student Tour, a series of nine events across the UK from September to April. The event welcomed some of the most talented male and female student golfers in the UK plus local county golfers for three days of competition in both team and individual events.

Defending men champions UCLAN travelled down from Lancashire to compete with 2014 BUCS Champions Stirling, 2013 BUCS Champions and hosts Exeter plus another 12 universities represented by 88 golfers at this WAGR event.

The Loughborough male golfers shone on all three days of competition on their first visit to Trevose. Scoring consistently well throughout, Loughborough finished on 279, only one shot clear of second place Stirling (280) with Newport in third (286). Hosts Exeter (294) finished in 8th position.

In the individual men’s event Loughborough continued to perform well, Alex Baker shooting 70, 69, 78, for a winning one over par total (217) ahead of three golfers on 218, Ryan Thomas (Newport), Kieron O’Conner (Loughborough) and Craig Howie (Stirling). An impressive final day performance by Exeter’s Chris Fleming saw him challenge for the lead with 3 holes to play but ultimately finish on 220 tied for 7th.

A closely contested women’s event saw five players within two shots of the lead heading into the final round. Stirling’s Hannah McCook looking to go one better than her runner up position in 2014 took the title on +12 (78,76,77) for 231, beating her team mate and fellow Scottish internationalist Gemma Batty in second place by one shot. Last year’s title winner Chloe Howard (Devon) placed 3rd on +15 (234). A strong performance by Exeter’s Alex Saunders saw her finish 7th and score a final day low round of 74.

The women’s team event was dominated by Stirling golfers with the 2nd team of Gemma Batty and Nia Greville edging out Stirling 1st by 3 shots on 310 to take the title. Special praise goes to all the women golfers who battled the toughest conditions and suspended play on day one to deliver an enthralling contest that came down to the final putt.

Tournament organiser Craig Townsend explained how the testing championship course and gusting wind created a quality golf display. He said “The blustery conditions made it a challenge for all the players. Some really stepped up their game and put in some brilliant performances with many under par rounds.”

“Trevose Golf and Country have again presented an excellent course for us to play on and we are indebted to Nick Gammon and David Cowan for making the tournament possible. There is probably not another course in the UK playing to this standard in March and it presents the ideal test for our top student golfers early in the season.”

The University of Exeter has long been recognised as one of the top golfing institutions in the country. Currently ranked Number 1 in the 2015 British Universities and Colleges Sport National Golf rankings, the University club has over 100 members from elite to beginner players. The High Performance Programme (HPP) offers a range of services and support to aspiring young academically minded golfers.

Website: Twitter - @uoexegolfcentre and @eugc1

Facebook – University of Exeter Sport and British University Golf

Date: 12 March 2015