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Golf: BUCS trophy final 2nd team feature

University of Exeter Golf Club 2nd team-BUCS Trophy Champions. Pictured from left to right Dan Lane, Jack Pope, Harrie Llewellyn, Nico Colomer, Claudia Ovens and Jacobo Cabanzon  

BUCS Golf Team Finals – Exeter 2nd team complete the BUCS double

The BUCS Golf Team Finals were hosted at Moortown Golf Club, Leeds in April with the former Ryder Cup venue providing a tough challenge for the best student golfers in the UK.

For the first time in BUCS Golf history two teams from the same institution qualified for the finals with the Exeter 1st team competing against the University of St. Andrews in the Championship and the Exeter 2nd team playing Northumbria University 2nd team in the Trophy Finals. 

The Exeter 1st team found St. Andrews tough competition from early on in the first day of the finals. St. Andrews took a 3-0 lead from the foursomes into the afternoon singles matches and despite Exeter fighting back and taking six matches to the 18th hole, it was all too late to win the match. The 7-2 loss to the eventual champions showed that this young team with two 1st year students definitely have the potential to push for the Championship title in 2018.

The second day of competition saw the Exeter 2nd team start strongly in the Trophy final with the Spanish pairing of Nico Colomer (2nd team captain) and Jacobo Cabanzon taking a quick lead and winning 3&2. The other matches were tight and with Dan Lane and Harrie Llewellyn losing the top match the final foursome match headed to the 18th with only one hole in it. Unfortunately the ‘Exeter’ bush to the right of the 18th fairway came into play again and Jack Pope and Claudia Ovens couldn’t wrestle the match back, losing narrowly.

Confidence was still high in the Exeter camp despite the 2-1 score line against them heading into the afternoon play. Jack Pope who had played excellently in the morning led the team from the no.1 slot in the singles and produced pure magic on the course. Birdie followed birdie and Jack turned his four under par round into a 4&3 win against arguably Northumbria’s top player and local Moortown member. News of Jack’s performance spread across the course and the confidence grew with each team member. By the halfway mark in the singles all Exeter players were winning comfortably and Harrie and Jacobo were six up.

Nico Colomer put the 3rd point on the board for Exeter with a 5&4 win showing the calmest of heads in the icy windy conditions. With Harrie winning 5&4 and Jacobo winning out in the’ country’ 7&6 Exeter had reached the magic number of 5 points and an unassailable lead of 5-2 before Northumbria knew what had hit them… individual and team performance that rates with the best in EUGC history.

Two matches remained on the course and for Dan and Claudia a chance to redeem their morning losses. Dan after an early lead found an opponent not willing to sit down. Again the 18th came into play but this time Dan showed nerves of steel to hole a curving 10 ft. putt to half his match – class! Claudia produced two quality shots up the tough 18th hole to 10 feet and put the match out of reach of her Northumbria opponent and a well-deserved two hole win. The final winning score of 6.5-2.5 will be considered in the same breath as the 2013 Exeter 1st Championship winning team final and completed an amazing League and Cup double for the Exeter 2nd team.

Nico Colomer proudly commented, "All in all it has been a great season for the 2s and it was incredibly special to top it off with the win at Moortown. We knew that Northumbria was going to be a tough match and from 2-1 down after the foursomes the task only got tougher. Astonishing performances from everyone in the afternoon gave us the title. We all felt elated and happy with this achievement. It is great to see that hard work pays off".

Craig Townsend, High Performance Manager added, "This win is certainly up there with the best EUGC wins over the past 10 years and this team have worked so hard having come through some tough matches at tricky away venues to succeed. The spirit they showed combined with some first class shot making will live in their memories for a long time".

Date: 4 May 2017