Having won the Southern Premiership last year, the Golf 1s returned to BUCS action, hosting Hartpury University at the Warren Golf Club, Dawlish Warren. Seven individual victories and one halved match meant that Exeter kickstarted their season with a comprehensive 7.5-0.5 victory.
The University of Exeter boasts a strong golf club, with well over 100 members and an aspiration to make its High-Performance Programme one of the strongest in Europe.
Attracting golfers from all over the country, the programme provides the top golfers in the university with the opportunity to develop their game to the highest level possible, alongside their studies. It covers all aspects of the game, with access to regular technical lessons, strength and conditioning and recovery sessions, as well as individual and group psychological classes.
This main aim of this is to make the first team the strongest it can be and produce incredible BUCS results year upon year. The 1s started their league campaign on Wednesday the 1st November against Hartpury 1s, looking to defend last season’s title win but hoping to go one better by winning the cup as well.
The golf first team produced a statement victory in this season’s opener, winning with 7.5 points to Hartpury’s 0.5.
BUCS golf takes the format of one-versus-one matchplay, with eight players on each team. The first team have won the league every year since the 2016/17 season, and produced a statement victory in this season’s opener, winning with 7.5 points to Hartpury’s 0.5.
There were strong performances from all, most notably from first-team captain Harry Butler and the experienced Ignacio Mateo Fraga. Both were faced with Hartpury’s strongest opponents which included Eliot Baker, who has won multiple individual BUCS events. But the Exeter players managed to win one and a half points out of two against their tough opposition.
Butler secured half a point by holing a gutsy six-foot putt on the final hole, and making sure that no matches were lost. Ignacio put on a confident display, a bogey-free round helped him on his way to a comfortable 3&2 victory.
The rest of the team all enjoyed impressive victories as Exeter proved too strong for the Gloucester-based side, who returned up the M5 empty-handed.
Sights are set on a league and cup double. Completing this feat is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.
Although the first team will be desperate to retain their league title, the focus in the second half of the season will turn to the national cup. After losing to St Andrews in the semi-final last season, Exeter will be keen to have their revenge, with sights set on a league and cup double. With a strong squad of talented and motivated players and an environment designed to extract the best out of each player, Exeter completing this feat is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.
SCORECARD: Exeter 1s 7.5 – 0.5 Hartpury 1s
Harry Butler (C) – A/S
Iestyn McAvoy – 6&5 W
Max Hayward – 4&3 W
Toby Smith – 7&6 W
Alex Keefe – 7&6 W
Michael Roche – 8&6 W
Tom Morris – 8&6 W
Ignacio Mateo Fraga – 3&2 W