Saints Golf edge nail-biter to make BUCS semi-finals

Sport editor Andrew Sinclair details a nail-biting victory for Saints Golf, who beat Northumbria in a play off to make the BUCS Championship semi-finals.

Photo: St Andrews Links

A dramatic victory on the second hole of a play-off for Bjorn Bojesen saw the University of St Andrews Golf team defeat Northumbria University and secure their passage to a first-ever BUCS Championship semi-final.

The team had good conditions and home advantage for their game on the Jubilee Course last Wednesday and began the morning in impressive fashion with three wins from the three four-ball fixtures.

Matt Myers and Peter Kerr won the opening contest 4&3, before Jack Rogan and Cameron Franssen won 6&5 and George Burns and Bjorn Bojesen secured a highly impressive 7&6 victory to give St Andrews a convincing 3-0 lead in the best-of-nine fixture.

Both sides had won their previous fixtures in the competition with ease, St Andrews knocking off Surrey 6-0, and Northumbria beating Bath 6-0 on the road.

As much as the Saints had made a positive start, they came very close to losing it without a fight as the visiting side won the first four of the afternoon singles fixtures.

Peter Kerr lost 6&5 whilst his four-balls partner Matt Myers lost one down. Cameron Franssen was beaten rather convincingly 8&6 before Jack Rogan suffered his first competitive defeat of the season, going down 3&2.

With those scores coming in, George Burns and Bjorn Bojesen, who were both still out on the course, needed big performances to help St Andrews make history.

Burns did his part, winning 3&2 to level the scores at 4-4 with the final holes of the Bojesen game to be played. The tension amongst the players from both sides was palpable and they would be made to wait a little longer for a decisive result, as the final game finished all square meaning the points were halved. The game was level moving on to the 18th but nothing could split the players, meaning a play-off was called for.

Bojesen was the St Andrews player to contest the play-off and he faced a considerable test, taking on Andrew Wilson. Wilson is an England International, former winner of the North of England Amateur Open and is currently ranked amongst the world’s top 200 amateur golfers.

However, the Dane Bojesen held his nerve through the first hole and then beat Wilson on the second to spark jubilant scenes amongst the St Andrews players.

Their semi-final will take place on neutral ground in Leeds on Tuesday 25 April and they will take on the University of Exeter, who booked their spot in far more conventional fashion by beating the University of the Highlands and Islands 7.5-1.5.

Victory in that game would take St Andrews to a first ever final, although their potential opponents are yet to be confirmed. Stirling’s round of 16 game with the University of South Wales was postponed and has been rearranged for next Wednesday. The winner of that tie will then host Birmingham in the quarter-finals, with Bournemouth awaiting the victor in the semis.


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