Friday, March 23, 2012


Captain of the Oxford University Ladies Golf Team
The ladies’ golf teams of Oxford and Cambridge enjoyed a fantastic fixture list throughout the first two terms, which culminated in the Ladies’ Varsity Match held this month.
This year, the ladies met at Hunstanton Golf Club in Norfolk for the 15th Ladies’ Varsity Match. The event was founded in 1998, and the inaugural match was played at Walton Heath Golf Club. Since then, it has only been played at Hunstanton on one other occasion, in 2001 during the captaincy of Gemma Westaby (Cambridge) and Claire Forryan (Oxford), a match which was won by Oxford.
Though Oxford enjoyed a very successful period in the early years of the Varsity Match, in recent years it was Cambridge who had flourished on the course. Their winning streak was broken by Oxford last year, so this year was certain to be a hard-fought match to see whether Oxford would be keeping the trophy for another year, or whether it would be returning to Cambridge once more.
With its long and tricky holes, strategically-placed bunkers, and fast greens, Hunstanton would prove to be a challenging location for this match. The morning began with four times Varsity veteran Gillian Kinnear and her partner Lise Loerup of Oxford playing against Rebecka Ahl and Cambridge captain Kim Bergman.
Despite it being hard fought, Oxford were punished by some difficult ball positions out on the course, and Cambridge managed to close out the match on the 15th.
Also finishing on the 15th was the third foursomes match, between Oxford captain Nicole du Plessis and her partner Sixtine d’Angelin and Cambridge’s Iona Stevenson and Harriet Boswell.
Both sides exhibited some excellent golf, but Oxford took a quick lead in the match and finally clinched it when Cambridge had to concede the 15th.
The middle match was close and both sides fought extremely hard. Oxford fielded another veteran player, the previous year’s captain Min-Yee Tseu, and her partner Melanie Walsh. They played against Courtney Gill and Georgina Harris.
Despite this being a very close match, Oxford eventually managed to pull ahead, and Min-Yee and Melanie secured a 2-1 lead for Oxford at lunch. Unfortunately, Ashley Menante of Cambridge suffered an injury shortly before the Varsity Match, and thus was unable to play, meaning that Cambridge did not have a reserve.
Therefore, there was no one for Oxford reserve Sophie Godard Desmarest to play against, and the reserves match had to be cancelled. However, both players still attended the match to support their teams.
Down 2-1 at lunch, Cambridge knew they were at a disadvantage. However, they were determined not to go down without a fight. Oxford only needed three points for their win, but they would not be easy to get.
Cambridge started the afternoon strongly with their captain, Kim Bergman, who faced Oxford’s Lise Loerup. After facing each other in the morning, this was sure to be an intense match, and it certainly lived up to that expectation. Both players played beautiful golf, and that match remained very close; however, Lise was able to slowly but steadily grind away at Kim until it finally ended with her winning the 17th to take the match 2 and 1.
The second match saw Rebecka Ahl facing Gillian Kinnear. Another intense match, this one saw a quicker finish, as Gillian sought revenge for her loss in the morning. Rebecka fought back gallantly, but in the end Gillian’s determination and experience won out and led to a 5 and 3 finish.
Sixtine d’Angelin managed a similar achievement in her match against Cambridge’s Georgina Harris, playing steady, consistent golf and closing with a win on the par three 14th.
The fourth match featured Courtney Gill for Cambridge and Min-Yee Tseu for Oxford. The closest match yet, this one went down the 18th, and featured the only Cambridge win of the afternoon. Despite playing with an injured shoulder, Min-Yee was on top of her game throughout, and Courtney fought hard to get her well-earned point for the Light Blue side.
Following them was the fifth match, consisting of Iona Stevenson for Cambridge and Oxford’s Melanie Walsh. Iona fought valiantly, but long-hitting and consistent Melanie quickly took the lead and consolidated it to achieve an impressive 6 and 5 win.
The final match of the afternoon was one that provided much excitement for the spectators. Oxford captain Nicole du Plessis faced Cambridge’s Harriet Boswell in a match where there was never more than a hole or two in the difference.
Despite the fact that Oxford had already secured a win, neither player was willing to give up. On the 18th tee, the match was all square, and everyone turned up to watch the exciting conclusion to the day. Harriet fought hard, but the match eventually went Nicole’s way, to bring in the final point for Oxford.
With a score of 7 points for Oxford and 2 points for Cambridge, the Dark Blues were able to retain the trophy.
The day turned out to be extremely enjoyable for both the players and the supporters. The condition of the course was excellent, and fortunately for everyone the weather was fair.
Despite the intense rivalry between the players on the course, everyone was still able to have a good day. The players exhibited excellent sportsmanship, and the spectators were treated to top quality golf played by both teams.
All told, it was a very successful day which will be remembered by everyone, and we are all looking forward to what awaits next year.
(Cambridge names first)
Kim Bergman and Rebecka Ahl bt Lise Loerup and Gillian Kinnear 5 and 3. Courtney Gill and Georgina Harris lost to Min-Yee Tseu and Melanie Walsh 4 and 2
Iona Stevenson and Harriet Boswell lost to Nicole du Plessis and Sixtine d’Angelin 4 and 3
Bergman lost to Loerup 2 and 1
Ahl lost to Kinnear 5 and 3
Harris lost to d’Angelin 5 and 4
Gill bt Min-Yee Tseu 1 hole.
Stevenson lost to Melanie Walsh 6 and 5
Boswell lost to Du Plessis 1 hole.
The reserve match was unfortunately not played due to the fact that one of Cambridge’s team members was injured prior to the match.
Final score:
Cambridge 2; Oxford 7