The golfers finished their league campaign as unbeaten champions last week. In the cup they faced a Stirling side known to have an extremely strong golfing set-up.
The quarter-final was played under cold and misty conditions at Edgbaston golf club. The University of Birmingham struggled to keep up with Stirling in the morning foursomes with Sam Botham and Matt Jones losing 6&5 in the top game. This setback was further compounded by defeat for Gareth Jenkins and Dan Beattie who lost 3&2. Tom Jessamine and Owen Edwards provided a glimmer of hope by playing a fantastic back nine, which included birdies from the 14th onwards to secure half a point for Birmingham. With backs against the wall, spirits still remained high heading into the afternoon singles in the fight for six valuable points, Birmingham needing a minimum of four for a playoff. Botham lead the team off and played a competitive game however could not edge out his +4 handicap opponent, finally losing 3&2. Jessamine played some outstanding stuff and clinched a crucial win on the 17th to level the singles tie. Beattie struggled to get going on the front nine but managed in the end to get a half, missing a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th for the win. Matt Jones and Owen Edwards were all square heading into the 16th and 17th holes respectively, but both ended up losing one down. Gareth Jenkins improved, finding his usual consistent stride and easing to a 4&3 win.
The final result saw Birmingham lose 6-3, which slightly flatters Stirling as coming down the last nine holes things were very tight. It would appear that Stirling’s golf scholarship scheme and campus golf practice facilities are paying dividends as individuals are receiving the same amount of funding individually as Birmingham does as a club. It was a David v Goliath scenario, and unfortunately this year it wasn’t meant to be for Birmingham. Despite this the first team should be congratulated for their 10 game unbeaten run in the premier league.
Written by Daniel Beattie