On the 16th of March, the Oxford and Cambridge ladies’ golf teams battled to see which of them would come away victorious in the 13th Ladies’ Varsity Golf match. After an intense affair, it was the Cambridge side were victorious at the splendid Royal Porthcawl Golf Club.
The format of the match sees three pairs from each University play foursomes, and the reserves play singles in the morning. Six individual matches take place in the afternoon.
First out in the morning were Cambridge Captain Louisa Tarn and her partner Michaela Bacon who took on Jane Han and Min-Yee Tseu of Oxford. Despite putting up a gallant fight the Oxford team lost out to the more experienced opposition on the 14th, with Tarn holing a stunning chip for birdie.
The third match saw four-time Varsity veteran Katie Taylor, and partner Livia McBride, play consistently strong golf against an Oxford pair who were punished by some poor ball positioning on the tough Links course. Cambridge clinched their match against Jen Hauschild and Amy Bilderbeck on the 13th.
The second match was fought to a competitive finish on the 17th. Despite an early lead for Oxford captain Gillian Kinnear and her partner Alex Walvis, Leanne Mullen and Hiliary Crowe fought back with a strong showing on the back nine. However, Oxford’s lead proved too much for the Cambridge pair to claw back and a holed putt on the 17th brought Oxford their first point of the day.
Also in the morning, the reserve match was fought to a tight finish. Both Lucy Webb-Wilson of Oxford and Lucy Ackrill of Cambridge played stunning golf with the former Lucy closing the game with a win for Oxford on the 18th.
With a 2-1 lead as the teams went in for lunch, Cambridge needed 3 points in the afternoon to guarantee their win.
Louisa Tarn got Cambridge their first point in her game against Jane Han. The Cambridge Captain’s wealth of experience and talent proving too much for her opponent who played great golf but, as much more recent convert to the game, proved no match for Tarn who closed the game on the 10th hole.
However, the tide was soon to turn with Gillian Kinnear and Min Yee Tseu of Oxford taking early victories against their opponents Hiliary Crowe and Cambridge ex-Captain Leanne Mullen respectively. Kinnear brought home an 8 and 6 win in an amiable match against her old friend. Tseu, Oxford’s most recent addition, dazzled crowds with huge hitting to win on the 14th against a strong opponent.
With Alex Walvis of Oxford looking likely to bring in a win having achieved a 4 up lead through 9 holes against her opponent Livia McBride, the dark blue side were hopeful. However, McBride’s accurate and consistent golf and level head allowed her to fight back to achieve a spectacular half on the 18th.
All eyes were now on the final two games in the field. Each team was praying for a final 1½ points to secure their victory. Jen Hauschild fought back from a 4 up lead by Cambridge’s Katie Taylor to be 1 down as the pair walked down the stunning 18th hole. However, Hauschild was unable to achieve the necessary win on the last hole against the solid unfaltering golf of Taylor and with a further win Cambridge clocked their tally up to 4½ points.
The final game was to prove as nail-bitingly close as Oxford’s ex-captain Amy Bilderbeck fought against the strong Michaela Bacon. The result was decided on the 17th where Bacon went one up with one hole to play, ensuring at least half a point for the light blues. Nonetheless, both continued fighting on the last hole and Bacon held on to achieve Cambridge’s final point of the day.
With a final score of Cambridge five and half, Oxford three and a half, the light blue side brought the trophy back to Cambridge for the 4th year in a row.
Scores (Cambridge names first)
Louisa Tarn & Michaela Bacon beat Min Yee Tseu & Jane Han 5&3
Leanne Mullen & Hiliary Crowe lost to Gillian Kinnear & Alex Walvis 2&1
Katie Taylor & Livia McBride beat Jen Hauschild & Amy Bilderbeck 6&5
Tarn beat Han 9&8
Mullen lost to Tseu 5&4
McBride halved with Walvis
Crowe lost to Kinnear 8&6
Taylor beat Hauschild 1 up
Bacon beat Bilderbeck 2 up
Lucy Ackrill lost to Lucy Webb-Wilson 2 up