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Richard Cheetham

BU golfer and sports scholar Richard competed in the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Golf Tour: Midlands Tournament 2019. Despite ups and downs throughout the tournament and poor weather, Richard won the men’s group and was automatically placed into The World Amateur Golf Rankings. Read Richard’s account of the three days.  

Richard proudly holding his winner’s trophy. The tournament took place from 22-24 September 2019 at Hollinwell (Notts Golf Club).

Despite not having the best summer golf-wise, I felt confident going into the weekend. However, I knew that the competition would be tough with some great players from other universities.

I’ve been playing golf competitively for 12 years and this was the first time I’d played a competition of this magnitude. The night before, we walked the course and it made me feel more comfortable going into the tournament. 

Competition day arrived and I got off to a great start, making a birdie on the first hole. This really helped to settle my nerves and boosted my confidence for the rest of the round. In the end, I shot 73 (+1) in some tough conditions (and on a very difficult golf course) which put me in 4th place. I had two more rounds to go and there were two other BU players in the top 15 (Joe Hack and Ross Murgatroyd at +5) so everything was looking promising.

In the back of my mind, I did wonder if the third (and final) round might be cancelled due to the storm that was forecast on Monday night. However, I didn't let this get to me and played one shot at a time. 

I started my first round with two bogeys which put me +3 for the tournament and +2 on the day. At this point, I thought I might miss the cut. I got my game back under control with a birdie on the next hole and played the front 9 in -2. The highlight of my game came when I played an eagle on the sixth hole. The back nine holes proved to be a different kettle of fish though! I made two bogies on the 13th and 16th holes which put me at level par for the day and +1 for the tournament, with two holes left to play.

I then went on to hit a terrible chip on the 17th hole which resulted in a par on the easy par 5. I did, however, hit my approach shot on the challenging 18th hole short right which left me about 25 yards to go. I picked where I wanted to land it and luckily enough it went in! I ended up shooting a 71(-1) for the day and level par for the tournament which I was pleased with. Despite my start to the round, I was now one point ahead of my nearest competitor and at the top of the leaderboard.

The final day of the tournament arrived. The weather was terrible and I was secretly hoping that the day would be cancelled. I managed to keep a positive mindset though and knew that if I was going to win, it would be a battle. As I was going through my practice routine, torrential rain started to fall and 20 minutes before I was about to tee off, play was suspended due to flooding. The organisers and the referees decided to cancel the day which meant that the tournament was a two-day rather than a three-day event. I had won and was crowned champion!

My winning shot was a chip in on the last hole for birdie in front of all my teammates and the clubhouse which made the win that extra bit special. Being crowned champion of the BUCS Midlands Championship is my biggest golfing achievement so far. It also gave me a World Amateur Golf Ranking – something I’d waited a long time for.

Overall, it was a great tournament with three BU golf players being placed in the top 15.

October 2019

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