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Oldham ladies and Uttoxeter men first to qualify for 2017 Finals

Daily Mail
29 Aug 2017

Oldham and Uttoxeter have the honour this year of being the first clubs to reach their respective finals of the Daily Mail Foursomes, writes Cara Sloman.
Elizabeth Johnson and Bev Mercer from Oldham have won four of their seven knockout matches away from home. They wrapped up their latest victory 3&2 at South Bradford beating Jenny Tune and Margaret Cutler for a place in the showpiece event hosted by the Marriott St Pierre in October.
‘This was completely unexpected,’ said Johnson. ‘It’s been an experience. We’ve been fortunate in that we’ve had more away draws than home. I think when you’re playing at home it puts a bit more pressure on you to win.’
Meanwhile Uttoxeter’s Stewart Murray and Marshall Black led the way in the men's tournament, notching up three pars and one birdie on the front nine and another five pars on the back nine to outplay Richard Wileman and Neil Glasser from Notts, winning 4&2.
Despite their success Murray admits you might have mistakenly thought the home pair lost if you saw him straight after the match, even though he sunk several crucial putts.
He said: ‘My face was I’m never playing golf again. I didn’t think I played very well. Thankfully my partner was on form. He played against three people. He played a good shot and I’d put him in the trees, he played another good shot and I’d put him in the bunker. He’d play another good shot and I’d duff it.
‘We all knew what was at stake and pressure was telling at times. I enjoyed it, but I’m glad it’s over. It was steady, but there were some tense holes.’
The duo never expected to be among the last 16 men’s and women’s team which has meant Black has had to cancel a holiday in Portugal as it clashes with the finals.
Murray added: ‘It is still sinking in. Now we’re there it’s almost like the pressure is off and we’ve done the hard work, so we can go and enjoy ourselves. I’m hoping with the shackles off we can produce some better golf and take each match now as it comes.’

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