Vaudin finishes with a flourish to set up final clash with Eggo

NIGEL VAUDIN impressively moved through the gears yesterday afternoon at La Grande Mare to book his place in the Senior Island Men’s Championship final.

Up against the in-form Andrew Boyd, who was playing on his home course, the man from the Royal Guernsey birdied three of the last four holes played in their semi-final to progress into Saturday’s showpiece where he will meet Bobby Eggo.

While Eggo was a comfortably 5 & 4 winner against defending champion Mick Marley, the second semi-final was a much closer affair which looked as if it would go the distance, if not further, before Vaudin made his irresistible move having just gone behind for the first time in the match at the 13th.

The Guernsey regular had made a strong start and established a 2 up lead over Boyd after seven holes, but a sloppy finish to the front nine from Vaudin meant that there was nothing between them at the turn.

He came close to rectifying those mistakes at the short 10th, but his chip from the left-hand side of the green lipped out.

Boyd, who had played so well in qualifying in carding a 68 gross, then threatened the hole with his birdie attempt on the 11th, but that also failed to drop and they remained all-square until the 13th.

With the honour, Boyd safely found the front half of the green at the short par three with the pin placed in the back-left quadrant of the putting surface.

Vaudin pulled his reply and ended up in an awkward spot near the bushes beyond the left-hand bunker.

He did well to knock his second onto the green, but was unable to save par and Boyd was ahead.

From that point on, though, Vaudin did not falter.

With his opponent already in the middle of the fairway at the dog-leg left 14th, Vaudin followed suit and had the advantage of hitting his approach first.

He knocked in a beauty, just 8ft past the hole, and he gently rolled in the downhill birdie putt to level the match.

At the next, he was safely hole high on the green in regulation while Boyd caught his second shot heavy and failed to get up-and-down from 25 yards short of the flag to hand his opponent the lead once more.

The home player’s response to that error was to stick a brilliant tee shot at the 16th to within a foot of the hole – just a few inches away from being ‘very expensive’ he joked as he picked up his ball without needing to putt.

However, Vaudin matched that birdie two with one of his own as he judged his 15ft putt from the right-hand fringe to perfection – 1 up with two to play.

If doing it once was not enough, the big man then repeated the trick on the 17th where, with Boyd still not in for three, Vaudin holed for a two from the back fringe this time to seal a 2 & 1 victory.

By that time, Eggo had long since booked his place in the final as he goes in search of his third Island senior men’s crown.

The 2017 and 2018 winner barely gave last year’s champion Marley a look in as he produced a really solid display of golf backed up by some typically ruthless putting to finish approximately level par for the 14 holes he played.

Saturday’s final between Eggo and Vaudin will tee off at 3pm at La Grande Mare.

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