CALLING a penalty on himself in the heat of battle has earned a Stirling University golf team member a coveted European fair play accolade.
The Enno Harms Fair Play Award, handed out by the European University Sports Association, was bestowed upon Cormac Sharvin for his sportsmanship in an event last year.
Representing Stirling in the European Universities Championship in France, the 21-year-old called a two-shot penalty on himself in the final round.
“I’d hit my ball left and it was up against a tree at the 16th hole,” said Sharvin, a second year student at Stirling. “My back was right up against the tree and I was trying to knock it out. As I took my stroke, the club got jammed in a branch and didn’t move. I could have treated it as a practice swing, but the first thing that came to my head was to say to my playing partner that I’d tried to play the shot.
“I’d just dropped out of contention for the title but it was also a team event so the impetus was still there to shoot the best I could.”
Despite the penalty, Stirling managed to retain the title and Sharvin’s honesty was praised by EUSA president Adam Roczek.
“EUSA strongly encourages fair play values and applauds the actions and attitudes like the one displayed by Cormac Sharvin,” he said.
“I am happy to say that, despite the fact that our sporting events are of a competitive nature, we get several positive examples of fair play every year.”
Rebecca Gracey, Stirling’s Sports Union president, added: “We would like to congratulate Cormac on this fantastic achievement. It is encouraging to see that not only is the University of Stirling producing top performing athletes, but athletes who show great sportsmanship, too.”
Irishman Sharvin, who is currently in the United Arab Emirates preparing for the new season with his Stirling team-mates, has been invited to receive his award at the EUSA General Assembly in Turkey in April.
Meanwhile, former European Tour player Lesley Mackay has stepped down after eight years as Stirling University’s women’s golf coach. Mackay made the announcement with a “heavy heart” following the team’s return from the Orange Blossom Tour commitments in the US.
“We are very sorry to say goodbye to Lesley,” said Raleigh Gowrie, the University’s Sports Performance Manager. “She has been a huge asset to the University of Stirling both as a player and as our women’s golf coach.”