Mary Dowling, Mary Leahy, Orla Dunphy and manager Liz Kinsella (all pictured above) of the Kilkenny ladies golf team are on their way to Bulgaria today to represent Ireland in the European Ladies Club Trophy at Pravets Golf Club, Bulgaria.
After winning the Ireland Senior Cup last August, the team head to Bulgaria for the September 29 – October 1 competition to represent Ireland alongside 16 other nations.
Mary Dowling (scratch) is a former national team member and Irish Ladies Champion, Orla Dunphy (HCP 2.0) is also a provincial team player while Mary Browne (HCP 2.0) is a multiple ‘Golfer Of The Year’ trophy winner at Kilkenny Golf Club in the city and they’ll be hoping to take their national win to the next level and come home with the gold this weekend.
In their way are teams from Diners G&CC (Slovenia), four-time European Ladies Club Trophy champions GC St. Leon-Rot (Germany), next year’s hosts GC Welten (Slovakia), Golf de Luxembourg (Belenhaff, Luxembourg), Golf de Rigenée (Belgium), Golf du Paris Country Club (France), GC Reykjavik (Iceland), Karntner GC Dellach (Austria), 2015 bronze medallists Miramar Golf Club (Portugal), Niitvalja Golf Club (Estonia), 2015 overall champions Racing Club de France (France), newcomers Real Club de Golf El Prat (Spain), Royal Golf Club Marianske Lazne (Czech Republic), Smorum Golfklub (Denmark), St. Sofia Golf Club & Spa (Bulgaria) and UGC De Pan (Netherlands).
With teams arriving from Monday to Sofia, there are practice rounds set for today and tomorrow ahead of an overall captains meeting on Wednesday evening. The competition proper gets underway from 8.30am local time on Thursday.
The hosting golf club, Pravets, was officially opened in May 2011.
For the past five years the golf course has played host to the UniCredit PGAs of Europe Championship and has also hosted a number of high profile tournaments including the EGA Mid Amateur Championship, the EGA Team Shield and the EGA Men’s Senior Team Championships. The Bulgarian Golf Association has held their flagship event, the BGA Amateur Open Championships several times at Pravets Golf Club.
All the golf heads in the station (and the rest) wish the Kilkenny ladies all the very best this coming weekend.