YLCGA: Debut winner Wilkinson highlights lure of Challenge Bowl

YORKSHIRE captain Jean Waring hopes Karen Wilkinson’s success in winning the Challenge Bowl at her first attempt will encourage more YLCGA members to enter the event next year.

Captain of Doncaster GC, Dr Simon Fearns, starting the Hallowes team in the Tri Am during the Challenge Bowl.

Wheatley player Wilkinson’s opponent in the final, Moortown’s Judy Owens, was also making her debut.

The Challenge Bowl is for golfers with a handicap higher than eight and provides three days of a variety of competitions.

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“The assumption of many ladies and girls is that this competition is for the ‘elite’ players when really it is for the club golfer,” said Waring. “It is a net competition so it doesnt matter what your handicap is.”

The Pimms Tent, manned by Doncaster ladies, proved a popular feature of the Challenge Bowl.

The first day of the Challenge Bowl is a stroke play competition off handicap with the top 16 players going forward to match play off handicap.

On the second day, a greensome competition – often including some of the players who did not make the cut – gets underway once the match play ties are all out on the course.

Similarly, on the third day after the matches have cleared the first tee a Tri Am is played ensuring that the afternoon final of the Challenge Bowl has a good following watching the two combatants come down the last few holes.

“Doncaster was in superb condition and the weather on the final day was very kind,” added Waring. “The previous day had seen some rain but this didn’t mar the spirit of the players.

“The Challenge Bowl while being a big Yorkshire competition does not have the same atmosphere of intensity as the championship.

“There is a very friendly atmosphere... and the Pimms Tent helped the celebrations and was a condolence for the players who hadn’t quite played as well as they wanted to.

“Many of the ladies treat this competition as a three-day event. This is a competition where you hear people say ‘how have you done this year?’, ‘Where is it next year? See you there’.

“One comment I heard from a Doncaster lady was, ‘I didn’t realise it was for players like me’.

“This competition is for all players with handicap of eight to 36 as it’s a handicap event. My advice to players would be: Why not try it next year?”

Next year’s Challenge Bowl will be held at York GC and entries will be accepted after January 1.