Nine teams from both sides of the Atlantic have teed up at Royal Portrush for an annual inter-club women’s match.
It is the first time the Women’s International Team Challenge (WITC) involving teams from the US, Canada, Scotland and Ireland has been staged on the North Coast.
The event had been due to take place at Portrush in 2020, but was postponed twice because of the pandemic.
As well as the host club, teams from Merion (Pennsylvania), the current holders; The Olympic Club (San Francisco), Southern Hills (Tulsa), The Country Club, (Brookline), St George’s Golf and Country Club (Toronto), Royal Liverpool, Nairn, and Lahinch where the match was staged in 2013, are taking part.
Following a practice round on Tuesday, play got officially underway on Wednesday with four ball better ball on the Valley course, with the second day’s play taking place on the adjoining Dunluce links.
This is the 11th time the match has been played. It was first staged at the Olympic Club in 2010. Lahinch won it in 2011.
Roma English, captain of Royal Portrush Ladies Branch, said she was looking forward to a great event.
Although two years in the making, following the delay due to the pandemic, the enthusiasm of the Royal Portrush ladies has not lessened and they anticipate an exciting and enjoyable contest,” said English.
“We hope our visitors enjoy the friendly rivalry which underpins this prestigious event, and that they will return home having formed lasting friendships and memories. This is what this great game is about.”
Men’s captain Ashley Moore added: “This fixture is a wonderful addition to the long list of prestigious competitions which have been hosted here since our club’s establishment in 1888.
“Royal Portrush prides itself in providing first class facilities and a warm welcome to players and visitors from around the world. It will be our privilege to make sure everybody enjoys their visit to this area which is famous for its outstanding natural beauty, wonderful hospitality and challenging golf.”