Douglas Golf Club Chairperson Karl Bornemann says he is going out there to compete and win this week as the European Senior Men’s and Ladies’ Championship comes to his home club.
Reigning champion James Crampton (Spalding) will be looking to defend his crown in the men’s section while Sue Wooster (The National) is back to defend her title too. They were the winners at Pärnu Bay Golf Links in Estonia last year.
There will be 31 Irish challengers taking part across both events in Douglas this year and Bornemann is excited to welcome the best Seniors from around the world, although he has his sights set on silverware too.
“It’s fantastic to have a national senior championship last year and building on that to be afforded the opportunity to host a European Seniors event is wonderful,” said Bornemann
“But I wouldn’t be playing in these things if I didn’t think I could be competitive. We have assembled an extremely strong field for this. I played in a lot of the European events outside of Ireland now for quite a number of years.
“The added bonus of having so many of our strong Irish players also now competing in the championship is a wonderful addition. Those from all over Europe, who would normally attend, the sharp end of the field are attending. So this year it’s a particularly strong field.”
The Opening Ceremony took place yesterday evening with the first groups teeing off after 7am this morning.
Douglas was founded in 1909 with the original course designed by six-time Open winner Harry Vardon. Bornemann joined as a member in 1992 and although he has a huge week off the course too, he knows his team will be a big help behind the scenes.
“The members of the club are really excited about it. They are really rowing in and everyone is really looking forward to a great week,” said Bornemann.
“We have a fantastic president’s committee here and they put together a team of volunteers who are doing a lot of the coordination along with John McHenry, our general manager.
“I don’t have to be as hands-on with the great team that are here. We are working in the background and coordinating with everybody to get things done. So they have afforded me a week to focus on the golf.
“Playing does bring its own pressures and levels of expectations. You are constantly bumping into members who are wishing you well which is fantastic.
“But it just comes with the territory, it’s another thing you have to deal with but that’s fine.”
Golf Ireland made a commitment in its Strategic Plan, launched in January 2022, to host international championships every two years.
“We envisioned hosting international championships to elevate the amateur game and create opportunities for players and officials alike,” said Golf Ireland Director of Championships, Mark Wehrly.
“The European Men’s and Ladies’ Senior Championships at Douglas epitomizes the first significant step in that commitment.
“Douglas are fantastic hosts and without them the seamless execution of this event wouldn’t have been possible.”