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Golf - 01. April 2008.

EWGA names England captains for 2008

Devon’s Sally Watkins takes charge of the women’s team; Durham’s Cathy Bowerbank will captain the seniors and Staffordshire’s Julie Brown will lead the girls.

Sally Watkins, from Teignmouth Golf Club, will be making her debut as a captain after two years as an England selector. “I’m really excited, this is a great challenge and a huge honour for me,” she said.

She has played golf for 37 years after taking up the game as 10-year-old in Bristol. She soon moved to Devon where she became the junior and women’s champion, as well as county captain. She has also played for the British police women’s team and holds two course records.

Sally plays off five handicap and has been as low as plus-one. She’s passionate about golf and about extending England’s successes. “The future is very bright for England, the girls are reaching their potential earlier and we have some exciting young players coming through,” she said.

She will captain the side at the women’s European team championships at Stenungsund, Sweden from July 8-12; and at the Home Internationals at Wrexham from September 10-12. In 2007 England won the Home Internationals for the 13th time in 16 years and took a bronze medal at the European championships.

Cathy Bowerbank, from Dinsdale Spa Golf Club, will take charge of England’s seniors for the second year after successfully steering them to victory in the 2007 Senior Home Internationals and to a silver medal in their European team championships. She was previously involved as seniors’ team manager for two years.

“I love being captain, I really enjoy it. I know the players really well and there are always new ones coming along which makes it exciting, because everyone has to play for their place,” she said.

Cathy, who plays off seven, has been a golfer for 50 years and is a past champion of both Yorkshire and Durham. She was an England girl international and was third in the British strokeplay championship of 1966. She chaired the English Ladies’ (now Women’s) Golf Association in 2004.

She will be captain at the seniors’ European team championship at Wouwse Plantage, Netherlands, from September 2-5; and at the Senior Home Internationals at Little Aston from September 30 to October 2. England have won the Senior Home internationals for the last five years

Julie Brown, from Brocton Hall Golf Club, was captain for the 2007 Girls’ International Matches and this year will additionally take charge of the team at the girls’ European team championships. “It will be an exciting year,” she said. “We have some very good girls coming through.”

Julie was an England international before a professional career in which she played on the Ladies’ European Tour for seven years and won the German Open. She also has experience as a teaching professional and is very keen on encouraging juniors.

She returned to amateur ranks in 2006 when she captained England’s U18 girls for their annual match against the U16 England boys. She was also in charge for the annual England v Spain girls match. Julie is currently in her second year as Staffordshire county captain.

She will be captain at the girls’ European team championship at Murcar, Scotland, from July 8-12; and at the Girls’ International Matches at Panmure, Scotland, from August 5-7.

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