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Woosie heading back to Yorkshire

Former Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam will return to Yorkshire in September to again host the Welcome to Yorkshire Ian Woosnam Senior Invitational. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the most significant disruption to the worldwide sporting calendar since World War II ,but it did not deter the world’s top senior golfers travelling to Ilkley Golf Club to compete in the inaugural event last autumn.

Sponsored by Aberdeen Standard Capital, organised by Leeds based SGH Sporting Events and supported by Welcome to Yorkshire, it was the first professional tournament of such stature in the county since Fulford put on the Murphy’s Cup in 1991. 

Former European Tour player Liam Bond took the trophy back to South Wales with him following a round of 65, triumphing by a shot from five-time European Senior Tour winner Phil Golding, and by two from Gary Wolstenholme, who won the first of his British Amateur titles at Ganton in 1991.

Home favourite Mark James, an honorary life member of the Ilkley club, finished in a tie for 6th on level par with while tournament host and fellow ex Ryder Cup captain Woosnam carded a three over par round of 72.

It was a fond return to the Broad Acres for Woosie, who said: “It really all started for me here in Yorkshire when I finished second to Greg Norman in the B&H at Fulford in 1982. I had eight consecutive birdies in a 62 and nearly beat him at the prize presentation Greg said, ‘watch out for this guy he can really play’, and that gave me a big boost on confidence. I went out and won my first European Tour event the following week and never looked back.

“This is the first time I have been to Ilkley and it is truly a great course. Yorkshire is a fantastic place to play golf and I look forward to returning .”

The two day, COVID-19 safe and socially distanced event saw dozens of Pro-Am teams tee off in stunning sunshine including former Leeds United players Robbie Fowler, Tony Dorigo and Lee Sharpe, ex manager Simon Grayson plus cricketer Ryan Sidebottom, former Hull KR and Rhinos player Danny Maguire and BBC TV presenter Dan Walker.

This year’s event will be played over a slightly different format. As well as the Pro-Am on September 16 when 3 amateurs will play with a professional, the following day will see two amateurs join two professionals in team event.

Last year participants also enjoyed a socially distanced Q and A where 1991 Masters champion Ian was joined by former US Senior Major winner James and Catriona Matthew, who captained Team Europe to victory at the 2019 Solheim Cup in Gleneagles and will again serve as the European captain this year. 

Welcome to Yorkshire’s Chief Executive James Mason said: “Wow, what a great two days with the backdrop of some stunning Yorkshire scenery. The success of the event gave us just a taster of the kind of things we might see here in Yorkshire in the future and a hint of the boost this could be for tourism. There are so many amazing golf courses in the county with spectacular countryside and coastal backdrops and we want to make sure everyone knows about them.”

For more information contact SGH on 0800 1707077 or e mail: enquiries@sgh.events.