WELSH GOLFERS TAKE ON BEST IN TEXAS

11 Oct 2007

Four of Wales’ most promising golfers are packing their bags and travelling to Texas later this month to take on the world’s best amateur golfers in The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship (21-27 October 2007).

The quartet will be up against 24 countries at the biennial event including all three past team champions – England (2005), USA (2003) and Mexico (2001). Golf01a

The following players are heading to Whispering Pines Golf Course, Houston:

· European team bronze medallist Tara Davies (Holyhead)

· The tennis player-turned-golfer Sahra Hassan who has played the Williams sisters (Vale of Glamorgan)

· Home Internationals player Jamie Howie (Royal St David’s, Harlech)

· The karate black belt, Adam Runcie (Abergele, Conwy)

Each country is represented by two men and two women.

Nigel Edwards, Director of Player Development and Coaching at Golf Union of Wales, explains how the young golfers are set to benefit from the international competition:

"This is a wonderful opportunity for these players to experience international golf in very different conditions to their previous experiences. For Sahra and Tara, it will give them a chance to show their skills ahead of next year's Curtis Cup, while Adam and Jamie will be keen to build on this year's performances that saw them both make their full International debuts.

The Welsh team finished 14th in 2005 but Runcie is not daunted by the task ahead:

"We have a great chance of doing well. Wales are getting better every year. Jamie and I have made improvements and the girls are two very strong players.

"It’s my first year playing for the men’s team. I made my breakthrough at the Home Internationals and this is just my second trip away with Welsh team. I’m really looking forward to the experience – I think it will be a great week and I expect to learn a lot from it."

For more information, contact Nigel Edwards at Golf Union of Wales on 0 or email

WELSH AMATEUR GOLFER BIOGRAPHIES

Name: TARA DAVIES

From: Holyhead

The 18-year-old right hander lists competing in the 2006 World Cup in South Africa and winning bronze at the European Team Championships as her most memorable moments in golf to date.

Davies of Holyhead also represented Wales in the 2007 Home Internationals where she scored a hole-in-one. She is a former Welsh Girls Amateur Champion from 2005 and 2006. She has been recognised for her sporting talent when she won Sports Personality of the Year 2006 for Anglesey.

Name: SAHRA HASSAN

From: Pencoed, Bridgend

The 19-year-old golf talent was selected for the Wales team in July to play in the European Team Championships in Milan and earned a spot in the Great Britain and Ireland team for the Vagliano Trophy at St Andrews alongside Welsh team-mate Breanne Loucks – the first time Wales has ever fielded two players in this team.

But her first love was for tennis which she played to a very impressive standard for nine years. She has even played against Tim Henman, the Williams sisters, Greg Rusedski and Pete Sampras at Wimbledon. She was selected to practice with the stars in their warm-ups at SW19.

But at the age of 13, she was forced to choose and a life on the fairways won over.

The right hander’s golfing CV can boast 2005 Welsh girls champion, 2007 Ladies British Open Amateur Championship quarter-finalist and 2007 Welsh Women’s Closed Championship semi-finalist. She also competed in the 2006 Women’s World Cup alongside Tara Davies and Breanne Loucks. The full-time golfer is looking to attend Tour School next year in a bid to turn professional.

Name: JAMIE HOWIE

From: Harlech

Harlech’s Jamie Howe only made his men’s senior debut this summer when he travelled to County Louth, Ireland to compete in the Home Internationals.

The 18-year-old right hander – who is a serious rugby fan – also boosted his 2007 results by winning the St David’s Gold Cross in May.

Name: ADAM RUNCIE

From: Abergele, Conwy

Adam Runcie’s opponents will have to pray that he doesn’t use his other sports talent on the golf course – he is a black belt in karate. Though Runcie travels far and wide to play golf, the right hander always manages to keep up with another love in his life - Liverpool Football Club.

The nineteen-year-old’s most memorable moment of his amateur career to date is being selected for GB& Ireland Boys v Continent of Europe where he managed to score a hole-in-one. He is also a former winner of the Welsh Boys Championship.

Runcie has just one sporting superstition – he uses the same ball marker.