Echoes of 1992 for Sharon Bowes

Sharon Bowes offers her thoughts ahead of this weekend's National Ladies Strokeplay in Fermoy

Echoes of 1992 for Sharon Bowes  image

SHARON Bowes first joined Fermoy back in 1990 as a 13 year old. Two years later she would be National Girls Strokeplay Champion at her home course after victory over Marian Byrne in a playoff back in 1992. 22 years later on both are still key figures on the Ladies scene and both will be hoping for something like their memorable performances that year. As a club member Sharon is delighted to see her host club get to host such a prestigious event. “The club definitely has the facilities to host these events not just in terms of the course but also parking and indeed the bar which really is a great 19th hole! There always is a great atmosphere whenever events like this are hosted by the club,” she said.


            Sharon along with both Eleanor Walsh and Sarah Byrne (runner-up in the Munster Ladies Senior Strokeplay last Sunday) will fly the flag for Fermoy this Sunday in the Ladies senior event (there are a further 19 Ladies from the club taking part this weekend across both the Intermediate and Junior competitions) and she feels putting will play a big part in determining who will come out on top over 54 holes. “You always have to be well on top of your putting to do well around Fermoy. We always say with the course here that it’s a place that you should never be short in with the bunkers,” Sharon said. Given that Breda Lonergan made a big breakthrough for the game in Munster by becoming the first lady from the province to win a National Senior Singles title since 1992 (ironically the year of Sharon’s own success in the National Girls) could it signal a change in the dominance of players from Leinster in both the Matchplay and Strokeplay competitions in these events over the last two decades? “I think both the confidence and standard of the players in Munster is improving all the time. Breda herself is an associate member here in Fermoy and I’m sure she’s going to feel confident having won the Matchplay in Parteen last month. At the same time I still think that Chrissie (Byrne, winner of the 2006 National Ladies Matchplay at the venue) and the Leinster Ladies won’t have any fear about going down here and winning again,” Sharon said. She is paired with Breda in the first 36 holes on Sunday which should offer a good indication of what the pedigree of the southern province will be like.


            Having won the 2009 Munster Strokeplay title here, Sharon will know about the expectancy that comes with performing and being in contention for a major event when it is on your home course. “My own form isn’t the best coming into this and I have been struggling to find a bit of consistency in my game. I remember when I won the Munster here I shot 13 under on the day. We’ve debated this in advance of the event but I think the winning score could be up around 17 or 18 under par after 54 holes. If the course if firm though I would expect it to be down to around 14 under however,” she feels.


            Regardless of what conditions are like, Sharon is convinced that the course will be well able to cope with whatever the weather throws up beforehand. “There is a very good sprinkler system there to cope with dry and warm weather and while you can see the marks of the old barrack walls on the fairways when it gets very dry, I would be confident that the work our Grounds Committee have done in getting the place ready will pay off on the weekend itself.”