The R&A - Working for Golf

European champions Ireland favorites to take title at Alyth

That's because the Irish were impressive winners of the European senior ladies' team title in Poland at the start of this month ... and a member of that line-up, Laura Webb, won the Senior Ladies' British open amateur title at Caldy Golf Club, Lancashire a couple of weeks later.

It was England's 5-3 win over Ireland at Elm Park Golf Club, Dublin on the final day 12 months ago that tipped the scales in favour of the team captained by Pat Wrightson after Wales had held them to a 4-4 draw on Day 1 while Ireland were beating Scotland 8-0.

Only three of the 2015 England line-up will be in action at Alyth - Catherine Rawthore, Julie Brown and Helen Lowe. The incomers are Jackie Foster, Karen Jobling, Katherine Russell and Aileen Greenfield.

Ireland, by comparison, have four of last year's team on duty again - Suzanne Corcoran, Sheena McElroy, Gertie McMullen and Laura Webb. The "new" faces in the Irish line-up compared with 2015 were Maria O'Reilly, Mary Sheehy and Carol Wickham.

Next to England, who have been champions in 2003-04-05-06-07-10-11-14-15, Ireland have been the most successful. They did not claim their first domestic seniors title until 2012 but followed it up by retaining the championship in 2013. Wales (2008) and Scotland (2009) have won the Senior Home Internationals once apiece.

Scotland did not win a match in the 2015 series so they will be out to regain their pride with a team, captained by Lorna Bennett (who played at Elm Park GC), and which includes Fiona De Vries, Alex Glennie, Lesley Lloyd, Lorna McKinlay and Sheena Wood from last year. Incomers are Gillian Kyle and Mary Smith.

Apart from drawing with England, Wales beat Scotland 5-3 last year. Vicki Thomas, who played in that Welsh team, is now captain. Patricia Fernon, Chris Harries, Ann Lewis, Jane Rees, Denise Richards and Sharron Roberts all played for Wales 12 months ago. Olwen Davies is the only newcomer.

Iain E Finlayson, captain of Alyth Golf Club, says it is going to be a big week for the club: "Alyth Golf Club is honoured to be hosting The Senior Ladies Home Internationals. The club in the past has hosted a number of Scottish amateur and professional golf tournaments. However, this is the first British Isles event for us and without a doubt this is the most prestigious event in our club's history. "We have been preparing for the the tournament for quite sometime and are grateful to The Ladies Golf Union for their help and support. Alyth Golf Club are thrilled at the prospect of the tournament and we wish all four home nations success next week."