IT is the biggest tournament of the year so far for the Bradford Golf Union tomorrow, and even a shorter format cannot dampen the excitement.

The Amateur Strokeplay Championship is taking place at Skipton, with top golfers like Andrew Busfield, Ben Rhodes and Harry Ayrton competing.

Union president Mark Buckley said: “We’re all looking forward to it, especially with everything that we missed last year.

“It’s hard to say who are the favourites though, as most of the golfers have been playing scratch leagues and matchplay this season, which is a totally different game.

“You can’t really tell who’s in form as there’s not been enough individual golf yet.

“You’ve got to remember it’s been cut down to one round too because of Covid, like most competitions this year, except the Bradford Open next month, which is still 36 holes.”

The main focus this week has been the Junior Team Championship, which took place at Bingley St Ives on Wednesday.

Two of the home golfers stood out, as Ben Davey won the gross standings and young female prospect Louisa Hollyoak had the best nett score.

But Hollyoak is currently at a disadvantage, as Buckley said: “There was a meeting after the tournament and it cropped up about having girls play in the Yorkshire Inter-District teams.

“But England Golf won’t allow it, as they say England Ladies is a separate entity.

“I’d like to see that change because we had a similar situation with Hannah Chaudry at Northcliffe once.

“She could have played for all those teams but had to stick with Bradford Ladies and Yorkshire Ladies.

“As for Ben Davey, he’s a really nice lad of about 15 and a talented golfer to boot.

“We’re lucky at Northcliffe that Harry Phillips, who plays off six and is only 12, has come back from Australia to play for us. He did well on Wednesday too.

“Keighley won the tournament so they’ll represent the Bradford Union in the Yorkshire Union final. It’ll be a good experience for them at a top quality course.

“The junior section died a bit last year so we’re trying to resurrect it.

“It’s going to be an uphill struggle but there should be some league action this year, we’re just waiting for clubs to raise teams.

“There’s plenty of juniors playing but not enough have a handicap at the moment.”

The Bradford Union side are back in Yorkshire Inter-District league action against York next weekend and Buckley said: “We’ve got some top quality players, so the opening day loss to Leeds was a shame, but it was the first inter-district game for over 18 months.

“We’ve set a target now and I think we’ll play a lot better against York, especially with us being at home at West Bradford.”