ALL is in readiness for the start of the 19th annual Black Douglas Ladies Masters singles bowls tournament which gets underway at South Tweed Sports today.
One of the strongest fields ever assembled for the competition will gather on the greens at the South Tweed club this morning for the start of the sectional play.
The field for the tournament includes eight of the current Australian squad and a host of Queensland state representatives, including current singles champion Lyn Cuthbertson.
However, reigning champion Brenda Thompson is not part of the 64-player field due to family commitments.
While Thompson's absence opens the way for a new champion to be crowned, organisers are expecting an intense battle for top honours.
2005 event champion Karen Murphy, Lynsey Armitage, Di Cunnington and two-time champion Carmen Anderson are among the early favourites.
Rising stars Samantha Shanahan and Pam Rowe will also be looking to make their mark in the prestigious event while teenage sensation Kelsey Cottrell will be hoping history repeats.
Winner of the 2007 event, Cottrell is part of a strong contingent of local ladies set to fly the flag for the Tweed.
Cottrell is one of seven South Tweed bowlers who will be vying for top honours this week and a share of the $10,000 prize money.
Play is scheduled to commence from 9am today with the opening matches of the sectional rounds.
Each competitor will play three matches with the winners of each of the 16 sections to advance to the knockout round which will be contested Wednesday.
The semi finals and final will be played Thursday.
Acknowledged as one of the country's foremost ladies tournaments, the Black Douglas Lades Masters marks the start of the June festival of bowls on the Tweed Coast.
It will be followed by the Ladies Masters Singles at Tweed Heads Bowls Club from June 22 and the Tweed Open Mixed Singles on June 28.
Entry to the Black Douglas at South Tweed Sports is free.