Layne gunning for second title
Over 100 golfers will take to the fairways and greens when the tenth edition of the RBC Royal Bank Classic tees off at the Barbados Golf Club today.
The island’s top golfers will be seeking to dash the ambitions of Canada-based Stephen Layne, who is chasing his second title in four years in the two-day tournament.
Layne, a Barbadian-born scratch golfer, won the RBC title on the final hole over Judd Cozier four years ago and will be competing in the men’s championship flight.
However, he is expected to have his work cut out for him as he comes up against top Barbados players in Barbados Open champion Julian Jordan, Scott Stollmeyer, Carlsen Leacock and Igna Smart.
“I had some practice rounds on the course and I am feeling good about my chances. I am ready,” said Layne who will be looking to improve on his third place finish last year.
Last year’s champion Dawn Bispham and perennial Barbados champion James Johnson, who is representing the country at the CAC Games in Mexico, will both be absent from this year’s event as well as 2013 women’s champion Rae “Muffin” Stollmeyer.
With the defending champion missing, the women’s division is expected to be a three-way tussle between improving teenager Mavi Vergos and experienced national players Julia Stephenson and Helen Foster.
Among the juniors, national captain Spencer Smith as well as national players Iz Hustler, Xzavier Wiggins, Oziah Layne and Chris Cobley will be seeking to upstage senior rivals on the challenging BGC course.
Overall, keen battles are anticipated in six categories of competition and the most accomplished players will have to produce two solid rounds of golf to secure a place on the podium.
The RBC Classic is organised by the Barbados Golf Association and BGA President Cally Boyea said they were expecting a weekend of encouraging weather and exciting golf at the Durants course.
“We are pleased with the response and the operations staff at the BGC has assured us that the course is in good shape,” Boyea said.
“All systems are go and we are expecting some really competitive golf over the two days.”
Several attractive prizes will be up for grabs with ten additional prizes being awarded for nearest-to-the-pin tee-shots on all par-3 holes.
Title sponsors RBC also disclosed that the RBC High Performance Award will be presented again this year to the most deserving junior golfer.