Golfers make last-minute preparations
Local and visiting players are fine-tuning their drives and putts, and preparing to tee-off on Friday in the 2015 Massy United Insurance Barbados Open Golf championships.
Today and tomorrow represent the last two warm-up days before the major Open tournament moves into full swing at three courses –– the Barbados Golf Club at Durants and the Apes Hill Club and Royal Westmoreland in St James.
While the championship flight featuring players with 0-9 handicaps, will contest all three days at Royal Westmoreland, other divisions will play at the Barbados Golf Club on Friday and Apes Hill on Saturday.
On Sunday, all players will complete their final 18 holes at Royal Westmoreland where a cocktail reception and awards ceremony will be staged in the late evening.
The Massy United Insurance Barbados Open is organised by the Barbados Golf Association and President Cally Boyea said players were looking forward to hitting the courses and positioning themselves for some of the attractive prizes up for grabs in the various divisions.
“This is the biggest tournament on our calendar and it always produces exciting golf. We have players from the Caribbean, North America and Europe entered and it should be interesting in all divisions,” said Boyea.
While the country has been facing an extended dry spell, management of the three hosting venues reported that the courses were in good shape and ready to welcome and test the skills of players.
Operations manager at the Barbados Golf Club, Dave Barnard, said they were proud to host the Open, which is considered as the national championships, and players will enjoy the challenges of playing at the Barbados Golf Club in Christ Church.
“We are ready for Friday . . . the greens and the fairways are in good shape and we expect some exciting and competitive golf,” he said.
New director of golf at Apes Hill, Roger Beale, said they were ready and looking forward to hosting players in the 2015 Barbados Open and partnering with the BGA for a major tournament.
“I’m excited to work with the team at Apes Hill and welcome the players taking part in the Barbados Open. It will be my first major event as director of golf and I think they will enjoy the conditions,” said Beale, who along with James Johnson represented Barbados in the 2006 World Cup of Golf.
Apes Hill enjoys a prime location at almost 1000 feet above sea level in the center of the island and Beale, a former playing professional in North America, further stated that the course was in good shape and could present challenges to players in terms of big and relatively fast greens and breezy conditions that could impact shot-making.
Over at Royal Westmoreland, assistant golf professional Sean Edey said they too were also looking forward to tee-time and the course was ready to host the top flight players.
“It is an honour for us to host the players in the Barbados Open at Royal Westmoreland and we know they will enjoy it. The greens are running good and may be a bit quicker this weekend,” said Edey, a newly qualified PGA teaching professional.
Edey said several players were already taking advantage of warm-up rounds and they expected the numbers to increase today and tomorrow.
The Royal Westmoreland greens are known to be fairly quick and subtle, and along with expansive fairways, should set the stage for an intriguing tussle over 54 holes for the championship contenders.