Battle lines drawn
Johnson, Jordan to resume golf tussle
James Johnson wants his Barbados Open golf title back but Julian Jordan has no plans of surrendering it.
Both of the island’s top golfers will go toe-to-toe in the championship flight of the 2015 Massy United Insurance Barbados Open when the tournament tees-off tomorrow morning at the Royal Westmoreland course in St James.
Four other divisions in the annual tournament, which is regarded as the national championship, also play Friday at the Barbados Golf Club, at Durants, before moving to Apes Hill on Saturday.
Last year Jordan upstaged the 12-time champion but Johnson has vowed that he is ready to reclaim the prestigious title and fend off all-comers.
“My objective is to regain the Barbados Open title. I know the course well and I will be playing to get it back. I had a lot of preparation for Pan Am Games and Caribbean championships and I am pretty satisfied with my game at the moment,” he said.
Jordan, who along with several other national players represented the island at the recent Caribbean championships in Jamaica, also described himself as tournament-ready and not bothered about pressure.
“Pressure is always there. You have to manage yourself . . . I am an old war-horse and I know my way around,” Jordan said.
The men’s championship flight, featuring players with 0-9 handicaps, is expected to be highly competitive with national players Carlsen Leacock, Roger Bostic, Scott Stollmeyer, Elvis Medford and Trinidadian teenager Sol Joanni also among the contenders.
Barbadian juniors Iz Hustler, Xzavier Wiggins and Christian Mason will also be seeking to upstage their more seasoned opponents while Jamaica-born Leiza Munn-Blakeley, who represented Barbados for the first time this year, is favoured to take the women’s championship.
Last year’s women’s champion Sally Schofield will not be defending her title, while Rae “Muffin” Stollmeyer, the champion in 2012 and 2013, will also be absent.
The senior men’s division (players over 50 years) seems poised for an interesting tussle with veteran Barbados players Robert Piggott and Michael Haynes among those seeking to dethrone Charles Cox who won with a gross 161 last year.
Barbadian Bill Weir is defending the Super Seniors crown (over 60 years) but will have his work cut out in fending off the likes of Caribbean champion Monty Chapman of Trinidad and Myles Crawford.
The championships are organised by the Barbados Golf Association and BGA President Cally Boyea said over 100 players from the Caribbean, North America and Europe were entered for the Massy United Insurance Barbados Open.
“We are ready and the players are ready and we expect some exciting and highly competitive golf at the three courses over the next three days,” he said.
All golfers in all divisions will complete their final 18 holes of play in the Barbados Open on Sunday at Royal Westmoreland where awards will be presented after competition on the greens and fairways.