Defending champion Rae “Muffin” Stollmeyer is preparing to fend-off local and visiting rivals when the women’s division of the 2013 United Insurance Barbados Open tees-off this Friday at the Barbados Golf Club.
Following a triumphant return to competitive golf last year, when she won the title at The Country Club at Sandy Lane, Muffin Stollmeyer is expected to be pressed by a number of visiting players this year, including 17 year-old Trinidadian Tori Defreitas-Baptsite and her veteran compatriots Pauline Raynor and Amoy Chang-Fong.
DeFreitas-Baptiste, who won a recent tournament in Port-of-Spain and gained a trip to the 30th edition of the Barbados Open as part of her prize, is a 9-handicap player seeking to make an impression outside of her homeland.
Stollmeyer, a former top Barbados junior who attended a New Jersey university on a golf scholarship and took a five -year break after graduating with a major in Finance, is on a mission to retain her title and enhance her rating as currently the best female player on the island.
She has been sharpening her chips and putts, seeking to stave off all comers.
“My intention is to defend the title. Each day is a different course and I will play it as it comes with the objective of lowering my scores from last year,” she said.
Among Stollmeyer’s rivals will be her mother Lynn deCambra-Mcleod, an experienced national golfer and a reigning veteran Caribbean squash champion, as well as 12 year-old Mavi Vergos and Julia Stephenson, another experienced Barbados national player.
“I’m hoping to play well and to win. I know that the competition will be stiff but I intend to fight,” said deCambra-Mcleod.
For the first time this year, both male and female players will contest the three days of the Barbados Open at different courses. From the BGC at Durants on Friday, play moves to The Country Club at Sandy Lane on Saturday and the final 18 holes at Royal Westmoreland on Sunday.
“The women’s contest appears very interesting and that gives us another reason to be proud of our support of the Barbados Open championships. Women are an important demographic among the customers we serve and we are happy to partner the BGA and provide opportunities for them to showcase their skills in such wholesome endeavours,” said Sharron Alleyne-Elcock, Marketing Manager of sponsors United Insurance.
Though still in her pre-teens, Vergos, a student of the Codrington School, created a big impression on the greens last year when she finished second with a gross 259.
The experienced Stephenson, who has not missed the Barbados Open for several years, is a previous nett-winner (winner on handicap) of the tournament and says she will be there again seeking to change her fortune. “My handicap is not where it should be at the moment but I will there trying to make things happen,” she said.
Some of the other female players seeking glory in the tournament include – Regine Greaux-Archer (St. Marteen), Zerina Belgrave (Bdos), Pamela Hiles (Bdos), Christine Long (England) and Cherisia Irvine (Trinidad). (BB)