Some of the island’s most promising young young golfers will be put to the test this weekend in the 2014 edition of the Massy United Insurance Barbados Open Championships.
That’s when the skills of rising club-swingers will be among those being showcased over three days in this major tournament for local and regional players that has come to be regarded as the island’s national championships.
Play in the Massy United Insurance Barbados Open tees off on Friday and will be staged on three courses this year – at the Barbados Golf Club at Durants, Apes Hill and Royal Westmoreland.
The championship flight, featuring players with 0-9 handicaps, will contest the three days at Royal Westmoreland while the other four divisions will be held at the BGC on Friday and Apes Hill on Saturday. All players will complete the final day on Sunday at Royal Westmoreland where an awards ceremony is scheduled for the late evening.
National juniors Spencer Smith, Iz Hustler and Xzavier Wiggins, who represented the island at the 2014 Caribbean Junior Championships in Puerto Rico are among those entered to tussle with more seasoned players and will have to produce their best games to get a slot on the leader-board.
For 16-year-old Smith, the Barbados junior captain and a student of the St Michael School, he will tee-off in the Championship Flight (players with 0 to 9 handicaps) for the second time after notable performances in major tournament last year.
Smith and Hustler will tee-up in the same division as defending champion James Johnson and the likes of Julian Jordan, Scott Stollmeyer, Marcus Clarke, Trinidadians Adrian Sampson and Wayne Baptiste and highly rated OECS players Trevor Levine and Raymond Percival.
Thirteen-year-old Iz Hustler has been showing great improvement over the past year, lowering his handicap from 22 to eight, and will compete in the championship flight for the first time.
The Combermere student is relishing the opportunity to play among accomplished seniors in the Barbados Open and this should be a good learning experience for the young player who is a graduate of the annual BGA summer camp.
Queen’s College student 13-year-old Wiggins has also shown improvement over the last year and will compete in the men’s first flight on a 12 handicap.
Some of the top regional juniors entered for the Massy United Barbados Open, include Trinidadians Liam Bryden (1 handicap) Ross Cabral (3 handicap) and Sol Joanni of Tobago (2 handicap).
Barbados-based Mavi Vergos, a top 14-year-old female player, is also expected to compete in the women’s championship flight and is expected to be in the reckoning again after a top three finish last year.
Former Barbados junior captain, 18-year-old Donald Leacock, who was a regular in the Open, is expected to miss this year’s event as he in on a scholarship attending a Florida University.