Local and visiting players are fine-tuning their drives, chips and putts, getting ready to tee-off on Friday in the 2014 Massy United Insurance Barbados Open Golf championships.
Today and tomorrow mark the last two warm-up days before the major Open tournament, which features five divisions and has come to be regarded as the island’s national championships.
The Massy United Insurance Barbados Open, organised by the Barbados Golf Association, is being played at three courses this year – the Barbados Golf Club at Durants; Apes Hill and Royal Westmoreland. The championship flight, featuring players with 0-9 handicaps, will contest all 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, involving organisers, sponsors, players and supporters of golf, will be staged in the late evening.
President of the BGA, 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.
Management of the three hosting courses, have all indicated that the venues are in good shape and ready to welcome and test the skills of players.
Manager of the Barbados Golf Club, Betty-June Leacock said they were proud to host the national championships and players will enjoy the challenges of the fairways and greens.
“We are ready for Fridayv. . . the greens and the fairways are in good shape and we expect some exciting and competitive golf,” she said.
Director of golf at Royal Westmoreland, Roger Beale, said they were also looking forward to tee-time and the course would be in good condition. “The greens will be fairly quick and subtle…not particularly difficult but they can fool you,” he said.
Beale, who played the Golf World Cup in 2006, further said that the final three holes on the last day should be exciting. “It aint over till its over on those last three holes,” he said .
Apes Hill enjoys a prime location at almost 1000 feet above sea level in the centre of the island and director of golf Ben Hatch said a course of the highest quality was awaiting the players.
“The course is fantastic and in excellent shape. It is in the best condition it has ever been for this time of year . . . the greens should be nice with consistent speed and running smoothly,” said Hatch.