Cayman to host golf event

Cayman is set to host a huge regional golf tournament next year.

The 2008 Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship (CAGC) is expected to be held on Grand Cayman. The details surrounding the event are expected to be released shortly.

The 2007 version was held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. It took place 6-11 August and saw teams from various Caribbean countries.

President of the Cayman Islands Golfing Association (CIGA) Robert Woods says he expects the event to be a highlight of the Cayman golf scene.

‘In 2008 we host the CAGC. Regionally, there is no bigger event and it will bring many golfers and supporters to the island.’

The national team for the event is yet to be determined. However, Woods is looking forward to some of Cayman’s best players taking part.

‘I do not think that it would be disputed that Johnny Widmer is the best amateur player in the Cayman Islands. Robert Chilman has been one of the best players for many years and still pushes the younger players. Michael Wight has tremendous potential having started playing golf later than most people. Joel Dodson is the Island Champion and Samantha Widmer the Ladies Champion.

‘There are several other youngsters that we hope will develop as they grow such as Shahzad Hafiz, Jack Widmer, Sai Eccles and Emily Ribbins.’

Woods says the financial cost of hosting the event is huge and sponsorship is vital.

‘We will need major sponsorship and many volunteers for this event to be successful. We will be hoping that the Public and Private Sectors will support us and assist in raising the funds required to make it happen.’

In addition, Woods says there are a number of other competitions coming up this year.

‘We hold many events throughout the year including the Island Championships, the National Team qualifiers, the President’s Trophy and the CIGA Pairs Tournament. They have all been sold out in the last year.

‘We are discussing holding a qualifying tournament in September. This will be for a new event that the Caribbean Golf Association is hosting late in 2007. We intend to send two players to represent the Western Caribbean in a Ryder Cup-type format against the Eastern Caribbean. The event will be in Puerto Rico. In October we will host the President’s Trophy which is open to all golfers and is one of the more popular tournaments. Then towards the end of the year we host the CIGA Pairs tournament.’

Woods encourages the public to get involved with local golf and give their support however they can.

‘As stated, we have many things to do, and all on voluntary time. I ask that the community do not be shy. Contact me directly if you wish to support the Junior program and/or the hosting of the 2008 CAGC.

‘The latter could be a major chance, particularly for ‘Caribbean wide businesses’ to get some major exposure through sponsorship.’

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