One of Cayman’s best golfers isn’t even 21 yet.
But as adults indicate, age has no bearing on 18 year-old Johnny Widmer’s talent.
‘I do not think that it would be disputed that Johnny Widmer is the best amateur player in the Cayman Islands.
‘There is little doubt that if his progression continues, he will at least become the first golf professional emanating from the Cayman Islands, and he could even be successful on a major golf tour,’ says President of the Cayman Islands Golfing Association Robert Woods.
With Widmer’s recent play, he doesn’t look too far away from going pro.
Earlier in the year, he was named the Caribbean Junior Champion of 2006.
This summer, he competed at the Callaway Junior World Championships in California. He finished 15 out of 190 players.
In addition, he participated in the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship at the PGA National course in West Palm Beach, Florida. He finished tied for 16 out of 190 golfers and earned honours with a last round score of 69.
Widmer is currently a member of the Cayman team at the 51st Annual Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships. The event is being held at the Santo Domingo Country Club in the Dominican Republic 8-11 August.
Widmer has been a standout from a very young age. It all started when he got his first club at four years old.
‘It was when I was four that a neighbour took me to the Safehaven Links golf course that had just been built. I had also visited the Britannia where I was given an old cut-down putter which acted as a driver and wedge.’
However, Widmer was also talented in other sports. But he soon realized golf was his future.
‘At school I liked cricket and I also played Little League for many years. It was at 13 that I chose the sport I enjoyed the most; namely golf.’
From there Widmer grew with the sport. He says he made a firm pledge at an early stage to strongly pursue the sport.
‘There has to be a commitment to any discipline if you want to succeed. If I am to progress in the game, I have to spend many hours practicing and playing tournaments.
‘I practice every day for several hours and fit in school work. I take part in about ten tournaments a year [mostly in the States] which requires a lot of travel.’
Widmer currently attends a golfing academy in the US. There he combines his education with his drive on the golf course.
‘At 14 I went to IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida for the David Leadbetter Golf School.
‘It [the IMG Academies] has an on-site school where sports students are able to attend half-day classes. They concentrate a full day’s study into half a day.’
Widmer wanted to remind other young people in the community that taking up any sport does not lead to an easier life.
‘A sport may offer opportunities of travel and college placement. But you have to have commitment and drive to succeed. You will face setbacks and have to work hard to overcome them.’
Ultimately, Widmer intends to keep playing and working on his talent. He expects to represent Cayman for years to come.
‘I look forward to playing college golf after I graduate [from IMG Academies].
‘The future for me is to get a college degree and play amateur golf. After that, there may be an opportunity [for me] to get on [a major] tour. [Meanwhile] I will continue to represent the Cayman Islands in golf all over the world.’