Widmer tees up for more titles

Even though Samantha Widmer is
arguably the best female golfer in Cayman she still wants to do better and
improve.

Widmer gets her chance to rack up
birdies and putt for low scores this weekend at the 18th annual
Cayman Islands Amateur Championships. Sponsored by NCB Homes the competition
takes place at the North Sound Golf Club this Saturday and Sunday 24-25 April.

The South Sound native should see
some of the island’s best golfers in the field, such as Robert Woods and
Michael Wight. Nevertheless her goal is to win and produce low scores.

“Since I am a very competitive
person when it comes to sports, this tournament is yet another test of my love
for the game,” Widmer said. “Of course, I am hoping to win the event.  But
most importantly I have my own goals of what I would like to shoot in order to
feel satisfied with my performance.

“My last few qualifying rounds have
been good, so I have a good outlook on this weekend’s event. I have a
lot of confidence in my iron shots at this time and it also helps having
experience with the Cayman winds. However, putting has been my toughest area
because the green speeds can change from week to week.”

Wind might be a factor during the
Saturday round. Current weather forecasts call for breezy and humid conditions.

Nevertheless local golfers should
be extra motivated to brave the breeze. In addition to trying to best Widmer or
win prizes slots on the Cayman national team are up for grabs. The tournament
will serve as a qualifier for prospective team members ahead of the Caribbean
Amateur Golf Championships in Barbados 7 June-4 July.

Team qualifying is slated to be
based on the best six-round score that accounts for play in four qualifying
rounds and in the local amateur event.

Widmer, who is generally considered
a natural choice for the Cayman national team, is well aware of the
significance of this weekend’s competition.

“I’ve been looking forward to this
tournament all year since it’s the biggest tournament the Cayman Islands Golf
Association has each year,” Widmer said. “Obviously, the winners from last
year’s event definitely have any advantage with knowing what it takes to
qualify for the Cayman team. 

“However in the past we have seen underdogs
like Ali Hall-Jones enter the event for the first time and take home the title.
I have only won the event once in the past because I have been away competing
on the college tour.  I am looking forward to shooting some low scores and
proving my position on the team. 

“Playing golf at university
definitely provided me with a different perspective on the game. Sometimes
it’s not about beating the pack, but rather about surpassing our own
personal goals.  This tournament will mark my first major qualifying event
away from university golf.  I am hoping to shoot in the low seventies and
have as few putts as possible.  It would be nice to have one
round under par too.” 

Aside from the wind, her
competitors and rekindling her form Widmer faces another adversity. Her mom was
diagnosed with colon cancer last year. As Widmer states though it’s a tough
period at home she’s inspired to play.

“I found out about my mum’s
diagnosis during last year’s Caribbean Championship,” Widmer said. “I have
always been the type of person to take a negative experience and turn it into
something positive. My mum’s strength through this tough time has brought me to
appreciate my opportunity to continue competing and playing for the island
team. 

“Mentally, I am strong and playing
for her. I know that when I play well, it makes my mum happy and full of joy. This
is one of the most important tournaments I have played in because it will test
my mental focus and determination to do well, even during times of heartache.”

Win or lose Widmer has her eyes
clearly on advancing her career and reaching higher in the sport.

“I am currently sitting my
Certified Public Accounting exams. I am looking forward to competing in the
championship in Barbados and
possibly qualifying for the World Amateurs in Argentina this October.  No
matter what, I will continue playing golf because it provides a fantastic
outlet from life’s stresses.”

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Widmer hopes to show-case some good putting.
Photo: Matthew Yates
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