Widmer likes handicap greens

This weekend sees the next notable
competition on the local golf calendar. Most locals are for the event,
including arguably Cayman’s best female player.

Samantha Widmer feels the 18th Annual
President’s Trophy on 25 September at the North Sound Golf Club will be a hit.
Widmer, 23, is particularly hoping the event gets new players into the sport.

“I believe it is important to play
competitive golf here and enter tournaments such as the President’s Trophy,”
Widmer said. “In fact the President’s Trophy is one of the more unique
tournaments that the local golf association offers because it is a handicapped
event. By taking into consideration the handicaps of each of the players, the
playing field is made more equal for various levels of players. We will see
entrants from both the new and improved player all the way to our top national
team qualifiers. I believe it is important for both talents to interact and
compete together to enrich the Cayman Islands golfing society and promote
competitive golf on this island.”

The tournament is being hosted by
the Cayman Islands Golf Association and uses a handicap system. Open to all
current and prospective golf association members, prize categories include:
Mens, Ladies, Junior Boys and Seniors. Trophy winners are the best 18-hole net
scores.

Coming into the week Widmer was the
favourite to repeat last year’s success. The South Sound native was a low gross
winner with a score of 73. However the Ernst and Young senior accountant states
she will not be putting this weekend due to other commitments.

“Unfortunately, I will not be
competing because I have another event to attend this year. I recently won the
crown of Miss Earth Cayman Islands, similar to Miss Cayman in that it is a
beauty pageant. However, my reign focuses on the preservation of the
environment and promoting sustainable development of the environment. I believe
this title is another fantastic opportunity for me to represent the Cayman
Islands at an international event and promote our island around the world.”

In the female ranks focus then
shifts to Nisha Bismillah. She won the ladies category ahead of 2008 champion
Emma Woodhouse by a single shot and produced a personal-best and tournament-best
net score of 66. Other winners included Dale Dickerson, who took the Mens title
with a net 70 (besting runner-ups Jason Lovelock by two strokes and Robert
Woods by three), Gordon Smith, who took the Senior Mens division with a net 69,
(ahead of runner-up Paul Sleep) and low gross champs Joel Dodson (who shot a 71
in the Mens draw) and Tracy Moore (who shot 76 in the Senior division).

Dodson, who draws much of his
inspiration from wife Alyssa Dodson and two year-old son Luke Dodson, spoke
about his mind-set this week.

“This tournament is always fun to
play in and I’m looking forward to it,” Dodson said. “I’m still playing quite
regularly. My schedule is no different than before and my motivation is no
different. However Lucas is playing now, he’s starting to like it and I’m proud
of that.”

Widmer states this year’s
tournament, which is being catered by Sunshine Suites Bar and Grill, is
wide-open because local players are just getting their swings going.

“September through December are
off-season months for us golfers. This is the time to work on our strengths and
mitigate our weaknesses. This time is critical for a successful golf player
because it allows time for swing changes, muscle memory and trading in old
clubs for new ones. These are not the types of things that should be done
during the competitive summer months.

“We take the time now to build
muscle in the gym, practice our short game and gain the confidence needed for
the next year’s tournaments. Also, a lot of planning for future tournaments goes
on during this time. Next year will bring the Island Games on the Isle of Wight
and the Caribbean Championships in Trinidad and Tobago. These are the two top
tournaments that our region competes in each year.”

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Widmer is Cayman’s most successful woman golfer.
Photo: Matthew Yates
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