Sam and Joel stay champs

The top golfers in the Cayman Islands teed up to contest supremacy last week and there were no surprises in the men’s and women’s divisions.

The Cayman Islands Amateur Golf Championships organised it at the North Sound Golf Club and around 56 golfers made an appearance over the two days in the tournament sponsored by NCB Homes. Conditions were rather windy, with isolated showers during Saturday’s round.

Competitors were split up in four categories: men’s, ladies, seniors and super seniors. Other members of the Cayman Islands Golf Association played in the handicapped categories for prizes and a fun filled weekend. By the end, four competitors stood tall: George Christie, Bob Slatter, Samantha Widmer and Joel Dodson.

Christie won the senior division after shooting home scores of 80 and 79, only after beating Paul Woodhouse (77, 82) on a play-off hole. Tracey Moore rounded up third (79, 84).

Veteran Slatter claimed the super senior title with scores of 83 in the first round and 79 in the second. Tom Crawford took second place (84, 81) and Bob Vere (86, 82) came in third. Slatter was happy with his rounds and continued to putt consistently during the two days of competition.

Defending title winner, Widmer had solid scores of 73 and 74 for another victory in the women’s section. They would double as the second lowest scores in the entire tournament.

Widmer said: “I am looking forward to defending my Caribbean title in Trinidad this August. I have really developed a deep love for golf and representing the island internationally. Having the opportunity to once again qualify for the Cayman Islands national team and become the Island women’s champion is a wish come true.

“I hope to encourage more women to take part in golf and to see the opportunities the sport can bring to an individual. I also know how much this win means to my mum during her long and strenuous recovery from cancer.”

In second was Isabel Lawson (82, 79), who just came off a win at the Caribbean Classic and third was Emily Ribbins (81, 88).

Dodson once again nabbed the men’s title with scores of 70 and 75 and the lowest overall tournament score. He just beat out Michael Wight (74, 75) and Jason Lovelock (75, 79).

“I was pretty happy with the way I played,” Dodson said. “My strategy was to play as conservatively as possible throughout the tournament and it paid off. You always gain more confidence when you’re able to win a competition.

“Michael Wight and I are going to play in the mid-amateur division (ages 35 and over) of the Caribbean Championships this year, which is a two-man team best-ball competition. We’ve spoken quite a bit about this and I think that we’ll be pretty good. Mike hits it a long way and makes a lot of birdies while I tend to be fairly steady, so we should match up well.”

In the Women’s Handicap Flight, Rocio Esau played well to take first place. Judy Van Liere and Elaine Stokoe took second and third. The Men’s Handicap Flight was won by Ger Finnigan, with Karoly Szucs and Brian Esau rounding up second and third.

Prizes were also awarded for longest drive and closest to the pin on all the par threes. The golf association did a great job in organising fantastic prizes and as a whole, the competitors enjoyed their busy weekend of golf.

“This past weekend, the North Sound Club was happy to host the annual Cayman Islands Amateur Championship,” said Jason Deerwester, head golf professional at the North Sound Club.

“The course was in great condition with the greens rolling true. Special thanks to all the staff here as I believe we hosted another great event. Congratulations to those who qualified for the national team as well as Joel Dodson and Samantha Widmer in repeating as men’s and women’s champions. I wish them the best of luck in Trinidad in August.”

The golf association thanked their first time title sponsor Cayman National Corporation and also CIBC, UBS, KPMG, PWC, FCIB, BDO, Admiral, Bob Slatter, Butterfield, Deloitte, Ogier, Charles Adams Ritchie and Duckworth, Willis, Dart, Cayman Growers, Bodden & Bodden, Meridian Fund Services, Conyers Dill and Pearman, Citco.

Widmer and Dodson automatically receive a place on the national Team for the Caribbean Championships and the rest of the team will be finalised soon.

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