Residents in the Cayman Islands will be exposed to world-class golf talent.
The Audemars Piguet Invitational golf tournament takes place 14-18 December. The competition, in its second year, will tee off at the Blue Tip golf course at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.
Local resident and golf pro Marcello Santi serves as organizer. The Italian native states the Blue Tip event is about promoting local golf and sports tourism.
“I am interested in making Cayman a golfing destination,” Santi said. “I can bring more awareness to the golf facilities that are available here on Island for all to enjoy and also make Cayman possibly a Professional Golfers Association stop one day.
“I want to introduce professional golfers to the local resident golfing community, giving the resident golfers a chance to play with the pros. It can be a learning experience during which they will improve their golfing techniques, learn how to view the hole differently and learn how to look at the shot differently.
“Better course management and learning how to keep the ball in play more often results in a better score. They will also learn how to think about each hole from a different perspective and rethink the risk involved so they can get the ball in the best possible position for the next shot.”
Santi has been a Cayman resident since 1994, after turning pro in 1992. The idea for the Invitational was conceived last year to bring more worldwide awareness to Cayman and its golf scene. It is through his personal contacts and his love of Cayman that has made this event possible.
Some 11 pros and 33 amateurs are expected to participate. Among the pros are Peter Hanson, Alex Cejka, Brain Davis, Thomas Levet, Richard Johnson, Alex Noren, Oliver Wilson, Greg Owen and Cassandra Marie Blaney. One pro will be paired with three amateurs and the pro with the lowest score is the winner.
The event schedule sees a floating hole-in-one competition at Camana Bay on Wednesday, 14 December; a golf clinic with a David Leadbetter Golf Academy instructor on the 15th; the tournament itself 16-17 December with free public admission; a celebrity football match at the Camana Bay field at 5pm featuring Italian great Gianfranco Zola on the 16th and a junior golf clinic on the 17th.
Sponsoring the tournament is Cayman Airways, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, QueensGate, Red Sail Sports, Deloitte, Crighton Properties, Maples and main sponsor Audemars Piguet.