Local golfers of all ages and abilities battled it out for supremacy at the North Sound Golf Club over the weekend.
The course was presented in great condition and provided a fair but firm test, made more interesting by the unusual wind direction.
The Cayman Islands Golf Association committee felt it achieved its goal of making the 23rd Cayman Islands Amateur Golf Championships an inclusive event for the membership by organizing a range of scratch and handicap events, played from different tee boxes for golfers of all levels of skill and age groups.
The great illustration of this, and of golf’s unique place in the sporting world, was the 11:30 a.m. Saturday grouping who played the first round together, comprised of Carmel Harms, playing in the ladies handicap event, Justin Hastings, age 11 and a member of the Cayman Islands Junior team, and Bob Slatter, Caribbean Golf Association Hall of Fame alumni, 74.
Slatter has a long history of supporting golf in Cayman and in particular the development of juniors, many of whom have represented Cayman at international level.
When asked about the experience of playing with a golfer 63 years his junior, Slatter simply replied, “It was an absolute pleasure to play with the future.”
The event was well supported with around 70 golfers teeing up to compete for titles in seven divisions. At the end of the 36 hole contest there was a new men’s champion, Brian Ross, who beat last year’s winner Michael Wight in a close battle.
Junior team member Andrew Jarvis came second, with Brandon Smith third.
Wight did not go away empty-handed, as he clinched the senior title.
Samantha Widmer won her eighth ladies championship, and Andy Newton once again successfully defended in the super seniors.
In addition to the championships, there was a handicap competition divided into three divisions.
The winner on the men’s side was Jeff Rees with a net score of 136 (6 under par); Tony Crescente was second, and Dan Fortune third.
The most closely contested bracket was in the ladies handicap, which saw Siobhan Ribbins declared the winner over Harms after a count-back.
Both ladies had finished with the same net score of 140 (2 under par).
Alan Brooks won the super seniors event with 143.
President Paul Woodhouse thanked the North Sound Golf Club for all its assistance, both behind the scenes and on the day.
He also acknowledged the contribution the club makes to golf in general, and highlighted its generous support of the golfing association through providing coaching support and practice facilities, member discounts for their events and the development of golf via the junior programs.
In addition, he outlined CIGA’s “Golf in the Community” initiative which is being rolled out over the next few months with the support of corporate sponsors and which aims to take the game into the wider public, both in schools and by encouraging adult participation.