Yorke, Lara for United Open
Former West Indies cricket captain Brian Lara and retired football star Dwight Yorke are among a strong Trinidadian contingent set to tee off tomorrow in the 2010 edition of the United Insurance Barbados Open Golf Tournament.
More than 40 Trinidadians are booked for the three-day tournament which will be contested over 54 holes at the luxurious Royal Westmoreland course.
Both Lara and Yorke have been regulars in amateur and celebrity tournaments in Barbados over the years and are certain to enjoy another outing this weekend. Former West Indies opener Desmond Haynes is also entered and will be seeking to produce his best game among amateurs from ten countries.
Regarded as the island’s national championships, the United Barbados Open is organised by the Barbados Golf Association and has attracted the leading regional men’s and women’s amateur golfers, among a field of more than 130 players this year.
In association with Royal Westmoreland and tournament sponsors United Insurance, the BGA will be hosting a media conference at the club-house this morning where details on the hosting of the major tournament will be further revealed and all entries will be declared. Today is also designated a practice day.
Despite heavy rains in recent days, director of golf at the Royal Westmoreland Club, Matthew Gill, said the course was in excellent shape and should inspire exciting competition over the three days.
Ready for play
“The course stood up remarkably well to the heavy rains. Our guys have put in a lot of overtime over the past four days and we are ready for play.
“The fairways are good and the greens will be more than average speed,” said Gill.
Along with the host country and Trinidad, players from Grenada, Guyana, St Lucia, Guadeloupe, Antigua, St Kitts, Canada and Britain are contesting the tournament which is being played in five divisions. They are the men’s championship, women’s championship, men’s 1st Flight, senior men and super senior men.
Top Barbados player James Johnson is defending the men’s championship but can expect a stern test from top regional player Trevor Levine of St Kitts and fellow Barbados national players Marcus Clarke and Julian Jordan (reigning Caribbean champions), Judd Cozier, Briton Rob Stevens and Trinidadians Shane Costello, Mitchum Jasper and Deryck Gonsalves – all low to scratch handicap golfers.
In women’s play, Lynn DeCambra-McLeod will be among those seeking to lift the title with fellow Barbadian Julia Stephenson and Trinidadian Pauline Figuera-Raynor, among the other contenders.
Veterans Ricky Skeete and Robert Piggott are favoured to continue their domination of the senior men’s division. However, they will have a fight on their hands trying to fend off Trinidadian Michael Commissiong, who along with Carlos Baynes defeated the Barbadians to win the title at the Caribbean Golf Championships. (BA/PR)
Here, director of golf at Royal Westmoreland, Matthew Gill (left), says the course is in good shape for the United Open Championships. Here he makes a point about the venue during a tour with president of the Barbados Golf Association, Birchmore Griffith, and USGA rules official Cesar Rivera of Puerto Rico (right).