Layne vs Locals in RBC Classic
MORE THAN 100 golfers will hit the fairways and greens this weekend in the tenth edition of the RBC Royal Bank Classic, which tees off at the Barbados Golf Club (BGC) tomorrow.
The island’s top golfers will be seeking to dash the ambitions of Canada-based Stephen Layne, who is seeking his second title in four years in the two-day tournament.
Layne, a Barbadian-born scratch golfer who won the RBC title on the final hole over Judd Cozier in 2010, is competing in the men’s championship flight and will have his work cut out against top Barbados players Julian Jordan, the Barbados Open champion; Scott Stollmeyer; Carlsen Leacock and Igna Smart.
“I had some practice rounds on the course and I am feeling good about my chances. I am ready,” said Layne, who was third last year.
Last year’s champion Dawn Bispham and perennial Barbados champion James Johnson, who is representing the country at the CAC Games in Mexico, will both be absent from this year’s event, as well as 2013 female champion Rae “Muffin” Stollmeyer.
The women’s division is expected to be a three-way tussle between improving teenager Mavi Vergos and experienced national players Julia Stephenson and Helen Foster.
Among the juniors, national captain Spencer Smith as well as national players Iz Hustler, Xzavier Wiggins, Oziah Layne and Chris Cobley will be seeking to upstage senior rivals on the challenging BGC course.
Overall, keen battles are looming between male and female players in six catergories of competition and the most accomplished players will have to produce two solid rounds of golf to secure a place on the podium.
The RBC Classic is organised by the Barbados Golf Association and BGA president Cally Boyea said they were expecting a weekend of encouraging weather and exciting golf at the Durants course.
“We are pleased with the response and the operations staff at the BGC has assurred us that the course is in good shape. All systems are go and we are expecting some really competitive golf over the two days,” he said.
Boyea added that several attractive prizes are up for grabs and, with the event being co-sponsored by Royal Fidelity Merchant Bank and Trust for the first time, ten additional prizes will be awarded for nearest-to-the-pin tee shots on all par-3 holes.
Title sponsors RBC also disclosed that the RBC High Performance Award will be presented again this year to the most deserving junior golfer. (PR/EZS)