Dillas hails impact of pro event
Jarryd Dillas has heaped praise on the Port Royal groundsmen and the hundred of amateurs who put in a sterling effort to make the inaugural Bermuda Championship a success last weekend.
The amateur was one of five local players who competed against professionals from the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Sweden, Australia, Puerto Rico, Denmark, South Korea, Paraguay, India and Argentina.
Although he failed to make the cut by nine strokes at the halfway stage, Dillas was honoured to be a part of the tournament after earning his spot during the qualifying tournament the previous week.
“Golf is a solitary sport and sometimes you feel like you are out there by yourself, but as a player this week that was definitely not the case,” Dillas said after his second round when his elimination was confirmed.
“To see so many people out watching and so many volunteers out, it just made it all the more sweeter.”
Daniel Augustus, Dwayne Pearman, Michael Sims and youngster Kenny Leseur also missed the cut, but will likely look forward to putting their hats into the ring again next year.
“We’ve got it for the next four years, and I don’t see why we couldn’t keep it for longer if a sponsor comes in,” Dillas said.
“We’ve got the infrastructure, we’ve shown we could do it before with the PGA Grand Slam of Golf and to see it all come to fruition this week has been really cool.
“I’ve seen set-ups like this in the Latin America Amateur Championships and to see what we’ve done, Dennis Pilgrim and his guys need to be commended as well. They have got the course in fantastic shape and the membership, especially, will benefit once the event is gone.
“All the work they did after the storm and then with the bunkers, those guys are to be commended. This event couldn’t have gone on without them.”
Pearman, who received an exemption, was the veteran among the local players while Leseur, at just 15, had an experience he will remember for a long time.
“I saw quite a few juniors out as well and would love to have had an event like this when I was coming up,” Dillas said.
“I remember volunteering at the Gillette Tour Challenge, before the Grand Slam. We’ve had great golfers come before but they were all exhibition events, this is the real deal and it was good to see the course record broken by two shots on the first day.
“These guys are the very best at what they do and it’s been fun to see it up close. I’m happy for myself but happy for all the guys, Michael, Kenny, Daniel and Dwayne, who deserved the honorary exemption for everything he’s given to the sport.”
Dillas added: “I really hope people continue to support this event in the years ahead and who knows, we could see Kenny again, or a junior behind him, at this level in a few year’s time.
“Part of the fun when playing in an event like this is matching yourself up against some of the best players in the world.
“To be able to say that five of us got the chance to do that bodes well for the future of Bermuda golf. Hopefully, people will look at this and say, ‘If those guys can do it, why not me’.”
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