Big changes made to Gosling’s Invitational
The Gosling’s International Invitational has undergone significant changes for the third time in three years.
The tournament has been reduced from 72 to 54 holes and will be contested at three different courses: Port Royal Golf Course, Mid Ocean Club and Belmont Hills from December 2 to 5.
Another new feature will involve all professional and amateur players being kept apart during the opening two qualifying rounds, with those that fail to make the cut in each division to compete in a consolation tournament for the new Seal Pup Cup.
It starts on Monday at Port Royal Golf Course, which will also host a Pro Am and the official welcome party.
The opening round of the championship proper will start the following day with professionals playing at Mid Ocean Club and amateurs at Port Royal.
Both divisions will swap courses for the second round with the top 42 per cent among the professional field and the top nine amateurs making the cut.
The third and final round will be played at Belmont Hills with the 18-hole consolation event taking place the same day at the par-3 Turtle Hill Golf Club layout at Fairmont Southampton.
Belmont Hills will also host the award ceremony after the conclusion of the tournament.
Local Camiko Smith who is competing among the professional division, which also boasts defending champion David Lawrence, of the United States, has embraced the changes.
“It’s pretty cool to have that, something different,” Smith, who finished as the top local and tied for fifteenth at the event last year, said. “It’s something to twist it up a little bit and make it interesting.
“It’s three different courses, so basically they have you playing three different types of greens and different grasses and that’s what golf is all about; playing in different situations and adjusting to it.
“It’s going to make for an interesting tournament and we’ll just play how it is.”
Since its inception, the premier golf tournament had been played at Belmont Hills until 2016 when the opening two rounds were held at Belmont Hills and the remaining 36 holes at Port Royal.
More changes followed the next year with Port Royal hosting the opening two rounds and Belmont Hills the remaining 36 holes.
Lawrence won the Gosling’s International Invitational last year at the second attempt by two shots while compatriot Herbie Aikens claimed the amateur title and finished third overall.
Dwayne Pearman is the last Bermudian to win the tournament.
The experienced professional achieved the feat in the early 1990s on the old course at Belmont, when the event was known as the Belmont Invitational.
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