Hendershott masters the elements

  • Easy does it: amateur Kevin Durant, of New Hyde Park, Nassau County, New York, plays his second shot on the par 4 14th in the Gosling’s International Invitational at Port Royal Golf Course yesterday. Durant is tied in 52nd position after the first round

(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Easy does it: amateur Kevin Durant, of New Hyde Park, Nassau County, New York, plays his second shot on the par 4 14th in the Gosling’s International Invitational at Port Royal Golf Course yesterday. Durant is tied in 52nd position after the first round (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)


Dennis Hendershott was in his element at a windswept Mid Ocean Club to hold a two-shot lead after the opening round of the Gosling’s International Invitational yesterday.

While others around him struggled to master the blustery conditions, the 50-year-old Canadian remained rock steady to shoot an impressive 67, which included six birdies, and finish four under, two ahead of Henry Smart, the runner-up last year, the only other player to finish under par.

Nick Maccario finds himself a further three shots back, having shot a one-over 72 after the first round of the amateur division at Port Royal, while four players find themselves tied for fourth with Shawn Warren, Derek Gillespie, John Jonas and Chris Moody all finishing on two over in the professional division at Mid Ocean.

“I’m really happy with my round,” Hendershott said. “I’ve been playing a lot of good golf this year, so I wouldn’t say it comes as a surprise to me.

“However, when you’re facing the type of conditions we saw today with high winds, you have to hit it really well and that’s one thing I did do.

“I controlled my ball flight and hit it straight all day. I only missed one iron and I was able to manage the approach shots really well in the conditions.

“I always like to embrace the tougher conditions because I’ve never been one to shoot really low. I like when it gets tough like that.

“You have to embrace the elements because half of the field will get weened out. You have to be patient and believe in your good ball-striking.

“You can never expect to come out and play well when it’s like that. You can play some great golf and still come out with an over-par score.”

Hendershott was not originally scheduled to be part of the field, having signed up to play only late last week, after a disappointing PGA Tour Champions Q-School campaign.

“I was sat at home bummed out because I missed the first stage of Q-School, but I knew I had been playing some good golf, so my wife convinced me to come out,” Hendershott said.

“I was disappointed to miss this event for the first time in almost 20 years last year because I was playing in the final rounds of Q-School, so I e-mailed the organisers and thankfully I managed to get in.”

As part of a tournament restructure in which it will be contested at three different courses, the amateur and professional divisions will switch courses for round two today, before those who make the cut go on to play in the final at Belmont Hills tomorrow. Although that may seem an inconvenience having shot an impressive first round at Mid Ocean, Hendershott is relishing the prospect of reacquainting himself with Port Royal.

“I love Port Royal, it’s been one of my favourite courses there are,” Hendershott added.

“I enjoying playing at Mid Ocean, but Port Royal is definitely my favourite for my game.

“It doesn’t mean that will equate into a good round and great score, but I have had some strong rounds there and that gives me great confidence.

“There’s still a lot of golf in predicted bad weather to be played so who knows, I’m just pleased to start with a score like that.”

Of the three professional Bermudian players featuring, Daniel Augustus sits in seventh place, seven shots off the lead, with Camiko Smith a further two shots back in a tie for eleventh place and Dwayne Pearman in tied 24th after finishing on eight over.

“It was just a grind out there, everything was tough in those conditions,” Augustus said.

“I only really made one bad swin ... the wind just made everything so difficult.”

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Published Dec 4, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 3, 2019 at 10:10 pm)

Hendershott masters the elements

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