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Five spots up for grabs in qualifiers

The path to the Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship just got a little tougher for Bermuda's golfers.

In the past, 40 local players have been able to qualify for the event through the Bacardi National Par 3 Championships. However, that number is expected to be halved at next month's tournament at Turtle Hill Golf Club.

With the Grey Goose's international reputation growing, only the top five, as opposed to the top ten, in each of the four divisions — professional, amateur men, amateur women, and seniors — will be granted entry to the world championship in March.

“The international field is going to be very, very strong this year,” Paul Adams, the director of golf at Turtle Hill, said. “It [the Grey Goose] is going to be very, very competitive, probably the most competitive [yet].”

Senior tour professionals from both sides of the Atlantic are expected to take part and British Airways are understood to be supporting the event once again by providing help for the European-based players who enter.

First though comes the Island's national championships, and with several of Bermuda's top golfers not playing, Adams said that he expected it to be a more open field than previously.

“If you fancy your chances [of winning] this may be the year to have a go,” Adams said.

Daniel Augustus, who won the professional division in January is expected to be back to defend his title, as is Will Haddrell, who won the men's amateur event after beating Jarryd Dillas in a play-off.

Dillas, for so long the Island's top amateur, though will not be playing at the Bacardi tournament next month, and neither will Fraser Hunt nor Mark Phillips.

The trio have accepted invitations to play in the Latin America Amateur Championships in Argentina which take place over the same January weekend as the Bacardi event.

Organisers are keen that the tournament is not “just seen as a qualifier” and that the chance to be a national champion is motivation enough for players to take part.

Presently only open to Bermuda residents, the hope in the future is that the Bacardi event will grow to include overseas entrants using it as a means to qualify for the world championship.

In addition, while professionals from the United States and Canada will be invited to take part this year, Anthony Mocklow, the former director of golf at Turtle Hill and man behind the Par 3 tournament, is working on organising local qualifiers across the US.

The deadline for entry in to the Bacardi National Par 3 Championship is January 10, 2015. The event will be played January 17 to 18.

Ruled out: Dillas will play in the Latin American Amateur Championships instead of the Par 3

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Published December 30, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 29, 2014 at 10:48 pm)

Five spots up for grabs in qualifiers

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