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Pearman not sold on Gosling’s changes

Has doubts: Pearman is not sure adding Port Royal will appeal to everyone (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dwayne Pearman, the Bermuda golfer, has expressed concerns over the changes made to the Gosling’s Invitational tournament.

Since its inception, the premier golf tournament has been played at Belmont Hills Golf Club.

However, that is all about to change as organisers have announced that this year’s 72-hole tournament will be played over two courses.

The opening two rounds will be played at the par-70 Belmont Hills layout, with the remaining 36 holes to be contested at the slightly longer par-71 Port Royal Golf Course, former hosts of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

Pearman, the last local player to win the tournament, fears that the change will undermine the event’s appeal.

“It’s all right, but my personal feeling is I think it’s going to take the fun and hype out of it a little bit, because Belmont has always been a fun type of tournament where the guys come down and enjoy it,” Pearman said.

“Port Royal is a nice golf course, but Belmont is Belmont and it’s just not going to be the same.

“Guys who have been coming down year after year are probably not going to come because of that.

“Port Royal is kind of tough and a lot of the older guys like Joe Carr probably don’t want Port Royal. Port Royal is pretty tough for the older guys.”

Pearman’s sole win at the tournament came in the early Nineties on the old course at Belmont, when the event was known as the Belmont Invitational.

“The Belmont has always been the Belmont at Belmont and that’s what’s made it all these years and kept people coming back because they like the fun and the atmosphere,” Pearman said.

“They [organisers] are trying something and I don’t know how it’s going to work. But I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes after the first year and then go from there.”

Karen Marsh, the Bermuda Tees event coordinator, said the change is as a result of “polling our players over the years and listening to their comments and the effort of Gosling’s to grow and improve the tournament going forward”.

“We are all very pleased to be able to share two of Bermuda’s beautiful courses with our players and feel this year will make a significant mark on the Gosling’s Invitational tournament of the future,” she said.