Augustus eyes third title
Daniel Augustus will resume his quest for a third title at the Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship, which starts tomorrow at Turtle Hill Golf Club.
The 31-year-old professional won the PGA of Canada event twice when it was then known as the Bacardi National Par 3 Championship.
He held off a charging Tim Conley to win the inaugural tournament in 2010 by two shots, his first win as a professional.
“It was such a great feeling, being able to win so early in my professional career,” Augustus recalled.
“It was a good weekend where I kept it simple and got the ball in the hole quickly. I will never forget that.”
Augustus then captured a second title four years later after finishing three shots clear of nearest rival and compatriot Dwayne Pearman and remains the only Bermudian to have won the event to date.
He attributes his impressive track record at the Southampton layout to his ball-striking ability off the tee.
“I’m typically a good ball striker and tend to hit a lot of greens,” he said.
“At Turtle Hill, the greens aren’t that big, so if you’re hitting plenty of greens then you’re not going to work too hard for a par and if a few putts drop that’s a birdie.
“People have always known me for how long I can hit the ball. It often overshadows how good of a short game I have.
“Keith Smith [a former local professional] always tells me, ‘You’re a big man with a soft touch’. That always makes me smile, but it definitely helps on a par-3 course.
“Any time you have to play all par 3s you know it’s going to be a good test, especially since they are all solid golf holes. It will be a good test for everyone’s game.”
Augustus is going into the tournament on the back of solid displays competing in Florida last month.
He captured a maiden win on the Florida Elite Golf Tour after pipping Taylor Pendrith, a Florida resident, for the title and $5,000 winner’s cheque by a solitary shot, competing in a 36-hole championship at the Orange County National Golf Club.
He then finished tied at sixth competing in another 36-hole championship on the Open Golf America Tour at the Greg Norman-designed ChampionsGate Golf Club.
As for his form entering into the Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship, Augustus said: “Honestly, form doesn’t mean much in golf, every day is different. I’m going out there with no expectations; I’m going try and hit every shot the best I can. Playing shot by shot is the only way you can play this game.”
Daniel Gaunt won the truncated Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship last year after strong gales forced organisers to cancel the final round.
The Australian carded an opening round two-over-par 56 to lead the field by two shots after 18 holes.
Bermuda’s Jevon Roberts captured the men’s amateur title by three shots over Jon Keller, of the United States. This year’s tournament will be held on Friday and Saturday.