Champion DeSilva to test himself against tough local field
Chaka DeSilva will rest his Johnnie Walker Classic title on the line at Ocean View Golf Course this weekend.
The 40-year-old is among 19 professionals competing for a share of the $4,000 purse during the 36-hole championship, which will take place at the Devonshire course tomorrow and Sunday.
“I am extremely excited to get out on the golf course and play some competitive golf,” DeSilva said. “Obviously the coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to a lot competitive golf, so it's really nice to get back out there.”
DeSilva won the event for the first time last year after coming from behind to beat defending champion Dwayne Pearman in a sudden-death play-off.
“We have a tremendously strong field this year, so I'm looking forward to a nice golf tournament,” he added.
“It's nice to see all of Bermuda's top golfers out. It's also really nice to see Ocean View in really good shape.
“The guys at Ocean View and Dennis Pilgrim up at Port Royal have been doing a fantastic job at the golf course.”
Daniel Augustus and last year's runner-up Pearman are also among the contenders in the professional division.
Mark Ray is the defending champion in the amateur division and will defend his title among one of the strongest amateur fields in recent memory, which includes Jarryd Dillas, Damian Palanyandi, Eric West and Aaron James.
“I feel good and I'm hitting the ball decent, but it's all on the day,” Ray, the former St George's Cup Match cricketer, said.
A new champion will be crowned in the senior division as last year's winner, Jeffrey Lindo, has since moved up to the professional ranks.
Quinton Sherlock and Craig Christensen are among the contenders for Lindo's vacant crown.
“We have a full field again this year, a stronger field, so I'm looking forward to some good golf and good scores,” said Brian Morris, the Ocean View professional and tournament director.
A total of 63 competitors are taking part in the tournament.
“We have 19 professionals, which we've never had before,” Morris added. “This is also the strongest amateur field we've ever had. We pretty much have all the top players in each division. We have all the professionals and all the top amateurs and seniors and I can't really ask for more than that. I'm over the moon with the response.”