West happy to secure amateur crown
Eric West enjoyed a memorable debut competing at the Johnnie Walker Classic.
The 36-year-old won the amateur title at the first attempt by two shots and punched above his weight having also placed second behind overall winner Daniel Augustus.
West saved his best for last as he fired a bogey-free two-under 68 in the final round to finish last weekend's 36-hole championship at Ocean View Golf Course at one-over par, five shots behind course record holder Augustus.
“The Johnnie Walker Classic was a lot of fun,” he said. “I got to play with guys who I've never played with before, or like Aaron [James] who I haven't played with since I was 16.
“I wanted to go out primarily to support Brian [Ocean View professional Brian Morris], who I have a great deal of respect for and empathy for what he and his family are going through with his health battle.
“It's wonderful that Daniel [Augustus] was able to win the event and to fire a 65 on the final day in front of the crowd was awesome to see.
“My bogey-free 68 felt good in the last round but obviously gets overshadowed when you're beaten so comprehensively.”
The triumph was West's second of the year, having also won the Bermuda Amateur Championship at Port Royal Golf Course.
“The Bermuda Amateur back in June was unexpected,” he said.
“Certainly you wouldn't expect to not play any golf and go out and shoot 66 under pressure. But that's what makes golf both such a wonderful and frustrating game.”
Meanwhile, West has put in as much time as possible between work and studies to prep for the PGA Bermuda Championship local qualifier at Port Royal this month, where he hopes to secure one of the three available spots for the main event up for grabs.
“My initial goal was to play enough golf so I was able to participate in the qualifier for the Bermuda Championship,” he said.
“Given that I'm working, it seems like around the clock with my day-to-day job and finishing my dissertation, scheduling enough golf so that I can be competitive has been the focus.
“Now that I'm registered for the event, I've been tweaking my swing, working on my short game and getting my body prepared to perform consistency under pressure.
“When you're playing a lot you maybe don't have to think so much about all the little details. But when you're a weekend warrior like myself you've got to make sure that all the aspects of your game are covered in limited practice.”
West said it would be a thrill to showcase his talents in a PGA Tour event.
“The PGA Tour was always my goal that I sadly never was able to fulfil,” he added.
“But playing in an event of that calibre in Bermuda would be special.
“It would be great to represent my country in the event and I'll try my best to get ready and hopefully earn a spot.
“Just being able to compete for the opportunity to play feels like a blessing that I'm grateful for.
“I look forward to teeing it up with my colleagues and grinding it out.”
The 36-hole individual stroke play event, open to local professional and amateur players, will be held from October 13 to 14.