Daniel Augustus a doubt for Championship qualifier over visa concerns
Daniel Augustus has a difficult decision to make which could hinder his progress playing in the United States.
The Bermudian professional is keen to return home to compete in this month’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship qualifier at Port Royal Golf Course.
However, doing so could potentially delay his return to Florida where he competes on the Moonlight Tour.
“Right now I am unsure if I’m coming back for the qualifier,” Augustus told The Royal Gazette. “I signed up and I have my ticket booked but I have to make sure all my T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted.
“I’m out here on a visitor’s visa that I got extended. But the rules of that visa is if I leave the country then it is voided and what happens is because I’ve been out here for almost a year now I would lose the extension.
“A border agent can tell me that I’ve spent too much time in the States as a visitor and can’t re-enter for six months.
“There is no way I can guarantee getting back if I come back home for the qualifier and it’s a tough decision.
“I am trying to get as much paper work as I can to say, not that I have to be let back into America, but that I have things that I have to do out there.”
Augustus’s decision also hinges on funding.
“I need as much help as I can get if I was to come home and play the qualifier and in the Bermuda Championship,” he added.
“Everything costs money, my extension cost a couple of thousand and I would lose that if I come back home and as you know this game I play is expensive.
“I’m trying to upgrade my visa to the point where I can travel freely all over America but right now I don’t have that type of money.
“I don’t have certain credentials either that I would need to do that, so basically I just need more funding, need more help and it’s just that simple.”
The local individual strokeplay qualifying event is open to Bermudian professional and amateur players and will be held at Port Royal on October 12 and 13. The entry deadline is due to expire today.
“Of course coming back and playing in the qualifier and in the Bermuda Championship would be awesome,” Augustus added.
“But that is very much short term as well, whereas me staying out here practising and playing for the next year makes more sense.
“I can’t make a short-term decision that affects my long-term outcome. It would be nothing worse than for me to play well, qualify for the Bermuda Championship and then I’m stuck in Bermuda for six months.
“That would be detrimental to my game; it would unravel all of the work that I have been doing.
“All the competitions that I need are out here in the US so it wouldn’t make sense at all.
“I’m just trying to make sure I make the right decision and it’s not an easy one.”
Tournament officials announced last month that four Bermudian golfers will be offered qualification spots to compete in this year’s Bermuda Championship at Port Royal from October 25 to 31.
Camiko Smith, who competes on the Korn Ferry Tour in the United States, won last year’s 36-hole qualifying event by a comfortable five shots and is back to defend his title.
Michael Sims, the former Web.com Tour player, and Anthony Phipps secured the remaining two qualifying spots up for grabs.
None of the qualifiers made the 36-hole cut in the main event.