Brian Morris given sponsor’s exemption to Butterfield Bermuda Championship
The Butterfield Bermuda Championship has announced today it has extended the tournament’s first sponsor exemption to Brian Morris, who will make his first professional start at Port Royal Golf Course this month.
Morris will realise his dream to compete in a PGA Tour event and represent his country. For the Ocean View Golf Club head golf professional, golf is his passion. Morris, who has terminal stage 4 brain cancer, does not let his diagnosis keep him from the game.
“It feels absolutely fantastic to be able to walk the links and compete with some of the greatest players in the world. I hope the Bermuda public are as excited as I am. I want them to have just as much fun as I do. I would like to thank the Butterfield Bermuda Championship team for this opportunity and the PGA Tour for allowing me the use of a cart because without it this is impossible.”
With his positive attitude, Morris exemplifies determination and perseverance. When on the course he does not think of being sick, the focus is on golf. He credits his late father for introducing him to the game, having accompanied him to the golf course most Sundays as a child. Morris played with the Bermuda Junior Golf Association in his early teenage years. He has competed in the Bermuda Open, Bermuda Goodwill, Gosling's Invitational, Johnnie Walker Golf Classic and the Bermuda Professional Golfers Association event, the Lobster Pot Classic.
Morris is an avid Pro-Am participant, travelling for many overseas events, including Las Vegas with the same team and wives for the past ten years.
For Morris, his greatest achievement is playing 180 holes for 24 hours on three separate occasions to raise more than $200,000 for families in need of medical assistance for family members with cancer. During one of those weeks, he fulfilled a Make-A-Wish dream for a cancer-stricken young boy.
Jack wanted to visit Bermuda and play with a pro, and they spent the week together. Even before his battle, Morris had a connection to the cause, having experienced the loss of his mother from cancer when he was 19. He has also carried out many charitable fundraisers in aid of several different causes.
“The Butterfield Bermuda Championship is more than golf, it’s about this community,” said tournament director Justin Belanger. “We are thrilled to welcome Brian to join us in the field for this year’s event and be a part of his professional debut. It will be great to see the island join us in supporting his dream and cheering him on.”
Earlier this year, Morris attempted to qualify for the US Senior Open in Omaha, Nebraska. The qualifier took place at Crown Colony Golf & Country Club in Fort Myers, Florida, where he was joined by uncle Blip and friends Alex Madeiros and Alan Lindo. Now he prepares to tee it up in Bermuda with the support of his home-town crowd.
“It was a dream of mine to try one and it so lived up to my expectations,” Morris said. “Not just the competitive arena but the fact that we were all together fulfilling this dream of mine. My aunties were there and, as usual, my wife. We didn’t make it but it has given me the desire to try one again. All of us are in for next May in Fort Myers!
“The way it was run and organised was something I have never experienced coming from little Bermuda. I can only imagine what the Butterfield Bermuda Championship will bring.”
He added: “My next big goal is to do well in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. I want everyone that comes to watch to share in the excitement. I want them all to enjoy it as much as I do! My wife and kids and family and friends are already proud so that box is checked! From there I’m going to try out a few Monday qualifiers for the Champions Tour next year. I looked up to all those players as I was coming up and it would be cool to tee it up with them. I will do a US Senior Open qualifier again no doubt.
“Ocean View means a lot to me as well so in my head professional capacity I want the club to continue to grow; for us to attract more members. To keep on passing on my knowledge and experience to my assistants. To keep growing this wonderful game that has blessed me with the opportunities I have!”
Four additional Bermudians will join the field, earning their spots through the Local Qualifier taking place tomorrow and Wednesday at Port Royal.
• For the latest Butterfield Bermuda Championship information, visit www.butterfieldbdachampionship.com