Gary Murphy swings Innis Arden into opening round lead at Goodwill Golf Tournament
Innis Arden Golf Club laid a marker down in the opening round of the Bermuda Goodwill Golf Tournament at Port Royal Golf Course today.
Led by club head pro Gary Murphy, the Connecticut-based team blazed a 14-under 57 to set the early pace in the 54-hole best ball Pro-Am event.
“We had an amazing experience,” Tom Vozzella, the team captain, told The Royal Gazette. “The golf course was set up beautifully and the conditions were just phenomenal.
“The star of the show is our esteemed friend, Mr Mark Kavanagh. He had a couple of net birdies and was really the anchor of the team.
Vozzella credited Murphy for his role in helping the team’s approach to the course throughout the round.
“We really just sort of gelled as a team and the pro (Murphy) was instrumental in giving us a couple of good reads on the putts,” said Vozzella.
“Every time we had a putt that wouldn’t go in he would say ‘it never had a chance’.
Frequent Bermuda visitor Vozzella and his team-mates are making their eighth appearance in world golf’s longest-running Pro-Am event.
“The tournament itself is just a lot of fun and great camaraderie,” he said. “We always look forward to this week.”
Defending champions Mid Ocean Club, led by club professional Chaka DeSilva, ended the day in second after coming in at ten-under 61.
Golf Club of New England, Port Royal Golf Course and Waccabuc Country Club are tied for third, another shot off the lead pace.
Waccabuc CC, of New York, are making a record 50th appearance in the event.
“Day one was spectacular,” Bob Corrao, the tournament chairman and chief executive, said. “Even though it was a little windy, the weather was fantastic.
“The talent that was evidently on the Innis Arden team shined brightly with a spectacular 57, far and above leading the pack of all of the teams.”
Tucker’s Point will host the second round of the tournament on Tuesday.
While encouraged by the promising start, Vozzella said he and his team-mates are keeping their feet planted firmly on the ground.
“We still have two more rounds left so we don’t want to get too confident,” he added.
This year’s event involves 64 players competing among sixteen local and overseas teams.
“Everyone is having such a great time,” Corrao added. “Opening night party and dinner at the Hamilton Princess was absolutely spectacular. I cannot thank the hotel staff enough for being so professional and so caring.
“They were wonderful and everybody that spoke to me talked about the staff at the Hamilton Princess. It was fantastic.”
Missing from the event is American professional golfer Joe Carr, who made a record 50th consecutive appearance in last year’s tournament.
The Bedrock Golf Club head professional’s phenomenal streak was ended due to challenges brought on by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The tournament concludes on Wednesday with the third and final round to be played at nearby Mid Ocean Club.
Introduced in 1953, the Goodwill Tournament has become a staple of Bermuda's golf calendar attracting overseas amateurs and professionals to the island annually.