Innis Arden hold on for exciting win at Goodwill Golf Tournament
Tom Vozzella savoured the sweet taste of success as he sipped from the cup as he and his fellow Innis Arden Golf Club teammates were crowned Bermuda Goodwill Golf Tournament champions at Mid Ocean Club yesterday.
The Connecticut-based team, which also comprised of Gary Murphy, Peter Sanders and Mark Kavanagh, won the 54-hole Pro-Am by two shots at the par-71 St George’s layout.
“This is our first time winning as a team and we’re honoured to win,” an elated Vozzella, the team captain, told The Royal Gazette.
“We all contributed and our pro Gary Murphy was a wonderful competitor, great player. When we were down he was very inspirational; a lot of good reads.”
The overnight leaders held a two shot advantage over the chasing packing heading into the final round.
They got off to a sluggish start but pulled it together when it mattered most to clinch their maiden win in world golf’s longest-running Pro-Am at the eighth attempt.
“It was very tight going in,” Vozzella added. “Our team is more of afternoon players. We like to play in the afternoon not the morning so it was a little bit of a challenge.
Vozzella pointed to the team’s performance in the closing stages as the key to their success.
“The staff at Mid Ocean made it very acceptable for us to fast forward the clock and turn the morning into the afternoon,” said Vozzella.
“We still got off to an extremely slow start. But we made five of the last six holes which was instrumental.
“We birdied five of the last six to get that five under and that was not an easy task. Those are the toughest holes on the course but we are a tough team,” he said.
Vozzella and his team-mates shot a five-under 66 to finish the event, co-hosted by Port Royal Golf Course, Tucker’s Point Golf Club and Mid Ocean, with a combined score of 184.
“It’s wonderful to experience the three different courses and the varying conditions,” he added. “It’s nice and I would say it’s a real taste of Bermuda.
”We are very thankful to Mr Corrao (tournament chairman and chief executive Bob Corrao) and his team for putting on a fantastic event.“
Elm Tree Golf Club and Tucker’s Point Golf Club B, finished tied for second at 186.
“Our team did extremely well,” said Eric Manning, the Elm Tree GC professional.
“We managed to ham and egg pretty well and there always seemed to be one of us that was in the hole when we needed it.”
Manning was making his debut in the event.
“This is actually the first time that I have ever been to Bermuda,” he added. “I love it down here.
“The golf courses were great. They were very interesting, in good shape and I was very pleased with the way that I struck the ball and did everything,” Manning said.
Mid Ocean Club A, the defending champions, and Aspen Glen Golf Club finished tied for third a further two shots adrift at 188.
“We did good; we ham and egged it well,” Chaka DeSilva, the Mid Ocean Club professional said. “I didn’t have the best week, as the Stableford points show, but my Mid Ocean members played well on the visiting courses.”
While disappointed in what his team managed to show at home, DeSilva was satisfied with their output throughout the competition.
“We didn’t have our best game today. We hoped to do better on our home course but we didn’t have our best stuff today,” said DeSilva.
“But in general it was a great week. Port Royal played well, Tucker’s Point played as it could and Mid Ocean played extremely well today.
“We had great weather and what’s really good, and what I think we all had hoped, was that a visiting team would be victorious. That’s what happened this year so that’s good,” he said.
Mid Ocean B, led by professional Ryan Roberts, carded the lowest round of ten-under 61.
This year’s event featured 64 players competing among sixteen local and overseas teams.