Ocean View to host two-day junior tournament
Ocean View is hosting a junior golf tournament today and tomorrow, aimed at giving young players exposure to competitive golf.
Island Construction Services is sponsoring the inaugural ICS/Cobra Puma Junior Championships, which has a field of 25, led by Adam Perry, 17, who won the Bermuda Amateur Stroke Play Championships at Port Royal Golf Course last week.
Brian Morris, the tournament director and head professional at Ocean View, has a vision for it to beome an international event in the next few years.
“The plan is to get it to an international level in three years,” Morris said. “We only have probably 30 juniors on the island who are tournament-ready, but what we want to do is take it from here and grow it to an international level.”
Morris remembers winning his first junior tournament at Ocean View at the age of 9, but says junior events have fallen off over the years. “We really don’t have anything for juniors,” said Morris, who is assisted in organising the tournament by Ebonie Cox. “Island Construction were kind enough to jump on board.
“[Ebonie] has put a lot of work in as far as communication and getting the kids out there. She’s been a huge help.
“The youngest is 9, up to Adam Perry. It’s a nice field; awesome for the first one.
“No club has their own junior championship; everything goes through junior golf [association].
“What I’m trying to do is set an example for other clubs to follow, so that they can get their junior membership to have their own championship and the children have something to play for.”
Morris sees the importance of making golf more attractive to juniors who have several other sports to choose from. “We’re losing a lot of kids in golf when it comes to football, cricket, hockey, equestrian and sailing,” he stated.
“I’m doing the first club junior championship in, I would say, 35 or 40 years.”
The tournament will have age groups in under-11, 12-14 and 15-19, along with a girls division. It will start at 10am each day, with the girls and the under-11s playing nine holes each day and other two older groups 18 holes.
“They will be allowed to have caddies and we’ll have a scoreboard set up to make them feel real special,” Morris said.