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Sports Last Updated: Jan 1, 2008 - 9:11:17 PM

Breitling Golf Classic attracts International field to 2-day event
By Ambrose Gouthro, Tournament Director
Dec 14, 2007 - 8:43:44 PM

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First Flight Winner, Paul Bowe, right, is recognized by Mauricio Diaz, VP Mercantile Industries Ltd. Bowe carded a xx for the two day Breitling Invitational Golf Classic played at the Lucaya Golf Course. Photo by Derek Carrol.

The Breitling Invitational Golf Classic played on December 8th at the famed Lucaya Golf Course saw 91 players from compete for over $40,000 in beautiful crystal prizes and Breitling watches and golf bags as the event returned to Grand Bahama.

Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Neko C. Grant, I, welcomed participants and challenged organizers to continue the drive to have the island recapture its status as the golfing capital of The Bahamas.

Ambrose Gouthro, Tournament Director of the Breitling Invitational Golf Classic stated that the players enjoyed great golfing conditions and challenging competition.   The indication from the players was that all were excited about the new format for the Breitling this year and would play next year and encourage their friends to participate.

Chris Harris, placed 3rd in the 1st Flight of the recent Breitling Invitational Golf Classic, and with his soon looking on, accepts his award from Mauricio Diaz, VP Mercantile Industries. Photo by Derek Carrol.

Fifth Flight team members accept members pick up their awards from the Breitling Golf Classic. Pictured left to right are David Bird, Secretary, Caribbean Golf Association; Ed Gibby, Sales Consultant Mercantile Industries Ltd.; Alan Gardner, 9th place; Peter Collins, 5th Place; Rob Elsey, 6th Place; and Mauricio Diaz, VP Mercantile Industries Ltd. Photo by Derek Carrol.

Representatives of three organizations received assistance from the proceeds of the Breitling Invitational Golf Classic. Pictured from left to right are, Agatha Delancey, President of the Bahamas Golf Federation for the Federation’s Junior Programme; Mr. Nottage of the Northern Bahamas Council for the Disabled, presenting, Leif Bjercke of Mercantile Industries, and Theo Clarke representing the National Workers’ Cooperative Credit Union. Photo by Derek Carrol.

The Breitling’s new format of five flights of competition divided into handicap groups of 0-5, 6-9, 10-12, 13-18, and 19-24, with participants playing gross within the flights, saw local golfers win or tie for first in each division.

In the First and Second Flights, Paul Bowe (149) and Zack Smith (158) took top honours respectively, and in Flights Three and Four, Larry deGregory (167) tied winner Ron Schroder, and Kyle King (169) tied winner William Sutherlin, both flights being decided by a score card play-off.  Caleb Hepburn won the Fifth Flight with a 192.

The team competition for the Breitling watches ended in a tie with team scores of 142. The tie was broken by a score card play-off according to the rules of the tournament and the team of Richard Gibson Jr., Raymond “RH” Culmer, Darryl Silvera and Peter Collins finished first.   The second place team of Paul Bowe, Phil Howland, Michael McDaniel and Howard Gelsomino received Breitling golf bags.

Cecil Lewis, left, 5th place winner in the 3rd flight and Carlton Harris, right, 7th place in the same flight, are congratulated by the VP Mercantile Industries Ltd., Mauricio Diaz, centre, as they collect their awards following the Breitling Invitational Golf Classic played at the Lucaya Golf Club. Photo by Derek Carrol.

Mauricio Diaz, VP Mercantile Industries Ltd., poses with fifth flight winners in the Breitling Invitational Golf Classic, David Branson, 2nd place, and Greg Farrington, 4th place. Photo by Derek Carrol.

In the special events, on Day 1, Richard Roberts on Hole No. 2, and Paul Bowe on Hole No. 13, were closest to the pin.   The Longest Drive Award was captured by Jim Hall on the 9th Hole.   On Day 2 Garland Smart was closest to the pin on Hole No. 2.

The event, which promised to place focus on amateur golfers being treated like professionals, lived up to its billing and “Also began the road back for premium golf events on Grand Bahama Island as participants felt as if they were involved in a national championship event,” said Gouthro.

The Organizing Committee was also able to make donation to three charities from proceeds of the Classic, namely, the Bahamas Golf Association Junior Division, the Scholarship Committee of the National Workers’ Cooperative Credit Union, and the Northern Bahamas Council for the Disabled.

Golf bags were presented to the 2nd place team winners in the recent Breitling Invitational Golf Classic. Pictured from left to right are Mauricio Diaz, Mauricio Diaz, VP Mercantile Industries; Alan Gardiner, accepting for Michael McDaniel; Paul Bowe, 2nd place Team winner; and Ed Gibby, Sales Consultant Mercantile Industries Ltd. Photo by Derek Carrol.

Minister of Tourism, the Hon Neko C. Grant, I, accepts a gift bag from Debby Gouthro of the Breitling Invitational Golf Classic Organizing Committee during a reception hosted by Isles of Capri Casino. Photo by Derek Carrol.

“The weather co-operated and conditions were perfect for the 36-hole golf competition played at the Lucayan Golf and Country Club on Grand Bahama Island that produced the following results:

“The Tournament Committee wish to thank the Breitling for sponsoring the event along with co-sponsors The Grand Bahama Yacht Club, The Isle of Capri Casino at Our Lucaya, Bahamian Brewery, brewers of the new “Sands” beer, John Bull Ltd., and Mercantile Trading Ltd. Inc.

“The Tournament provided an activity to attract golfers from abroad to come to Grand Bahama Island and enjoy not only the golf, but the other attractions on the Island,” said Gouthro.

Larry DeGreggory, centre and Brock Andrews, right, accept their awards as 2nd and 3rd winners in the 3rd Flight of the recent Breitling Invitational Golf Classic from Mauricio Diaz, VP Mercantile Industries Ltd. Photo by Derek Carrol.

Winners of four of the 5 flights in the recent Breitling Invitational Golf Classic pose with Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Neko C. Grant, I, during the awards ceremony. Pictured from left to right are Caleb Hepburn, 1st place 5th flight; Leif Bjercke of Mercantile Industries Ltd.; Minister Grant; Paul Bowe, 1st place 1st flight; Zack Smith, 1st place 2nd flight; and Joe Connors, 1st place 3rd flight. Missing is William Sutherlin, 1st place 4th Flight. Photo by Derek Carrol.

First Place Team Winners in the recent Breitling Invitational Golf Classic were Darryl Silvera and Peter Collins, Richard Gibson Jr., and R.H. Culmer. Pictured following the presentation of the Breitling watches are, Ed Gibby and Leif Bjercke of Mercantile Industries Ltd.; Silvera, Collins, Gibson, and Mauricio Diaz standing in for RH Culmer. Photo by Derek Carrol.


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