The 2023 Bahamas Professional Golf Tour (BPGT) got underway this past Saturday with the BPGT Classic and its founder Riccardo Davis came away as champion after holding off David Harris on a two-hole playoff at Royal Blue Golf Course at Baha Mar.
The tournament featured three divisions in action – professional, amateur and junior.
Davis and Harris finished their round tied at two-under par 74 to set up the playoff to break the tie. Davis said that given that he did not practice much, he will take that score.
“I had it going, and I finished the round bad. So, shooting a 74 was the worse I could have done. To come out as the winner, I feel fortunate because of how I sputtered at the end. I’ll start practicing for next month’s competition, and we are going to have the same result,” Davis said.
Davis bogeyed hole number 18 as he missed out on finishing the round one-over par 73. He and Harris’ playoff was on that same hole. Davis ended up in the bushes for his drive in the first playoff but managed to tie it with Harris who struggled on the short game.
“I hit a bad drive in the first playoff. My driver was broken in the first round so I played the playoff with my driver’s head rattling, so I did not know where the ball was going to go and I ended up hitting it into the trees. I ended up hitting it into the fairway and found a way to tie it,” Davis said.
The second playoff saw Davis hitting the ball better and making his putt on the first attempt on the green. Harris was unable to make his putt as Davis picked up the win.
Finishing third in the professional division was Stephano Stuart who shot four-over par 76.
In the amateur division, Nolan Johnson came away as the winner with a score of two-over par 74. He held off Richard Gibson Jr. who finished four-over par 76. Placing third was Trevor Gibson who scored 10-over par 82.
“It was a good day,” Johnson said. “I was not striking the ball that well, but I had a few shots that went my way and I was able to hold it in. The competition was stiff, but I was able to hold a few more putts than everyone else and that was what put me on top,” Johnson said.
Christopher Callendar won the junior division after finishing 17-over par 89. Andrew Benjamin placed second after finishing the round 27-over par 99. Tiar Gibson scored 37-over par 109 to finish third.
“The conditions were tough because it was hot,” Callendar said, “However, I was able to play well and get the win.”
Next on the BPGT calendar is the Hillshire Farms Classic by Asa H. Pritchard set for October 22. All three winners will return to defend their titles.
“I expect the Hillshire Farms Classic to see a bigger turnout as persons have more time to plan to play in that event. There has been a lot of interest in the BGPT for the rest of the year, and I expect this month’s event to be very competitive,” Davis said.
There will be a tournament in November and December as the BPGT looks to give golfers another avenue to develop their play.