Coming into the final event of the Bahamas Professional Golf Tour (BPGT), Grand Bahamian Greg Maycock was leading the professional division with Riccardo Davis, BPGT founder, a close second. On Sunday December 23 at the Royal Blue Golf Course at Baha Mar, Davis managed to win his first classic and take the series on the tour.
Maycock entered the day with 2,300 points. Davis had 1,700 points. By the time the day was over, Davis finished with 2,900 points and Maycock was 100 points short with 2,800 points. Both golfers played in all seven events along with Jim
Duncombe, who finished third with 1,800 points. Matthew Cox also played in all seven events.
In the final event, Davis shot one-over-par 73. He said he came close to winning before but fell short. He said he put some time into practicing for this event and was glad that he was successful.
“I took some time off from work so I could practice for this event. I wasn’t really practicing before because I was working here at Royal Blue or on BPGT matters. Seeing that this was the last event, I took time off to be ready. Knowing that this was the last event of the year and I didn’t win one, I really wanted to get it. I was close before finishing second and third and didn’t get it done. I put a lot more focus into this one so I would be able to be the winner today,” Davis said.
Davis had four birdies on the day, at holes six, 11, 15 and 17. He had a chance to finish even par but he bogeyed hole 18.
The seasoned golfer did not feel threatened by the other golfers and said that next year will be different.
“I felt I let them win a couple of events this year so I was not afraid but they were surprised that I did not win before today. Next year will be different,” he said.
Maycock finished tied for second with Lemon Gorospe, six strokes behind Davis, shooting a 79 on the day. That dropped him from the top pro position on the tour to second.
The usually focused golfer had a tough day hitting the ball. He had six bogeys and one double-bogey. The latter came on hole 17.
“Coming into today, I was trying to focus on winning and I didn’t play good. I never got going and was hustling and struggling all day. When you are playing like that, someone else among the 11 pros will get lucky and play better than the average golfer. Congratulations to Riccardo (Davis) on his win,” Maycock said.
The Grand Bahamian added that he is grateful to Davis for putting on a tournament like this . As for next year, he is looking to be more focused.
Maycock did collect the top money earner prize. Davis was second and David Harris from the United States was third.
Nadario Ferguson won the overall amateur title and won the amateur contest at the final event.
Ferguson shot a 76 to finish four-over-par. He had a tough start, bogeying three of his first four holes but managed to regroup, finishing with six birdies.
Peter McIntosh and Nolan Johnson finished tied for second with a score of 77.
Ferguson finished the tournament with a point total of 1,400. Richard Gibson, who led coming into the final event, did not play on Sunday but finished second behind Ferguson with 1,300 points.
McIntosh was third with 1,200 points.
“I putted really well today. I had a lot of good iron shots. My putter saved me and a whole lot of birdies today. I am excited to be the first to win the amateur division. It means that the work that I have been putting in for the last couple of months has paid off. I have a long way to go, but I am excited about what I saw today and what the tournament has provided to The Bahamas,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson said he will return to defend his title next year. The young golfer hopes to move on to the professional ranks in two to three years. A couple of his goals for next season is to make the national team and play in the Herman Cup division of the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships.
Davis said all the golfers liked the tournament and that the BPGT brand is beginning to grow.
“A lot of the golfers loved the tournament. We are starting to grow the BPGT brand, not only here in Nassau but in the Caribbean and the U.S. We intend to have a lot more international players here in The Bahamas playing on our golf courses,” Davis said.
He continued: “We have a lot of raw talent here and that is why I brought up the BPGT. We needed a place for pros and top amateurs to play, to have consistent tournament practice and tournament access because before this tournament there wasn’t a lot of events to play in here. People who had talent started to decline.”
Ferguson agreed with Davis and thinks that it is very important to develop golfers.
“What the BPGT is doing here is very important to develop current and upcoming golfers in The Bahamas and the Caribbean,” he said.
Davis said that The Bahamas has a lot of amateurs who are ready to enter the pro ranks.
The BPGT – a series of signature golf classics – is tentatively set to return in May of 2019.
BPGT Tour partners were Bahamas Waste Limited, Hopetown Lodge & Marina, R&E Imports & Sales, Suntee and Under Armour, SuperClubs Breezes, Bentonite Beauty Clay, Kalik: Beer of The Bahamas, Graycliff Hotel & Cigars and Bahama Barrels, Paradise Island Beach Club, DJ – The Mighty Pencil, Esscentrix Handmade Bahamian Products, the Royal Blue Golf Course & Tavern, the Atlantis Ocean Club Golf Course, Leno Corporate Services, the Ministry of Tourism and Wildflowers Events.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism