After playing 54 grueling holes of golf at the Bahamas Waste Open on the Bahamas Professional Golf Tour (BPGT), Bahamian professional golfers Marcus Pratt and defending champion David Harris had to square off in a playoff on Sunday afternoon – the first in the tour’s four-year history. In the end, it was Pratt who earned the bragging rights for two more months after taking down Harris on the 18th hole with a strong second shot onto the green.
The three-round golf tournament began on Friday and wrapped up on Sunday at the Royal Blue Golf Course at the Baha Mar Resort. In order to get a playoff, Pratt and Harris ended regulation play tied – at seven over-par.
An elated Pratt, who has played in every event since the tour’s inception, pumped his fist after putting the ball in the 18th hole, and spoke to Guardian Sports about how much this win means to him.
“I feel good. Hard work still pays off and I have seen it. I have played in all of these events that BPGT has had and take it from me – every time the competition is stronger. It brings and takes your game to another level. This is why the BPGT came into existence, for us to become better as pros – to stay competitive and relevant. This a victory for me because I won one against one of the best competitors. I beat him today,” Pratt said. “I had no nerves at all. I expected to win today.”
Both players even-par the 18th hole in all three rounds.
In the playoff, Harris hit his first shot far left and the ball literally landed between a rock and a hard place. From there, it was tough for him to recover. Pratt had no issue getting his ball off the fairway as it landed about 10 feet from the hole. He missed out on a birdie when his putt veered to the right on his third shot. However, he sank the fourth shot to even-par the hole and get into the winner’s circle.
“I have a mentality when you come into crunch time – think about the things that you normally do right and continue to focus on the things that you did right. That was the whole object of the day. I ended up leading today and I said, ‘just focus on one thing – one hole at a time and do what you normally do’. That was how I won today,” Pratt stated.
Pratt scored an even par 72 in the first round and a three over-par in the second round. The third round was his Achilles heel as he scored a four over-par. For Harris, he shot three over-par in the first round before scoring a two over-par in the second and third rounds. Pratt, a player not short on words, said he is looking forward to defending his title.
“Once you on the pinnacle, it is a lonely road. In defending it, I will get better and I will stay relevant and I’m willing to perform under any pressure. I am telling all the competitors to come on down. I am ready for it,” Pratt said.
Matthew Cox finished third in the professional division.
Tournament founder Riccardo Davis said that it was a good weekend for the BPGT.
“The weekend was great. We had a great turnout. We had almost 40 golfers as we build our numbers back up due to COVID-19 forcing us to use less golfers than we have in the past. We had our first playoff and it was the most exciting event because the other golfers were watching,” Davis said.
Also in action were several amateurs who are preparing for the Bahamas Golf Federation’s (BGF) Amateur Golf Championships, set for June 17-20. Winning the three rounds over the weekend was Richard Gibson Jr. He finished the three rounds 12 over-par.
“I feel good about it. I was not expecting it. I wanted to be able to shoot three rounds in the 70s and that was what I was able to do. I was not expecting the win but fortunately it turned out to be a win,” Gibson said.
Back in February of this year, Gibson said he suffered a back injury while playing and picked up his clubs again just before the tournament over the weekend. Gibson said he feels like he didn’t do anything special, but hole number one gave him a big boost in the final round.
As expected, Gibson is looking forward to playing in the BGF Nationals. He hopes to make the national team and be the overall winner in the Hoerman Cup at the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships.
Finishing behind Gibson was his golf partner, Nadario Ferguson, with a score of 19 over-par. Finishing third was junior golfer Heathcliffe Kane, one stroke behind Ferguson with a score of 20 over-par.
In the 18-hole tournament on Sunday, Gibson won with a score of three-over-par. National Junior Champion Zion Taylor was second, scoring a four-over-par. Finishing third with a score of seven over-par was Peter McIntosh.
Sponsoring the event was Bahamas Waste Limited, the Breezes Resort, Banana Bread & Co., SunTee, the Royal Blue Golf Club, and Sbarro.