Article courtesy of Colin Thompson at The Royal Gazette.
Eric West ran away with the Bermuda Open during yesterday’s final round at Port Royal. The Bermudian pro carded a two-over-par 73 to capture a maiden Open title by a comfortable nine shot margin. West, who holds conditional status on the European Challenge Tour, finished with a four -day total of four-over-par 288. His final round included three birdies and four bogeys.
The University of California graduate began the final 18 holes with a commanding seven shot lead and never took his foot off the gas as he powered his way to a first senior major title on local shores.
“It feels really good to do this for Bermuda,” the former Port Royal head pro said. “I love my country and it’s really good to be able to put a Bermudian name on the trophy.
“I missed a few putts but I thought I played pretty well. I had my own personal goals and score I wanted to shoot so I just tried to play my own game.
“Port Royal is a tough course where you can shoot a lot quickly so I was just trying to put the ball in the fairway and on the green and not really worry about what everybody else was doing.”
West showed no signs of fatigue after playing 36 holes yesterday.
“I didn’t feel tired at all,” he said. I’ve been working out a lot recently with a trainer over the last year and I feel good.”
West tightened the screws on the rest of the field after rolling in two birdies on the front nine to make the turn at even par for the round.
He got up and down from birdie at the par three, third hole where he drained a ten foot putt from above the cup before two-putting for another birdie at the par five, seventh.
Those two birdies on the front nine were offset by bogeys at four and seven.
West’s only birdie on the back nine arrived at the par four, 11th hole where he buried a 30 foot putt to move back to even par for the round.
But any thoughts he had of coming in under par for the second straight round evaporated into thin air following bogeys at 12 and 16 where his par putt rimmed out.
West’s dominant display earned him the $3,750 winner’s purse.
Grabbing a share of second place honours was Bermuda’s Dwayne Pearman (297) along with American Christopher Baryla (297).
Pearman, who was the top senior player, carded a two-under-par 69 along with Canadian Brian McCann (301) which was the lowest round of the day and tournament.
Pearman’s round included three birdies and two bogeys.
“I felt pretty good and played good golf,” the past Bermuda Open winner said. “I bogeyed 16 and 17 but shot 69 so I had it going pretty good.”
American Eddie Kirby, who was tied for second after 36 holes, was forced to withdraw due to a family emergency.
Jevon Roberts (332) captured the amateur title in a playoff with Scott Barnett (332) on the 18th hole.
Barnett, who led the amateur field for most of the tournament, bogeyed the first playoff hole after his second shot found a greenside bunker and his par putt came up short.
Roberts, playing in his first Bermuda Open, clinched the title after two-putting for par in near darkness.
“I just tried to put up a good number because you never know what anybody else is going to shoot and unfortunately Scott had a bad day,” Roberts said. “It was unfortunate for him but wonderful for me.”
Barnett led the amateur field by as many as ten shots heading into the final round but finished level with Roberts after carding a 15-over-par 86 that included a triple bogey, four double bogeys, six bogeys and two birdies.
Michael Lindo (354) carded the lowest final round among the amateurs after entering the clubhouse with a two-over-par 73.