By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE inaugural Flamingos Women’s Golf Club 242 9-Hole Golf Tournament was such a success that both the organisers and the participants are looking forward to the next event.
The tournament, held on Saturday at the Bahamas Golf Federation’s Driving Range, saw the team of Dr Patti Symonette, Templa Kemp-Lightbourne and Rachel Quant take the initial title with a score of 30.
The team of Christine Malarad, Roberta Quant and Anja Charles were second with 31, while Agatha Mona Delancy, Vanria Munnings and A Pamela Thompson teamed up for third with 33.
The tournament was staged by the Flamingos Women’s Golf Club, headed by Agatha Delancy. Alena Hutcheson, the only Bahamian LPGA Class A teaching professional in the country, conducted the tournament. On her team’s winning performance, Symonette said she was quite impressed.
“First of all, I want to say that it’s really nice to see women back out and supporting golf, so kudos to Agatha and coach Alena, I think they did a fantastic job with the resources that they have.
“As for my team, we had a young player in Rachel but I encouraged her. I told her that there are two sports. That’s golf and tennis because you can play them both into your senior years.”
Symonette said she was happy to lead the team and use some strategies to win.
Former basketball player Roberta Quant, who only spent the past three weeks on the golf course, said she got into the sport because she wants to challenge her father Chinese Ambassador Sterling Robert Lloyd Quant, whenever he returns home.
“It was interesting. I hit some good balls, but my ball also found the water a few times,” said Quant, who was particularly pleased with her two other team-mates Malarad and Charles.
“With all sports you have to practice. I think once you put in the work, you will excel the way that I did in basketball. But it was good to play with the team I had out there. We will do very well together.”
Patryce Curry, a former track and field athlete who works with the Bahamas Association of Certified Officials, said she was looking for something to do when she retires and she felt that under Hutcheson’s coaching, she has found that sport.
“It was a very good experience today,” said Curry, who teamed up with the mother-daughter duo of Shervonne Johnson and Kyra Issacs. “We were just learning as we went along.”
Hutcheson said the event went off flawlessly.
“The only thing I think we need to improve on is the pace of play, but we can do that,” she said. “We look forward to the next tournament next month.
“I think they did better than I expected them to do. We had some good scores today from all of the teams. If others want to join us, they can check out our Facebook page Flamingos Women’s Golf Club 242, which keeps everybody updated. So anyone can come on down. You don’t have to have clubs. We provide them as well as teaching lessons and golf balls.”
Players from as young as 14 to those 70-plus are invited to come out and be a part of the Flamingos Women’s Golf Club.
Delancy said when the Flamingos Club was formed two years ago, it was with the intent to get more women involved in the sport of golf.
“Over the last six months, I can say that we have seen phenomenal growth and under coach Alena, we have seen women coming back into the sport and a number of first time competitors,” Delancy said.
“The event was very well organised. We’re hoping now that when we put on our second event, the number of participants will be significantly larger.
“Who knows, we might just play it over 18 holes as opposed to nine holes. But we had a very significant start with great potential,” she said.
Hutcheson expressed her gratitude to Pirates Republic, Cotton Tree Convenience Store, Kenny Fountain, the BGF’s Ladies Division and Craig Flowers for their sponsorship and the use of the facilities for the tournament.