THE year 2020 marks the first time in nearly a decade that the local golf fraternity has been deprived of competing on one of the biggest stages in the sport’s rich history – the Guyana Open Cup.
While golf has proven to withstand the rigors of the pandemic, largely because the sport is played on an individual basis, with the choice of caddy optional, Lusignan Golf Club (LGC) will not, for the first time, held its marquee event on the Lusignan Course.
Another drawback to this year’s competition is that fans will not get to see Avinash Persaud’s mastery and class.
The reigning defending champion has won the title 10 years in a row, making him arguably the most successful golfer in the country over the past decade, placing him among the ranks of one of the top golfers in the whole Caribbean.
Earlier in the year, Persaud had told this publication that he was coping with the pandemic and lockdown fairly well, although he did not have full access to training and working exclusively on the most important parts of his game.
Despite the obvious challenges, the ace golfer remained focused on possibly working towards defending his title this year; making him an 11-time champion if he succeeded.
Golf, for the most part, has changed gears for the better as the Guyana Golf Association (GGA), complementing the LGC’s efforts to ensure that the legacy of the sport and its lovers are kept together even when there are challenges’ n rising. The time off also made golfers more aware of their shortcomings as many of the community admitted to correcting their errors during the time given to them during the lock-up process, as they had hopes of playing in the Cup.
The pandemic reduced not only the most important annual tournament of things to do from golf, but the opportunity to witness many new faces, old pros and, more so, participation from women.
The fraternity will also miss out greatly on the participation of the overseas cohort of golfers who usually play an integral part in the expansion and high levels of competition that have been synonymous with the Cup over the years.
One thing that can be learned from the disappointment, this year, is the need to prepare early for the competition to be held in 2021, even if the pandemic continues.
. With the ability of the sport to run individual games, which were in line with the Social Distance guidelines, it is still surprising that no boulevard was created, thereby ensuring the most important event of the year for golf under some kind of normality. (Clifton Ross)