Bahamian professional golfer Riccardo Davis picked up where he left off from last year December when he won the first round of the Bahamas Waste Ltd. Bahamas Professional Golf Tour (BPGT) Classic for 2019, at the Royal Blue Golf Course at Baha Mar on Friday.

Davis, who has been playing golf since the age of eight, ended the day with an even-par 72 to hold off second place finisher Greg Maycock in the professional category. Richard Gibson Jr. held off Rashad Ferguson to win the first round in the amateur division.

Winning the team division was the foursome of Georgette Rolle, Rashad Gibson, Deangelo Stubbs and Leeander Brice.

Davis had three birdies on the day – holes five, nine and 12. He bogeyed holes two, four and 18.

“I felt as though it could have been a lot better today because I had it a lot lower and I messed up coming in a little bit. It was good enough to win and I am happy with the results,” Davis said.

He added that hole number two was his toughest hole and hole number four was challenging as well.

“The good weather did not play a factor. To be honest, I did not play as good as I have been playing in practice. I won but it still isn’t at the level that I have been playing in practice. My game will be better in the next event. I will not change my swing or putt. I will continue to work on it and make better decisions,” Davis said.

Maycock was close behind Davis with going one-over par 73. He had a low score of 35 on the front nine. His play on hole number 15 on the back nine hurt him as he double bogeyed that hole. That was the difference between Davis and himself. Lemon Gorospe finished third with three-over 75.

In the amateur division, Gibson Jr. and Ferguson were tied for first with a score of two-over par 74. However, Gibson Jr. was awarded the title after a count back.

Gibson Jr. had the momentum coming down to the last four holes, but he bogeyed holes 15, 16 and 17.

“I lost focus on the three holes I bogeyed back-to-back-to-back – 15, 16 and 17. I was distracted. Other than that, I think I played okay. I just need to work on my putting. My putting has been falling a lot short lately and once I work on it, I’ll be better,” Gibson Jr. said.

He later said that he was distracted by his phone and said that he will not have it in his hand next time.

With a target on his back, Gibson Jr. said he will stay focused and attempt to win in the next round of play as well.

Ferguson played the front nine well, ending with a score of 35, getting a birdie in the process. His Achilles heel was hole number 10 where he double bogeyed.

Finishing behind Ferguson in third place was Nadario Ferguson, last year overall winner in the amateur division with a score of three-over par 75.

The quartet of Rolle, Gibson, Stubbs and Brice went 14-under-net 58 to win the team division.

Davis, Marvin Bethel, Glen Archer and Jake Neudorf finished second with a score of 12-under-net 60 in the team division. There was a three-way tie for third place as three teams went 11-under-net 61.

Apart from being a player in the tournament, Davis is also the director of BPGT.

“This is huge for golf in The Bahamas. It grows the game to a point where it hasn’t been growing in years. Golf has been going down and down because of the expense of the game and the lack of playing facilities. It isn’t like basketball where you can buy a rim and a ball and play as much as you want to. In the game of golf, you have to play, and every single time you come out to play at high prices,” Davis said. “With this tournament coming alive and everybody supporting it, it is really bringing an interest back to golf from the older folks all the way down to the juniors.”

The next round of play is set for June 28. The venue is not confirmed as yet, but Davis said it will be at either the Ocean Club Golf Course or Albany Golf Course.

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