Eric West, Scott Roy and Oliver Betschart have qualified for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, marking their first appearances in the event.
A spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Golf Association [BGA], Bermuda Professional Golfers’ Association [BPGA] and tournament officials are pleased to announce that Eric West, Scott Roy, and Oliver Betschart have qualified for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. Nicholas Jones is the first alternate. This marks the first appearance for all three Bermudian’s in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.”
“Eric West, Owner of Paradise Golf, fired an impressive 66 in his final round which was played in rain and blustery wind conditions to secure his first-place finish in the Local Qualifier. He trailed by 4 strokes after the first two rounds to end up winning by 4 strokes over second place qualifiers Scott Roy and Oliver Betschart.”
He stated, “The PGA Tour is the pinnacle of golf and the aspiration for all of us that have been fortunate to play the game. I remember shaking Ben Crenshaw’s hand outside of his hotel room at Mid Ocean after he played in the Merrill Lynch shootout in something like 1994 when I was 11. Cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and he asked if I would sit with him and Craig Stadler while they played cards in the tent.
“The was my first exposure to guys that traveled and played the game professionally and I couldn’t believe how gracious they were after being on camera all day. I don’t think I’d ever be able to hit the ball like they did. To think that I’m going to tee it up on the same Tour nearly 30 years later is just unreal. I gave the sport my all for so many years and obviously fell sort of earning a card.
“To be given the opportunity to qualify and to capitalize on that opportunity during this season of my life is just so incredible for me and my family. I’m just so looking forward to taking a picture with my son inside the ropes and having those memories forever. Fairytale aside, I’m ready to compete and I want to make the cut. Once that tee goes into the ground on Thursday my caddie Rod and I will be ready to roll.
“Yesterday I just found the flow and relied on my experience. I had been in Scotland and England preparing for the previous two weeks in similar conditions so I was ready to roll. Given what’s at stake, I’m super proud of Oliver for having such a fantastic back 9 and getting that bird on 18. Given his age, this should just be a tremendous stepping stone for his career and future ambitions in the game.”
Scott Roy, President of the Bermuda Professional Golf Association and Director of Golf at Turtle Hill Golf Club at Fairmont Southampton states, “After giving 4 good tries, it feels incredible special to finally make it happen. It felt great to fight battle through 54 holes and make a lifelong dream come true.”
15-year-old Oliver Betschart shares, “Speechless, I felt great throughout the round and then the nerves kicked in after making my final putt. It came down to the final group and as I watched them finish on the 18th green a wave of emotion came over me. I am so excited to compete in my first PGA TOUR event.”
The spokesperson said, “Oliver is the first 15 year old or younger to compete in a PGA TOUR event since Kenny Leseur competed in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship in 2019.
“Emotions were high as the competition came down to the wire on Wednesday as the last two groups consisted of players with a chance of moving into the top three spots. Late in the day the rain and winds picked up, which challenged the final groups even more once they made the turn at 15. The final 4 holes proved to be the difference as several of the players recorded bogeys to put them out of contention.
“Scott Roy double bogeyed 16 but quickly regained his composure with birding 17 which put him solely in 2nd place. However, his approach to the 18th green saw his ball settle under the greenside hospitality tent which enforced free relief but left him with a difficult downhill lie. He executed a wonderful chip shot which ran out a bit further than anticipated. He ended up with a bogey which put him in tied for second place with Oliver Betschart who was watching closely from a nearby hospitality tent.
“Three additional Bermudian’s earned exemptions into the Butterfield Bermuda APGA Championship, Jarryd Dillas, Chaka Desilva and Nicholas Jones will compete next week in Bermuda’s second APGA Championship. The overall winner of the APGA event will receive an exemption into the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.
“For more information about the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, visit www.butterfieldbdachampionship.com.”