THE BAHAMAS– The beautiful beaches and clear blue waters of The Bahamas will once again serve as the backdrop for the start of the Web.com Tour season. The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic will be played on Jan. 10-16, 2019 on the Greg Norman-designed course at Sandals Emerald Bay with The Abaco Club on Winding Bay playing host to the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic a week later on Jan. 17-23. bd Global, the tournament organizer for both tournaments, and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism announced the dates today.
Sungjae Im, a 19-year-old South Korean, conquered the field in Exuma, finishing 13-under par this past January to win in his first Web.com Tour start. Im, whom played in this past weekend’s U.S. Open, was the youngest winner all-time only to Jason Day on the Web.com Tour. The low score was in contrast to the inaugural tournament in 2017 which was one of the most challenging tournaments in Web.com Tour history with several records being set including the highest cut line (+11) and the highest scoring average for a single hole (5.008 on the par-4 12th hole). Kyle Thompson captured that victory in extreme weather conditions in the Caribbean.
“We are thrilled to welcome back the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic to Sandals Emerald Bay and our stunning, oceanfront, 18-hole, par-72 championship Greg Norman-designed course,” said Sandals Resorts International Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart. “Golf continues to be an important pastime and passion for our luxury-minded audience and so the synergy between golf and the Sandals Resorts brand is authentic and organic. Ultimately, both are committed to providing a thrill in a beautiful setting.”
“We always love to see a professional event played on one of our courses and Sandals Emerald Bay is uniquely special in that it is set in such a breathtaking location that makes it perfect for television, the golfers and guests alike,” said Norman. “Really proud to see Sandals make such a strong statement to their dedication and commitment to the golf industry and we are honored to be their partner and help make this tournament a huge success.”
In Abaco this past January, Adam Svensson held off Im and Rhein Gibson for his first Web.com Tour win. Svensson shot 4-under in the final round to win by one stroke after Im missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole which would have forced a playoff. Both Svensson (fourth on the money list) and Im (money list leader) are in prime position to earn PGA TOUR cards for the 2018-19 season by finishing in the top 25 in winnings at the end of the regular season.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to welcome the Web.com Tour back to The Abaco Club in 2019,” said David Southworth, Founder and CEO of Southworth Development, an affiliate of which owns and operates The Abaco Club. “As anyone who watched last year’s coverage could easily see, golf and Abaco go hand-in-hand. And while it may be difficult for our guests to choose between our pristine 2-mile stretch of white-sand beach and our spectacular Scottish-style tropical links golf course, it was clear that the pros greatly enjoyed tackling the course. The battle to the end was as exciting as it was dramatic, which is fitting for a place like The Abaco Club. It’s a great event, and one that is great for the people of Abaco, as well.”
Next year’s tournaments promise to be just as exciting on the two island courses which are both renowned as being among the most beautiful golf courses in the world. Each event will once again feature pro-am, stay-and-play packages which will provide exhilarating experiences for guests on two spectacular islands. This year’s pro-ams include:
- The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic
- Two days of pro-am play on Thursday, Jan. 10 and Saturday, Jan. 12
- Island excursion on Thursday in-between play
- Evening pro-am parties at Sandals Emerald Bay
- The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic
- Two days of pro-am play on Thursday, Jan. 17 and Satuday, Jan. 19
- Island excursion on Friday in-between play
- Evening pro-am parties at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay