The 2017 RBC Champions
Iz Hustler won the men's championship flight.
Emily Odwin emerged winner of the women's division.
By Bernard Babb
Young Barbados player Iz Hustler emerged champion of the 2017 RBC Classic on Sunday, defeating Canada-based Stephen Layne by a stroke at the Barbados Golf Club.
Sixteen year-old Hustler, a member of the Barbados Hoerman Cup team for the past two years, held his nerve at the final hole, to edge his rival over 36 holes of competitive golf.
Thirteen year-old Emily Odwin also emerged the women’s champion , when she pipped rival Alyssa Inniss-Gittens by two strokes in a close battle.
Hustler finished with a two-day gross 144, posting 73 on Sunday to add to his 71 on Saturday, while Layne, the 2010 RBC champion, shot 74 and finished with a two-day gross 145.
The front-runners contested a tight back-nine, with Hustler and Layne locked at hole No.16, before Hustler edged ahead for the final time on the par-4, No.17, when he registered par and Layne, a bogey.
There was all to play for on the final hole, the Par-5 No.18, when Layne misdirected an attempted lay-up on his second shot and went into the lake which guards a relatively large and inviting green.
It was over for Layne at that stage as Hustler putted for par and grabbed his first major senior title on the local circuit.
Third was Barbados player Elvis Medford, who shot a gross 148, while former Jamaica player Mark Blakeley was fourth on 149.
Among the women, Odwin and Inniss-Gittens continued their emerging rivalry over the two days at the Barbados Golf Club as Inniss-Gittens, the current Barbados Open champion, held the early lead on the rain-affected first day.
Inniss-Gittens shot 76 and Odwin 78 before Odwin pulled back with an 82 on Sunday, which was six strokes better than her rival. Odwin, who shot an even par-36 on the back nine, won with a two-day gross 160 while Inniss-Gittens posted 162.
Sarah Pepper won the women’s stableford division with 67 points while Zerina Belgrave nudged Allison Rimple on the count-back system, for second place, as both finished with 62 points.
Rockley regular Ivan Codrington won the senior men’s division by two strokes over RBC defending champion Richard Payne , posting 151. Payne shot 153 over the 36 holes while veteran Bill Weir was third with 155.
Cardinal Burnett was winner of the men’s first flight with a 36-hole gross 165 and was followed by Malcom Hunte on 166.
The men’s super seniors (60 years and over) was won by Paul Charal with a gross 157 while Dr. Paul Adams produced a good showing to take the men’s second flight with 78 stableford points.