The 5th annual International Pairs Golf Tournament is set to tee off on Saturday, September 14 at the Cedar Valley Golf Course, Antigua. This event is one of the highlights of the local golfing season as the winning team (two persons) earns an all expenses trip to Scotland, to represent Antigua & Barbuda in the International Pairs World Finals.
The World Finals is played on some of the most attractive courses in Scotland, the home of golf, and has created a lasting memory for some former winners. Avery Jonas, a 2011 representative is one of those, "playing in the World Finals has to be the pinnacle of any amateur golfer's career, everything is prepared and laid on to such a high standard; from the courses to the accommodation to the ceremonies".
One of the initial winners back in 2009, Wayne Mitchell, remembers the buzz about winning and preparing to go to Scotland, "we practiced hard with great excitement, and the expectations of our fellow local golfers was great. Unfortunately, I had to change partners at the last minute, and even though disappointed, it did not stop me from soaking up the atmosphere of staying and playing at Carnoustie, with its rich history".
International Pairs has grown leaps and bounds in the Caribbean since it first steps in 2009, and Golf Experience Caribbean, the Caribbean and Central America franchise holders of the event has overseen the expansion to include other islands, "last year we hosted our Caribbean Open qualifier here in Antigua, and had participants from across the region, this year we hosted that event in Trinidad", states the company's principal Zorol Barthley.
"The event has reach, and we are aiming at involving at least a dozen countries in the not too distant future. Our franchise area gives us the option of creating an exciting niche for amateur golfers, and we are seeking corporate support to maximize on this remarkable sports tourism vehicle", Barthley continues. "This year we will be represented by four teams at the World Finals, Antigua & Barbuda, Trinidad & Tobago (winners of the Caribbean Open) and two teams from Mexico".
The 2013 International Pairs World Finals will be held at Machrihanish Dunes, Argyll, Scotland from October 7-10, but the Antigua & Barbuda will prepare at the Cornish Piskey Tournament, hosted by the Royal Air Force Golf Association at Newquay, Cornwall on October 5 & 6.
Corporate support has allowed this event to grow and this year's sponsors are an exciting mix of companies and brands: Virgin Atlantic, Sandals Resorts, Colombian Emeralds, Digicel, Intertops, Hyundai Motors through their new agents Caribbean Premier Motors, Konica Minolta through their agents TBSL, PIC Insurance, Lucozade, Banks Beer, Pepsi, Mount Gay Rum, Hertz, Cool & Smooth, American University of Antigua, Henderson's (2004) Ltd., Anjo Insurances, Hospitality Services, ACB Mortgage & Trust, Food Brokerage Services, Flo's Perfumery, Super Power Electronics, Wadadli Events, Paradiso Water, Frank Wall & Co., Will City, Eye Mobile, Ayouche and Island Sanitation.
The event is endorsed and supported by the Ministry of Tourism and the Antigua Barbuda Tourism Authority, National Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Sports, the Antigua Barbuda Golf Association and Cedar Valley Golf Club.