Dwayne Pearman says competing against some of the world’s top golfers at the inaugural Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course is a “great opportunity” he intends to make the most of.
The experienced and highly decorated local professional has been granted a sponsor’s exemption from qualification for the event and thus handed an automatic spot in the 72-hole tournament, which is a new addition to the 2019-20 PGA Tour and will involve professionals who do not qualify for the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China this year.
“This is a great opportunity and I am really elated that the guys decided to give me exemption,” Pearman said.
“I don’t play as much golf as I used to, but it’s nice of them to think of me like that knowing what I have done over the years.”
The championship will be held on the same weekend as the WGC-HSBC Champions and will involve 120 professionals.
It will carry a purse of $3 million and offer 300 FedEx Cup points to the winner.
As a boost to Bermuda, the event, which will run from October 31 to November 3, will be broadcast on The Golf Channel in 225 countries.
“This is a big deal and is definitely overdue,” Pearman added.
“It’s a lot bigger than the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, where you only had four players coming down.
“For this event, you have 120 players along with their families and their caddies, so it’s really going to be big.
“You don’t have the top 50 players in the world that are coming. But there are still a lot of good players that are going to be coming that a lot of people like to see, so it’s going to be a big event.”
Even though he is quite familiar with the Robert Trent Jones-designed layout at Port Royal, where he was previously employed as the head professional, Pearman does not consider it as home advantage.
“Home advantage, I don’t think so,” he said. “These guys play golf every day.
“That’s all they do for a living. These guys are good and can play anywhere.
“I do know the golf course and know what clubs I want to hit off most of the tees. I do know that, but I don’t think it’s a big home advantage in that sense.
“You still have to hit the ball solid and make the putts. There is more than one thing to golf.
“There’s a lot of things that go with playing the game and so I don’t really think it’s that much of an advantage.”
The government-owned course will host the championship in a five-year deal secured by the Bermuda Tourism Authority, which will be the title sponsor of the event until 2023.
The championship is the brainchild of Seniors Tour player Pat Horgan III, a former Bermuda Open winner, who is part of the PGA’s marketing and operational team.
“I just want to take my hat off to PH Horgan and all his crew who have done a good job,” Pearman said. “I also take my hat off to all of the Port Royal crew that are working on the golf course.
“These guys are out there every day and are working overtime and doing a great job getting the course ready.”
Pearman, who has won all but one of the major domestic titles, is the first local to be confirmed for the Bermuda Championship, with the others to be determined at a 36-hole qualifier at Mid Ocean Club on October 16 and 17.