Golf

Local knowledge could be crucial, says Leseur

  • Teenager Kenny Leseur in action during the Bermuda Championships Local Qualifier at Port Royal last week

Kenny Leseur will join an exclusive group with the first swing of his club on the opening hole of the inaugural Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course on Thursday.

At the age of 15, Leseur will become the eighth-youngest player to compete in a PGA Tour event and the youngest to play at that level since Chinese amateur Guan Tianlang competed at the 2013 Masters, Zurich Classic and HP Byron Nelson Championship as a 14-year-old.

“It’s crazy man,” Leseur said. “When I was younger I never thought I was going to be able to do it.

“It’s really special to know I’ve made history and I’m going to be playing in a Tour event at my home course.

“There’s a lot of debutants playing, but a PGA Tour event is a PGA Tour event, so it’s going to be good to meet a lot of the golfers who come down.”

The amateur, who attends the International Junior Golf Academy in Florida, secured his spot in the PGA Tour event after finishing tied for first with fellow qualifiers Michael Sims and Jarryd Dillas in a 36-hole qualifier held at the same venue this month.

“I played really well, especially on the last day in the wind,” said Leseur, who shot the lowest score of two-over-par 73 in the second round. “I’m pleased that I kept the pressure out of my face and played well in those conditions.

“When I went back to school it was really crazy seeing the amount of people who came and congratulated me. I had a couple of days by myself. It was good to just let it sink in and say; ‘all right, now we got work to do in this tournament’.

“I’m trying to just stay focused and keep telling myself it’s just another tournament and, hopefully, make the cut. I’m just working on a lot of things and right now my swing is feeling good.”

Asked whether it will be an advantage playing in familiar settings at his home course, Leseur said: “I think so, just knowing the greens a little a bit better. But at the end of the day you’ve still got to hit the ball properly.

“If you don’t hit it, then you’re not going to play well. But if you hit it good, and hit it in the right spots, it’s going to help a lot.”

Leseur is one of five local players that will compete in the PGA Tour event, which also includes fellow amateur Dillas and professionals Dwayne Pearman, Daniel Augustus and Sims. Pearman was granted a sponsor’s exemption while Augustus comes in as the first alternate from the local qualifier.

They will be among a field boasting 49 PGA Tour champions with a combined 130 victories, including former Masters and PGA Championship winners Mike Weir and Davis Love III.

The tournament will be held from Thursday to November 3.

For further details visit www.bermudachampionship.com