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BARBADOS - World Golf Championships Barbados World Cup

James Johnson and Roger Beale became pioneers last week when they debuted in the prestigious World Golf Championships Barbados World Cup at the Sandy Lane Country Club course in St James.

December 13, 2006 by PHILIP SPOONER

Compliments of the Nation News

BARBADOS CAN NOW say it has two international golfers.
James Johnson and Roger Beale became pioneers last week when they debuted in the prestigious World Golf Championships Barbados World Cup at the Sandy Lane Country Club course in St James.


Three months ago, Johnson had to turn pro to represent the island.
Surpassing all expectations, he and Roger Beale tied for 21st in the 24-team field after firing a one-over-par 72 in Sunday's final round. The result made them joint Caribbean Challenge winners alongside the highly-fancied Trinidad and Tobago team of Stephen Ames and his younger brother Robert.
The "Bajan Brothers", as they were dubbed during the event, dovedtailed well to push hard on the final Sunday evening to catch-up with the Trinis.
Soon after, Johnson gave up his pro status and has now switched back to the amateur ranks and back to his day job. All week, his story took centre stage and it was featured on the ABC and ESPN networks, as well as the Associated Press, Reuters, Telegraph newspaper in England, and several websites.
They were particular interested in the fact that he was willing to give back his prize money to the Barbados Golf Association (BGA) for the construction of a driving range. The BGA is now $82 500 richer.
"I might not go back (to work) Monday, probably about Wednesday (today)," the 26-year-old Johnson told a packed news conference. "I don't think this week is going to change my life from a work sense, but it definitely will from an enjoyment sense."
Before the four-day event, Barbados were expected to finish at the bottom of the 24-team event, but they carded a respectable four-over 288, to end ahead of Japan and Jamaica.
Johnson had to surrender his amateur status to be able to partner Beale, who was born in Barbados, but now lives in Canada.
"It's definitely one of the best weeks I've ever experienced. When I first learnt I could be playing here, I shook from head to foot. It was a euphoric sensation, something I would never have imagined.
"I've always kind of dreamt of playing on the PGA Tour and being next to a lot of these great players. I thought I would be a lot more overwhelmed with the week and a little bit more nervous.
"But I haven't really felt much of that at all, which is surprising. I guess being in Barbados makes it just a little bit different."
The 26-year-old Barbados No.1 used three United States mini-tour events to prepare for the World Cup.
"The issue was really me having to sit out of amateur golf, because I always want to come back to amateur golf. The issue was whether I would have to wait to return to amateur golf. I didn't want to have to turn professional. I played in college and I don't feel like I'm good enough, in a nutshell," he said.
It was a story worth telling and now the entire golfing world knows of James Johnson.

 

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