Persaud, Sukhram aiming big at Guyana Open this weekend
By Avenash Ramzan
Two of Guyana’s most decorated golfers will hunt a piece of history this weekend when the Guyana Open golf tournament tees off at the Lusignan Golf Course, East Coast Demerara.
Avinash Persaud, who has won the last five Guyana Open championships, is aiming for an overall 10th title, while defending champion Christine Sukhram is confident of winning the female aspect for a historic 11th time.
The duo, who have been dominant on the Lusignan Course for close to 15 years, are overwhelming favourites for the October 26-27 event, but they are up against fierce competition from overseas.
Over 100 golfers are confirmed for the two-day showdown, which has for the third consecutive year secured title sponsorship from Ganesh Parts and General Store under the Bridgestone tyres brand.
Persaud, who won his first Guyana Open title in 2006, said he is fully focused on the task at hand this weekend, and in his book, a 10th title is a foregone conclusion.
“I’m feeling very good mentally; in practice I was playing well. Up to last week I had a Gross championship win, so my game is on and I’m prepared for it,” Persaud told News Room Sport.
“I think I’m one of the best players in the Caribbean, so I’m feeling no pressure. I just have to go out there and play the game I know and I’m going to come out on top. Sunday I’m going to lift the trophy again; definitely 10-time.”
After that maiden win 13 years ago, Persaud copped back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010, before Papo Haniff won in 2011. Persaud reclaimed the title in 2012, but the reign lasted only a year as his younger brother Avinda Kishore lifted the Guyana Open in 2013.
Since then it has been one-way traffic with Persaud winning the prestigious title from 2014 to 2018.
“Home course advantage is always there, but at the end of the day you still have to go and play the game and showcase your skill,” Persaud responded when quizzed on the advantage of having familiarity with the Lusignan Course.
“Touch is still there”
For Sukhram there hasn’t been much competitive playing time on the Course this season. In fact, she has appeared in only one tournament this year.
Incidentally, she won that tournament after only one day of practice.
“I’m very excited (about this Guyana Open). I only started practicing a few days ago so it’s a lot of work. I wake up early in the morning and try to get my (swing) and motion back. I haven’t lost any touch or anything, but I just need to work on a few extra spots,” Sukhram indicated.
Despite the lack of playing time over the last 10 months, Sukhram is undaunted by the challenge that awaits her against top local and overseas competitors.
“I never look at it that way, because sometimes I’ve been away for a few months and then I come back and I’m successful. So I don’t see that as a disadvantage, but like I said I will put in the hard work and I will be ready for this weekend,” Sukhram asserted.
Sukhram won her first Guyana Open title in 2006, before going on a six-year winning streak, spanning 2008 to 2013. That streak was broken by local golfer Joaan Deo in 2014.
Deo and one-time Guyana Open winner Shenella London are Sukhram’s main local rivals, while it is understood Barbados will be well represented by a strong female contingent.
The Guyana Open 2019 is sponsored in part by: Macorp, Guyana Marriott, Toolsie Persaud, Copa Airlines, Panko Steel Fabrication, Bulkan Timbers, Oddessy Transport Services, Comfort Sleep, BM Soat, A. Ahmad Hydraulics, New India Insurance, Progressive Auto Rentals, IMON Wireless, Steve’s Jewellery, Trophy Stall, Ansa Mcal, Sissons Paint, Chetson’s, Oasis Café, ACH Inc., Banks DIH, CIDI (Blue Waters), Nayelli Salon, AR Printery, Giftland Mall, Guyana Beverages, New Trend Auto, West Indian Sports Complex, Pulse Entertainment, Southland, Massy Group of Companies, ModFin Spa, Gafoors, Ganesh Parts & General Store- Bridgestone, El Dorado (DDL) and NexGen Global Marketing Services.