EXUMA, BAHAMAS — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper welcomed over 100 participants to the Great Exuma Classic/PGA Korn Ferry Tour as the country rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cooper underscored the importance of the prestigious event held at the award-winning golf course at Sandals Emerald Bay resort during the opening ceremony on Friday, January 14, 2022.
“Thank you for your loyal and committed partnership and the value that PGA Tour continues to bring to our tourism product,” said the minister.
“I would like to express appreciation for the partnership with ESPN, whose coverage of the Great Exuma Classic will once again display The Bahamas to millions around the world.”
He also commended the event organizer, Charles Hamrick, senior director/tournament business and sponsor relations, Korn Ferry Tour, and other partners — Brooks Downing and Josh Franklyn from BD Global Marketing Group — “for affording our destination another opportunity to host these most prestigious championships”.
“I believe that timing is everything. PGA Tour has returned at a time when The Bahamas is engaged in recovery efforts to bring restoration to its economy in the face of an unrelenting pandemic,” Cooper said.
The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic is a golf tournament on the PGA Tour-sanctioned Korn Ferry event played at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Course. The event was first held in January 2017 and again this year, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, noted the minister.
The event attracts the PGA Tour and more than 100 professional golfers from Korn Ferry Tour, along with caddies, families, friends and golf enthusiasts.
According to the minister, Sandals Emerald Bay is an excellent host, and he invited guests to take advantage of amenities offered that are designed to create an unforgettable exotic getaway. He also encouraged guests to explore Exuma, which boasts some of the most beautiful waters on earth and a sanctuary where nature is preserved at its best.
Cooper said he was advised that the PGA Tour and its tournaments have donated more than $3.2 billion to date to support local and global organizations.
“The Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation is pleased to partner with PGA Tour in executing initiatives that effect positive change in our communities,” said the minister.
He congratulated the organizers of the PGA Tour for their generous philanthropic outreach supported by their network of volunteers.
“I applaud PGA Tour’s sustainability efforts that drive positive change and commend you on your environmental stewardship to local communities with an aim for zero waste, among others,” Cooper added.
“Your most impressive PGA Tour schedule indicates that these competitions will be intense and highly engaging. I believe that each of you will shine as you capitalize on your many hours of training and practice.”