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Local Prodigy, 15, Qualifies for Butterfield Bermuda Championship

A 15-year-old Bermudian has qualified for the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, Nov. 9-12.

Oliver Betschart (BET-CHAR), a local prodigy who last year became the youngest player to win the Port Royal Golf Club Championship, shot 3 over par in the 54-hole local qualifier to become one of three players – with Eric West and Scott Roy – to make it through.

Betschart will become the second 15-year-old to play in this event in the last four years; Kenny Leseur was also 15 but six months older when he qualified for the 2019 Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

“This has been my goal for the whole year,” Betschart, who shot a final-round 68 in tricky winds, told The Royal Gazette. “And now it’s finally true and it’s hard to accept it but I am really excited. … Last year I was up here working with the tournament staff and seeing all the work that goes on and I am really happy to be a part of it this year.

“I was definitely nervous coming down the stretch and then made a lot of good shots,” he added.

West shot 66 to win the qualifier by four over Betschart and Roy. This will be the first PGA TOUR start for all, and they’ll be joined by sponsor exemption Michael Sims, also of Bermuda.

Betschart missed qualifying for the tournament by a shot last year but finished strong this time around, signed for a 68, then watched as professional Chaka DeSilva narrowly missed tying him with a birdie on 18.

Betschart will be youngest player to compete on TOUR since 2014, and the fifth-youngest since 2000. Only Michelle Wie (twice), Tianlang Guan (six times), Andy Zhang (2012 U.S. Open) and Lorens Chan (2009 Sony Open in Hawaii) were younger.

Youngest Players on the PGA TOUR since 2000

Michelle Wie West2004 Sony Open in Hawaii14 Years, 3 Months, 7 DaysCUT
Guan Tian Liang2013 Masters Tournament14 Years, 5 Months, 20 Days58th
Guan Tian Liang2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans14 Years, 6 Months, 3 Days71st
Andy Zhang2013 U.S. Open14 Years, 6 Months, 3 DaysCUT
Guan Tian Liang2013 THE CUP CUP Bryon Nelson14 Years, 6 Months, 24 DaysCUT
Guan Tian Liang2013 the Memorial Tournament14 Years, 7 Months, 8 DaysCUT
Guan Tian Liang2013 FedEx St. Jude14 Years, 7 Months, 15 DaysCUT
Lorens Chan2009 Sony Open in Hawaii14 Years, 7 Months, 27 DaysCUT
Guan Tian Liang2014 Sony Open in Hawaii15 Years, 2 Months, 18 DaysCUT
Michelle Wie West2005 Sony Open in Hawaii15 Years, 3 Months, 5 DaysCUT
Tadd Fujikawa2006 U.S. Open15 Years, 5 Months, 10 DaysCUT
John Oda2012 Sony Open in Hawaii15 Years, 7 Months, 25 DaysCUT
Michelle Wie West2005 John Deere Classic15 Years, 8 Months, 29 DaysCUT
Cole Hammer2015 U.S. Open15 Years, 9 Months, 24 DaysCUT
Kenny Leseur2019 Butterfield Bermuda Championship15 Years, 9 Months, 25 DaysCUT
Gavin Hall2010 Turning Stone Resort Championship15 Years, 11 Months, 5 DaysCUT
Darren Wallace2004 RBC Canadian Open15 Years, 11 Months, 20 DaysCUT

Source : PGA Tour