St. Kitts Native Wins US Golf Tournament

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
August 07, 2010

Golfer Joe Percival is doing himself and country proud on the international sports scene , in particular in the United States.

The Kittitian golf star won the annual Lafayette City Golf Championship in Lafayette Louisiana.

Percival survived the oppressive heat and a bad start on day 1 of the Championship where he found his stride on Les Vieux Chenes’ back nine and finished tied for the lead at two-under-par 70 at the end of day 1 of the championship. The Kittitian golfer shot a one-over-par 73 on day 2 and final round to win  the City of Lafayette Championship by a single stroke over David “Magic” Duhon and Bill Land.

“This means so much to me,” Percival said after finishing the 36-hole event with a one-under 143 score. “When I came here I met a lot of people through golf, and they welcomed me and encouraged me. I got involved in some tournaments, and this one means a lot.”

Percival shared the first-round lead with McNeese State golfer Chad Bailey in Saturday’s opening round. He quickly fell out of the lead with a bogey and two double-bogeys on Sunday’s first three holes at The Wetlands, but rallied with four birdies over the next six holes and never looked back.

He held a two-shot lead on the 18th tee, but had to roll in a four-foot putt for bogey to claim the title over Land and 2007 city champ Duhon, who were playing one group ahead of Pervical and who each had a great chance to win in the closing holes.

Percival had begun slowly in Saturday’s first round, bogeying three of the first six holes, but that was nothing compared to Sunday’s horrific start.

He double-bogeyed the straightaway par-four first hole, hit his drive way left on the second and wound up with another double, and then bogeyed the third hole.

“My tee shots were just awful,” said Percival. “but I told myself the same thing as yesterday, that I still had a lot of holes to play.”

A chip-in birdie on the par-three fourth hole turned his round around, and he followed with birdies at the par-four fifth and seventh holes and a birdie at the par-five ninth that got him back to one-over.

He also birdied the 12th before what could have been a disastrous double-bogey at the par-three 13th hole, but he followed with two more birdies on the 14th and 15th that provided a two-shot cushion.

He needed it after driving into a bunker left of the 18th fairway and hitting a 7-iron just over a water hazard to the right of the green. A first chip attempt didn’t reach the putting surface, but his chip for par rolled just past the hole and he made the putt coming back for the title.

“I wasn’t watching what anybody else was doing,” Percival said. “I said if I could get back to even, I could win with the conditions,” he continued.

Joe Percival comes from a family with a rich pedigree of golfers that includes brothers Zeke Percival, and  Raymond Percival who are both 2 of the top golfers in the Caribbean.

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