Some 80 golfers will participate in the 15th annual United States Travel Agents Golf Tournament which tees off today at the Sandals Golf and Country Club, Ocho Rios. The two-day event will comprise teams playing in a four-man scramble format, putting their skills to the test competing in various competitions throughout the tournament. Categories to be contested include Overall Champions and Runners-Up; Closest to Pin – Female; Closest to Pin – Male; Longest Drive – Female; Longest Drive – Male. Garth Laird, Sandals Resorts’ director of travel industry programmes, was upbeat about the event, noting that this year promises to be an amazing tournament. “All is in place for what promises to be a great event,” Laird said. “The Travel Agent Golf Tournament is of great benefit to both Jamaica as a golfing destination and Sandals Resorts, as it gives the travel partners a chance to experience the products first-hand and, hence, being better able to market the destination and facilities to their respective clients.” Partnerships with local companies The director also pointed to partnerships with local companies Red Stripe and Appleton which will showcase the collaboration with some of the country’s leading brands. He also noted that the tournament was not just showcasing golf and Sandals, but offering the travel agents a chance to see a number of Jamaican hotels and attractions, as some will be staying on after the event to enjoy the Jamaican hospitality. Laird said that as a venue, the Sandals Golf and Country Club has a distinct advantage over most courses. “Our caddies play an important role, as they are very good golfers themselves. Wesley Brown, Dane Bailey and Gifford Wilmot, who have all represented Jamaica in the Hoerman Cup event, are part of our staff,” he said. Sponsors for the tournament include Appleton, Red Stripe, Wisynco and Jamaica Tourist Board. The awards presentation will take place tomorrow at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort.