Kenny Leseur Jr. is one of a handful of international golfers playing this week in the Press Thornton Future Masters Golf Tournament and despite being from Bermuda, he has already picked up on some local customs.
“Roll Tide,” Leseur said with a chuckle shortly before teeing off in the 13-14 year-old Age Group.
Every year since at least the 1960s, junior golfers from other countries have walked the links at the Future Masters, with one player from South Africa winning the tournament in 1979 and other foreign players winning their individual age groups.
For Leseur, playing this week in Dothan gives him the opportunity to compete with others in his own Age Group. The Warwick, Bermuda, native plays competitively back at home, but there is nobody else in his age group there so he ends up competing against grown men. This is Leseur’s first trip to Dothan, but he has played in other tournaments in the United States and has plans to make other trips back to the U.S. this summer to play competitively.
At age 11, Leseur won the 2015 Aon Benefield Fecchio Cup Champion in Bermuda. In 2016, he won the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship’s long drive competition in Florida, hitting the ball 292 yards. He actually started out playing soccer when he was younger, but his father’s influence got him to trade soccer cleats for golf shoes.
“My dad was a good golfer when he was younger,” he said. “I didn’t really like it at first.”
For the past two years Leseur has been working with a golf coach. He would eventually like to play golf in college, but getting more experience playing against his peers is his focus right now.
“We try to play a lot in the summers,” he said. “This is our fourth tournament overseas and we have three more.”
Only a handful of the 472 competitors in this year’s tournament are international players. Tournament coordinator Angelia Turner said some players have dual citizenship because they play at golf academies in the United States and they may list their address in the United States when they sign up, so there could actually be more international players than they know about. She said she found out there are some players from Columbia who have dual citizenship and they are listed with their United States addresses.