Jamaica Sports News, St Catherine: Host Jamaica had to play second fiddle to Puerto Rico, who retained the Hank James team trophy, at the 31st Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship, which ended at the Caymanas golf and country club in St.Catherine on the weekend.
The defending champions ended the 54-hole tournament with 143 points, 7 more than second place Jamaica, who equaled its 2016 performance.
The Dominican Republic took third place with 131 points, Trinidad & Tobago was next on 106, the Bahamas 78, Barbados 73, the Cayman Islands 68 and the Turks & Caicos who had just one golfer, 5.
Eduardo Figueroa, coach of eleven-time champion team Puerto Rico said, “It was a great challenge for us, Jamaica played great today. It was great to see the kids do their best every day and having fun. At the end, we came out victorious so that’s a relief for us”.
While not winning the team trophy, Jamaica grabbed three of the eight individual awards. Justin Burrowes took home the James Moss Soloman trophy for the 18 & under category, Rocco Lopez copped the Bob Slatter trophy after topping the 13 & under category, while Kei Harris took her second hold on the Izzy Marley Award for sportsmanship.
The 18 & under peter hale trophy went to Valeria Pacheco of Puerto Rico, another Puerto Rican, Diego Saavedra was rewarded with the 15 & under Arturo Pellerano trophy.
Emily Odwin of Barbados received the 15 & under Kenneth Francis trophy and tops in the 13 & under category, Holly McLean of the Cayman Islands was presented with the John Fitzgerald Harwood trophy.
Jamaica’s coach Jason Lopez, said the kids did amazingly well: “We won the Under 18 boys. We won the U13 boys. We came second in the under 18 girls. We had standout performances. It was a team effort. I am proud of the kids who did well. We did everything we could. Puerto Rico was just very strong”.
Alison Reid of the Jamaica Golf Association who was tasked with leading the team to plan and execute the championship said, “I am really happy it went off well. I am happy that it’s over. It went well. It proves that hard work pays off”.