Jamaica News: Jamaica entered the Caribbean Golf Association Four-Ball Championships with high hopes of copping it’s first country championship especially since it was fielding a full team for the first time and they did just that to the delight of Peter Chin – the Jamaica Golf Association president.
Jamaica trailed perennial defending champion Puerto Rico on the first day by one point and by three points on day two but turned in a very good final day with all the two-player teams posting equal or better scores to edge Puerto by 7 points on the final day. Jamaica ended with 66 points to Puerto Rico’s 59 to take hold of the Ambrose Gouthro Cup for the first time.
Jamaica won three of the five trophy categories outright, tied for one and coming 6th in the other one.
The country’s top performer was the two-man team of national champion Sean Morris and Dr. Mark Newnham who copped the Francis & Steel-Perkins Trophy for Men 50 and over. They had another good day on the course posting their third consecutive under par score of three under par 69 for a three day total of 202 or 14 under par for the three days of competition. They had the best total of all the golfers in the competition and were just one of two teams that shot under par scores on all three days. A look at their final day scorecard showed four birdies and one bogey.
Morris was pleased with his team’s performance. He said “scoring was difficult on the final day due to the windy conditions with winds gusting up to 25 mph but we (Morris and Newnham) managed to play good team golf and carded 69 or three under par on the day. I feel a sense of accomplishment to share the Caribbean Championship in the senior division, having been runner-up on several occasions.”
The two female teams maintained their first places in their age groups and returned better final day scores under difficult playing conditions. Michelle Gabay and Maggie Lyn copped the Dessie Henry Trophy after scoring 74 and posting three-day total of 239, ahead of Trinidad & Tobago 79, who were fifteen strokes behind on 254.
The other female Jamaica team of Jodi Munn-Barrow and Alison Reid scored 84 or 12 over par for a combined score of 253. They took the Marie Nunes Trophy for Ladies 35 and over. Puerto Rico scored 89 and ended on ten strokes behind on 263.
Michael Boyd and Bert Tomlinson recovered from sixth place to be tied for first on the final day.
They posted their best score of 75 and ended the championship with a combined score of 236. Though they were joint first on the final day their overall score placed them in second spot behind Barbados whose three-day total was 232. Barbados therefore took home the Higgs & Higgs Trophy for Men 60 and over.
Competition for the Ramon Baez Romano Trophy (Men 35+) featured the Jamaican team of John O’Donoghue and Philip Prendergast who scored six over par 78 for a three-day total of 237 to occupy the sixth spot of seven teams in their age group. Puerto Rico ended in the top spot and took home the trophy after posting 68 or four under par (3-day total of 205). They were the only other team to post under par scores in all three rounds.
The country points for the Ambrose Gouthro Cup were: Jamaica 66, Puerto Rico 59, Bahamas 36, Cayman Islands 34, Barbados 33, Trinidad & Tobago 21, Turks & Caicos Islands 17 and the US Virgin Islands 11.
The other Jamaican two-man teams posted the following scores: Rory Jardine and Owen Samuda – 77 for a three-day combined score of 219, Dorrel Allen and Robert Chin – 72 (220), Greg Chong and Tommy Lee Williams – 74 (231) and JGA president Peter Chin and George Hugh posted 73 (231). Their scores did not contribute to the country points for the championship.
The championship was played at the PGA National Resort & Spa at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.