National amateur golf champion Justin Burrowes was the best placed Jamaican player in the 64th Amateur Golf Championship which is being played at the Country Club at Grand Reserve, Rio Grande in Puerto Rico, with a score of even par 72 at the end of day one. He started the day on the back nine on hole number ten, carding one birdie and two bogeys for a one over par 37 but fared better on the front nine after carding two birdies and one bogey for a one under par 35
Burrowes and Jeronimo Esteve of Puerto Rico were tied for third place but just three strokes behind leader Gustavo Rangel of Pureto Rico who shot three under par 69. Rhadames Pena of the Dominican Republic occupied second place on two under par 70.
Burrowes who was pleased with his day one score said “today was a pretty wind day. It wasn’t as windy as the last two days but it was still windy. I still had to play for it and had to manage yourself in it. I felt like I was able to do that pretty well today. I kept the ball low under the wind and overall I am pretty pleased with my score. I shot even par. I would say the highlight or my good points of the day were, I drove it well and I hit my irons really well. I didn’t putt quite as well I wanted to so looking to tomorrow to improve on my putting and hopefully can back up tomorrow with an even better round.”
Scores for the other male members of the Jamaican team were William Knibbs – six over par 78 (11th), Owen Samuda – seven over par 79 (12th), Shamar Wilson – eight over par 80 (tied for 16th), Rocco Lopez – nine over par 81 (tied for 19th) and Dr. Mark Newnham seventeen over pay 89 (34th).
The male team ended day one in the second position behind Puerto Rico. Although there are six men on the male side only the top four scores will contribute to the team/country points for the Arthur Ziadie Trophy and the male trophy – the Hoerman Cup
On the female side, Madelyn Newkirk ended day one in fifth place after scoring six over par 78 while Mattea Issa was in eight place with a score of ten over par 82.
There was a three-way tie for the lead in the female section. Camila Negroni of Puerto Rico, Yae Eun Kim of the Dominican Republic and Alexandra Swayne of the US Virgin Islands all posted two over par 74 on day one. Darianys Guzman of Puerto Rico occupied the fourth spot on four over par 76.
The Jamaican female team was in fourth place at the end of day one. The two females’ scores will contribute to the team/country points and the George Teale Trophy for the females. They were allowed a total of four players but had availability issues for the other selected players.
Team manager Robert Chin was optimistic that the team will put on a better show going forward. He said “team Jamaica didn’t perform as well as we had expected to. Conditions were very windy today and the greens were playing at a much different speed than what we practiced on during practice rounds. Team spirit is still high and we have great expectations for tomorrow because I believe that the players have the ability and they will adapt quickly to the conditions.”
The Jamaican team is sponsored by Bert’s Auto Parts, JMMB Bank and R&R Distribution Limited.