Ryan Lue and Mattea Issa Shine Brightly at National Junior Golf Trials

There were some very good performances at the Jamaica Golf Association’s three-day national junior trials which ended at the Caymanas Golf Club on Sunday. The team to represent Jamaica in the July Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships in Perto Rico will be selected shortly, based on the performances of the twenty-one players who turned up for trials.

Ryan Lue and Mattea Issa, both in the 15 & Under category posted the best results to top their age groups.

Lue scored three over par 75 on day one and two respectively, and six over par 78 on the final day for a combined score of 12 over par 228. He delivered the best part of his game on the back nine on the first day of competition when he carded three birdies and two bogeys for a one under par 35 for the half.

According to Lue “this trials I think it was a little easier this year because it was three people and three spots so I did not have to worry too much about having to reserve a spot on the team cause its three people three spots, so I just try to play golf, just play my best really not really focus on anything but just play my best and score well.”

The scores for the other players in his group were Aarron Ghosh 50 over par 266 (91, 82 and 93) and Lek Drummond who was further back on 66 under par 282 (94, 90 and 98).

Issa who currently attends a golf school in the Bahamas plays much more golf than the players here at home.  She credits the rigors of that system with her improved game. She posted scores of 80, 79 and 89 for a three day total of 32 over par 248.

She said the condition were “its been really tough, the conditions its been really hard like playing the wind like just the course as a whole, its really challenging so for everybody who played they were set a good challenge. Its really tricky to play in the wind and then to judge the wind its really difficult here because the wind is always changing so if you think it going in one direction, while you are over the ball to hit it’ll change so its not really something you can control or have any say about so you just have to accept it and deal with it.”

The other players in her age group were Samantha Azan 43 over par 259 (84, 88 and 87) and Mia Cunningham 54 over par 270 (90, 93, 87).

Aman Dhiman scored 25 over par 241 to top the 18 & Under age group. Trey Williams was only two shots back on 27 over par 243 on the back of 80, 85 and 78 on the three days respectively. Tenny Davis who trains in St. Ann was a close third on 244 (87, 79 and 78).

The one girl in the 18 & Under category, Winni Lau posted 35 over par 251 with scores of 84, 79 and 88.

The youngest players, the 13 & Under Boys was topped by Kemari Morris with scores of 89, 84 and 88 for 261 over the three days of competition. Shasa Redlefsen was 18 shots back on 279 (95, 95 and 89). Victor Salazar battled the three days to 318 with scores of 114, 104 and 88 for third place.

The final group, the Girls 13 & Under had just one competitor in Alessandra Coe. She scored 310 over the three days after posting 101, 102 and 107 on the three days respectively.

Alison Reid, convener for junior golf spoke about the trials, “in all the categories we have really good players which is important. I think every year we try to raise the standard and in every year in every age group we have really good players, so I think we are gonna put together a really good team.”

Now that the trials are completed it will soon be time for intense preparation ahead of the July championships, “once we do the selection which will come in this week then with our coaches, we have Johnny Newnahm, Jason Lopez, Sean Green and Kevin Cunningham, we will now start training and we will go the different courses around Jamaica to try and assimilate as best as we can the conditions in Puerto Rico”, said Reid.

The top three boys in the age groups will represent Jamaica while the top two scores will be used to determine the country standing on the boys side. Where the girls are concerned the top two girls will compete on behalf of Jamaica and the best score will be used for the country standing.

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