A very successful Jamaica golf team of mostly youngsters returned on the weekend from the 65th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship with the ladies’ trophy, the George Teale Trophy and the runner-up spot for the Arthur Ziadie Trophy (or country trophy) while the men placed fourth in the Hoerman Cup. The championship was played in theTurks & Caicos Islands at the Turks & Caicos Golf Club
Although it is the sixth time the Jamaican ladies were winning the trophy, they had not done so since way back in 2006. None of the players on the team knew what it felt like to win the trophy as the oldest among them is in her early twenties.
Female captain Emily Mayne (17 yrs) teamed up with new comer Cameron March, fifteen year-old Mattea Issa and Winna Lau to provide points over the three day competition to eventually win the trophy. The best two scores on each day contributed to the team points. March contributed points on all three days of the championship. The two best scores for each of the three days were 157, 153 and 156 which amounted to 34 over par 466, giving Jamaica a whopping 12-shot win over last year’s champion and perennial winner Puerto Rico.
“The three days were a bit challenging, we had a lot of wind, the first two days we had some rain at the end. We just kinda had to adapt to what the course was putting forward. I did not play my best on the second day, the first day I played ok, I had two bad holes and the last day I was able to pull it through and kinda make sure I put in a low score for my team, which ended up securing the spot and beating Puerto Rico by twelve points and I am just proud of my girls. We are just doing the best we can and showing everyone that we can do it.” said Mayne.
Puerto Rico’s second place resulted from scores of 159, 157 and 160 in the three rounds respectively for an overall total of 46 over par 478. The Dominican Republic grabbed third place with their 484 (170, 161, 166) total.
The individual leaderboard showed March in 4th place with a three-day total of 18 over par 234. Mayne posted a three-day total score of 235 to place 5th. The other two ladies on tour, Matta Issa and Winni Lau placed 7th and 20th respectively with combined totals of 241 and 288.
Holly McLean of the Cayman Islands won the female category after posting four over par 220. She posted the lowest score of any of the ladies in any round of par 72 on the second day. Emily Odwin of Barbados was second with a combined score of 225. Third went to Darianys Guzman of Puerto Rico with her total score of 232.
The male team of Justin Burrowes, William Knibbs, Rocco Lopez, Ryan Lue, Owen Samuda fourth and Aman Dhiman were fourth overall with their total score of 895, behind defending champion Puerto Rico’s four under par 860.
“The Caribbean championship concluded a couple days ago and I just want to say that I am particularly proud of my team, the way how everybody battled and the attitude of all of the youngsters. Even though we did not quite come through, everybody gave of their best effort. On the ladies side, I am particularly proud of the ladies. Its the first Jamaica team that I have been on that the ladies have come through on top. To beat Puerto Rico is definitely special” said Burrowes.
Puerto Rico was followed by the Dominican Republic who posted 18 over par 882 while the Cayman Island was third with their 886.
The individual positions were Burrowes (218) in fourth place ahead of Knibbs (219) in fifth place. The next best placed Jamaican was Lopez (231) in 21st, closely followed by Lue (233) in 22nd position. Aman Dhiman (235) was 27th while Samuda (240) was 34th.
The male top scorer was Kelvin Hernandez of Puerto Rico with six under par 210. Enrique Valverde (217) also of Puerto Rico was tied for second with Rhadames Pena (217) of the Dominican Republic.
An ecstatic Jodi Munn-Barrow, Jamaica Golf Association president and secretary of the Caribbean Golf Association returned home with the team. She said “(I am) extremely proud. We did well last year, we came second in the Men’s, well this year we came first in the women and second overall. It was a good performance by everyone. They all went out there and fought their hardest, struggled but realized that they had to put in every single point for the team and I am really pleased with the outcome this year.”