The two-man team of Dr. Mark Newnham and Michael Gleichman was the runaway winner of the Jamaica Golf Association’s (JGA) trials for the Caribbean Amateur Golf Association’s (CAGC) Four-Ball Championship, which was held at the Caymanas Golf Club over the weekend.
They were competing in the trials to represent Jamaica in the two-time defense of the Francis Steele Trophy for men over 50 years. Their scores during the three rounds were one under par 71, five under par 67 and one over par 73 for a combined five under par 211. They ended the trials ahead of their nearest rival, Owen Samuda and Philip Prendergast by seven strokes. Samuda and Prendergast posted two rounds of 73 and par 72 on the final day for a total of two over par 218. Third place in the category went to the team of William Lee and Philip Gooden who had scores of 75, 76 and 75 for their total of 10 over par 226.
Newnham said that “(I) am very proud of how we played. We feel we didn’t play our best despite the five under (on Saturday), we still feel we left a lot of shots out there.” Gleichman praised his partner “I had the best partner that someone can have. He’s come a long way in seventeen years. He hits the ball amazing, full confidence, trust him; He’s a good golfer. I am coming back in the scene, been away for a while but I am here. I am here to stay. I am here to win.” He is returning to the Jamaican team after a 17-year break.
The category winner for the two-time defense of Higgs & Higgs Cup was the two-man team of former JGA president Wayne Chai Chong and Rory Jardine. They were in second place at the end of day one with a score of one under par 71 but ended up in a three-way tie after round two after posting two over par 74 at 145. At the end of the third and final round they separated themselves by carding the best score of all fourteen teams on the course with three under par 69. This gave them a combined score of two under par 214 which was three strokes over the second place team of Dorrel Allen and Robert Chin. Allen and Chin were in third on day one with par 72, then posted one over par 73 in the second round (part of the three-way tie in round two) and followed up with par 72 in the final round for 217. The third place team of Michael Boyd and Bert Tomlinson had the best first round of the three teams with three under par 69 but faltered in round two with four over par 76 (the third of the three-way tie) and then three over par 75 in the final round for 220 overall. Competitors for the Higgs & Higgs Cup must be over 60 years.
Chai Chong “I think we combined very well today. There were few holes where one of us would have been out and each of those holes the other partner came in and we worked really well today”. His partner Jardine said “We are defending champions and we are going back to do the same.”
The third category of players were in the hunt for another two-time defense of the of Ramon Baez Cup for men thirty-five and over. The team of Seam Morris and Delroy Johnson had three good days of three over par 75, three under par 69 and even par 72 for an even par total score of 216.
According to Morris “I think we played pretty well together as a team.” New comer to the team, Johnson said “I will give it my best try. As a former national on the Hoerman Cup in 2008, I love the competition so I will do it.”
There were fourteen two-man teams on the golf course who were vying to represent Jamaica in the three categories. Five in the Francis Steele Trophy, eight in the Higgs & Higgs Cup and one in the Ramon Baez Cup.
In addition to the competition for the category trophy/Cups Jamaica will be in the hunt for its two-time defense of the Ambrose Gouthro Trophy (country trophy)which it first won in 2019 in Florida. There was no competition in 2020 due to the Novel Corona Virus. The bulk of that winning team successfully defended the country trophy and category trophy/cups in 2021 when it returned.
According to the USGA’s (US Golf Association) Rules of Golf, four-ball stroke play is a competition in which two competitors play as partners, each playing his own ball but the lower score of the partners is the score for the hole.