JGA Open returns to Tryall

Regional

JGA Open returns to Tryall

BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, October 29, 2020

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The 53rd annual Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) Open is set to be held at the Tryall Club in Hanover for the second-straight year in December, barring a major catastrophe, it was announced recently.

The event is scheduled to be held from December 12-15 , with a few new innovations, including the starting of the tournament on a Saturday, in an effort to maximise local participation in the Pro-Am, JGA President Peter Chin told the Jamaica Observer West recently.

The staging of the event had been in doubt due to the COVID-19 pandemic and sponsorships, but Chin said unless there is a catastrophic rise in cases of the coronavirus, the three-day 54-hole event would go on, adding that the required sponsorship has been realised.

“We are covered as far as sponsorship is concerned,” Chin told the Observer West, while not giving details.

“But the COVID-19 is our biggest challenge right now, especially with players expected to come in from overseas,” he added.

He went on to say that the current COVID-19 quarantine protocol that calls for 14 days of isolation would not work with the players, but was optimistic saying the players could take a test before their arrival as well as saying he hoped by then the system that produces results in 15 minutes would be available here.

Golf, Chin said, was “the perfect sport for social distancing”.

“There is no need for anyone to be close [to others]. There will be only six persons per group, three players and the caddies, and when a player is teeing off, he will have his distance and throughout the round there are no reasons for players to be close together,” Chin explained.

Meanwhile, Chin said organisers had made some changes to the playing schedule with the ProAm set for Saturday and the tournament to run from Sunday to Tuesday.

Traditionally, the ProAm would be played on Wednesday with the tournament being played Thursday to Saturday, but Chin said the new format would give the local amateurs a chance to play in the ProAm while the playing days would not be a big deal to the professionals.

Tryall hosted the event last year after a three-year renovation of one of the iconic courses in the Caribbean.

Ewan Peebles, the director of golf at Tryall, said then they were happy to be hosting the event, and hoped it would not be the last time, adding that the timing was perfect.

“We are particularly excited to host the Jamaica Open this year [2019] because we have just completed a three-year renovation project of the golf course...over three painstaking years we have completely renovated all our greens, the greens complexes, our bunkers and we have put in a new irrigation system,” he said.

“The routing of the course has not changed from its original plan but these changes have elevated the quality of our product and will protect it for years and decades to come, so it's a perfect time and perfect fit for us to host an event like this and re-establish the Tryall Club as a championship venue.”

The venue has hosted a number of international events, including the Johnnie Walker World Championships that featured the top 30 players in the world for what was then the biggest prize in world golf.


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