Sport

Canadian travel agents revel in Sandals golf experience

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

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Team 9, came, saw and they indeeed conquered the 25th staging of the Baxter Travel Media-sponsored Sandals Canadian Travel Industry Golf Tournament with much gusto at the Sandals Golf and Country Club in Upton, St Ann, over the weekend.

The team, which included three first-timers in Spencer Sorensen, Ryan Saroli and Scott Roseblade, proved too good for the competition tallying 134, after scores of 69 and 65 across the two-day tournament that ended with an award segment on Saturday night.

Stavros Kotsireas, a three-time participant, was the other member of the triumphant team representing Flights Centre Travel Group and WestJet, another sponsor of the tournament.

They were three strokes better than Team 12, which tallied 137 after stroking 71 and 66 in the four-man scramble.

The runner-up team comprised Leonard and Lalita Sanicharan and Gord and Lalita Ramkissoon.

Team 5 were two strokes behind in third.

While celebrating their victory, Sorensen pointed out that the camaraderie and team spirit propelled them atop the podium.

“We are amazed, it's just an incredible feeling, we played as a team and we won. So we are a little bit speechless.

“We all played our part on both days...we tried to pick what our best shots were, but the caddies were great, we had a lot of fun, the whole thing was amazing. It was an amazing event,” Sorensen told reporters at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort.

“Those greens were tough, the caddies gave us a line and we tried following it, but it was difficult. Some of them should have went in but didn't, but some did fall. But I would encourage others for next year to come down and just have fun,” Sorenson added.

Meanwhile, Team 17, J Star Travel and Events, which played as an invitational, came in for honourable mention, along with Team 3, who won the Best Team Spirit award.

Jackie Smith and Kumanan Gopalasamy were the top winners in their respective categories of the straight drive competition, while Bright Ainabe won the men's closest to the pin challenge. There was no winner on the women's side of play.

Maureen Barnes-Smith beamed about the prospect of introducing Jamaica and Sandals as a golfing destination to new travel-industry partners.

“This year was amazing, for the first time over half of the group were brand new players, they have never been to Jamaica and they have never been to Sandals. So we had a brand new field of players from all over Canada experiencing Jamaica and Sandals and golfing.

“Some of them, it was their first time picking up a golf club, so it was a little bit slow on the first day, but they picked it up, they got the hang of it and they had an amazing time,” Barnes-Smith shared.

“We sell Jamaica first, Jamaica is the home of Sandals so again it's always our pleasure to bring people to Jamaica, to have people come here to a resort they have never been, to experience our five star luxury included service,” she added.

Barnes-Smith also alluded to the tremendous work being done by the Sandals Foundation, as US$915 was raised for their cause.

“The Sandals Foundation is such an important part of our company, it's their 10th anniversary and I'm happy that we raised almost a thousand dollars for them this week, and I know that it is going to go to all the wonderful causes that the Sandals Foundation supports,” Barnes-Smith ended.


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