Hosts Jamaica impress at Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Champs

Sunday, July 08, 2018

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After three exciting days of nail-biting competition, Team Jamaica came out with wins in two divisions and copped two second-place finishes at the 31st Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships which concluded on Friday.

The competition, which took place at Caymanas Golf club was a tremendous show of great promise from Jamaica's rising golfers, particularly on the female side.

Like they did last year, Jamaica placed second in the overall standings with 136 points, behind defending champions Puerto Rico (143 points), who were topping the championship for the 11th year consecutively.

Dominican Republic (131 points) and Trinidad & Tobago round out the top four.

The Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands and Turks & Caicos were the other countries that participated in the tournament, which attracted 86 golfers in three categories — 13 and under, 15 and under and 18 and under.

Jamaica's overall second- place finish was complemented by Emily Mayne's second place in the girls' 13 and under category and Kei Harris's second place in the 18 and under division, which also earned her the Izzy Marley Award for Sportsmanship for the overall Tournament.

It was a great farewell for the co-captain Harris, who was contesting her final junior tournament, as she is the second Jamaican female to win this award, with Evelyn Lai being the first in 2016.

On the boys' side of action, Rocco Lopez, who topped the 13 and under category, also copped the Bob Slatter Trophy and Justin Burrowes, who rallied back on the last day, took home the James Moss-Solomon Trophy by four strokes in the 18 and under category.

Peter Levy of title sponsors BCIC was elated with the outcome.

“Golf affords young people the unique opportunity to build character because they compete against their own weaknesses rather than an opponent, and BCIC hopes that developing this trait will turn out strong future leaders for Jamaica,” Levy noted.

Meanwhile, BCIC and the Jamaica Golf Association have teamed up to raise awareness of golf in Jamaica and also to entice females to learn the sport.

The title sponsors will be launching a mental coaching programme in support of young Jamaican golfers called 'Think Like A Champion' for potential national junior team members, as well as a 'Girls and Golf' campaign via social media to encourage females to get involved with the sport.

Additionally, they are also encouraging high schools to participate in an Inter-School Golf Championship, with first-time trophies for the top female team and individuals.

Along with a mentorship programme for junior girls with current female golfers, they also pledge to financially facilitate participation in overseas tournaments for these young women.

However, the hole-in-one is BCIC's offer to sponsor a 'dream golf vacation' to a world-class golf destination for girls who excel at the sport.

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