Golf boss upbeat JGA Open will tee off despite COVID-19
American David Morland plays out of the sand trap on the opening day of last year's 52nd JGA Open atTryall, Hanover. Morland finished second in the 54 holes tournament. (Photo: Paul Reid)

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, and according to President Peter Chin, the only thing that could possibly stop it would be an exponential rise in cases of COVID-19 forcing a closure of the island's borders.

While not going into details, Chin told the Jamaica Observer yesterday, they had raised the required sponsorship and response to the event from professionals, including some from overseas has been positive.

“We are covered as far as sponsorship is concerned,” Chin said about the event set to be held December 12-15.

“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 he 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.

— Paul Reid

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