Junior golfers Ryan Lue and Mattea Issa put on a commanding show to win the male and female sections of the Jamaica Golf Association's National Senior Trials at the Half Moon Golf Course in St James on the weekend.
Lue topped the leaderboard every day of the trials with scores of two under par 70 on the first day, par 72 on the second day and a big four under par 68 on the final day to win by eight strokes after posting a combined 210 for the three-day trials.
He had a dream start to his final round on Sunday with an eagle, taking three shots on the par five hole number one. He followed that up with birdies on holes number two, six and eight for five under par 31 on the front nine. His back nine started with a bogey but that was the only mishap he had on the day which ended on 68, to win his first-ever senior tournament while still a junior.
"I had a pretty good weekend. It was really fun out there. Played well. Game really connected. Feel really happy about my outcome. It was tough for the three days but I felt calm on the course and it paid off, it showed off in my scores and I am happy to be back competing in Jamaica again and it was really fun and I am happy to come out on top" said Lue.
William Knibbs, the recently crowned national golf champion, started the trials in fifth place after posting four over par 76 on the first day but worked his way to the runner-up spot with scores of par 72 on the second day and two under par 70 on the final day for an overall score of 218. He was one of three golfers to post an under par score in the trials.
Zandre Roye's 221 (73, 75, 73) was good enough for third place while junior golfer Rocco Lopez who was five strokes back on 226 (77, 76, 73), bagged fourth place.
Owen Samuda 234 (85, 71, 78), the other golfer to shoot an under par score, and Aman Dhiman also shot 234 (81, 75, 78) to end the trials in joint fifth place.
Mattea Issa won her first senior event while still a junior after getting by Jodi Munn-Barrow by two shots to win the female section. Her score of 82 was one shot behind Munn-Barrow's 81 on day one, but passed her by three shots at the end of the second day when she scored 80 to Munn-Barrow's 84. Their final day score was a repeat of the first day score, with Issa scoring 82 to Munn-Barrow's 81 for a combined total of 244 and 246, respectively, to give Issa a two shot win over Munn-Barrow.
"I am happy to come away with the win this weekend. The conditions were not ideal. It was raining for the majority of the first two days. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get a practice round in as it was raining" said Issa.
"It was fun getting to play with Aunty Jodi Munn-Barrow, the president of the Jamaica Golf Association, as I am always learning from her. I am so proud of all the other juniors who participated in the senior national trials and did so well. Overall it was a fun tournament and I am very excited to represent Jamaica for the junior team in Cayman and hopefully for the senior team in Tobago."
The other female in the field was Anoushka Khatri who posted 283 (93, 96, 94) for third place.