A very successful Jamaica golf team, made up of mostly youthful players, returned home on the weekend from the 65th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship with the George Teale Trophy for women and the runner-up spot for the Arthur Ziadie Trophy.
The championship which was played in the Turks & Caicos Islands at the Turks & Caicos Golf Club saw Jamaica's men placing fourth in the Hoerman Cup.
Although it is the sixth time the Jamaican ladies were winning the trophy, they had not done so since 2006. None of the players on the team knew what it felt like to win the trophy as the oldest among them is in her early twenties.
Female captain Emily Mayne, 17, teamed up with 15-year-old newcomer Cameron March, 15-year-old Mattea Issa and Winna Lau to provide points over the three-day competition to eventually win the trophy.
The best two scores on each day contributed to the team points. March contributed points on all three days of the championship, with the best scores for each of the three days were 157, 153 and 156, which amounted to 34 over par 466, giving Jamaica a whopping 12-shot win over last year's champion and perennial winner Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico's second place resulted from scores of 159, 157 and 160 in the three rounds, respectively, for an overall total of 46 over par 478. The Dominican Republic grabbed third place with their 484 (170, 161, 166) total.
"The three days were a bit challenging [as] we had a lot of wind... the first two days we had some rain at the end, [but] we just kinda had to adapt to what the course was putting forward," said Mayne.
The individual leaderboard showed March in fourth place with a three-day total of 18 over par 234. Mayne posted a three-day total score of 235 to place fifth. The other two ladies on tour — Issa and Lau — placed seventh and 20th, respectively, with combined totals of 241 and 288.
Holly McLean of the Cayman Islands won the female category after posting four over par 220. She posted the lowest score of any of the ladies in any round of par 72 on the second day. Emily Odwin of Barbados was second with a combined score of 225, while third went to Darianys Guzman of Puerto Rico with a total of 232.
The Jamaican male team of Justin Burrowes, William Knibbs, Rocco Lopez, Ryan Lue, Owen Samuda and Aman Dhiman were fourth overall with their total score of 895, behind defending champion Puerto Rico's four under par 860.
"The Caribbean championship concluded a couple days ago and I just want to say that I am particularly proud of my team, the way how everybody battled and the attitude of all of the youngsters. Even though we did not quite come through, everybody gave of their best effort," said Burrowes.
Puerto Rico was followed by the Dominican Republic, who posted 18 over par 882, while the Cayman Island was third with their 886.
The individual positions were Burrowes (218) in fourth place ahead of Knibbs (219) in fifth place. The next best placed Jamaican was Lopez (231) in 21st, closely followed by Lue (233) in 22nd position, Dhiman (235) was 27th, while Samuda (240) was 34th.
the male top scorer was Kelvin Hernandez of Puerto Rico with six under par 210. Enrique Valverde (217), also of Puerto Rico, was tied for second with Rhadames Pena (217) of the Dominican Republic.
An ecstatic Jodi Munn-Barrow, Jamaica Golf Association president and secretary of the Caribbean Golf Association, who returned home with the team, said: "[I am] extremely proud. We did well last year, we came second in the men's; well this year, we came first in the women; and second overall. It was a good performance by everyone."