Ja jr golfers gunning for team title in Bahamas
Jamaica's 14-member junior golf team will leave the island tomorrow as it seeks to bring home the team title at this year's Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship in Nassau, Bahamas, from July 22-27.
The team, to be captained by defending Caribbean champion Justin Burrowes, also includes Hoerman Cup representatives Jack Stein and Sebert Walker Jr, who will be competing in the boys 18 and under category, while the female equivalent will feature Hannah Foster and Catherine Lee.
In the boys 15 and under, defending under-13 champion Rocco Lopez has stepped up to the division along with Tristan Brown and Matthew Grant. On the female side, the national senior representative Emily Mayne will compete along with Barbados-based Eryn Blakeley.
The boys 11-13 category will feature Aman Dhiman and Trey Williams, while the girl's unit comprises Mattea Issa and Winnie Lau.
National junior coach Jason Lopez believes the Jamaicans have the best chance to claim the Caribbean championships as he believes he has a more complete team this year.
"Last year, Puerto Rico beat us by seven points, and we are looking for more cumulative points this time around to win the Hank James overall team title trophy," he said. "We have over 85 per cent of our team from last year, and we believe we have the experience and strength in all categories to go the distance."
The tournament will be played at the North American-style Albany Golf Course, and Lopez was keen to have his players ready to take on the challenging course.
"Most, if not all the players, have never played on this course, so what we did was to practise on courses that are similar in nature, such as Cinnamon Hill, Half Moon and Tryall," he explained. "The team has responded well and we are ready to go."
Captain Justin Burrowes, who won the individual title at last year's junior championships, says he will be leading by example as he aims to bring home the team trophy.
"My goal is to play my game and hope that it is good enough once again to win my category," Burrowes said. "I know that once I play well, the team will rally around me. We are all very close friends, and myself and the other senior members will be relying on our experience to help us to claim the title."
Jamaica will be going up against defending champions Puerto Rico, hosts Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominica Republic, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, and the US Virgin Islands.