Talented team for Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship

Sunday, July 21, 2019

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The Jamaica Golf Association announced a talented 14-member team to the Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship which will be held at the Albany Golf Course in Nassau, The Bahamas July 22-27.

The team is led by caption Justin Burrowes, who is in his final year as a junior. The other boys' 18 and under players are Jack Stein and Sebert Walker Jr; the boys' 15 and under are Rocco Lopez, Tristan Brown, and Matthew Grant; the boys' 11 and under are Aman Dhiman and Trey Williams.

Representing the girls' 18 and under are Hannah Foster and Katharine Lee; the girls' 15 and under are Emily Mayne and Eryn Blakeley, while Mattea Issa and Winnie Lau will compete in the girls' 11-13 age group.

The team, which is scheduled to leave the island this morning, has set aside tomorrow and Tuesday for practice in order to get them acclimatised to the course conditions. Official action will get underway on Wednesday and will run through to Friday for the 54-hole competition over three days.

The championship was played in Jamaica in 2018 when the island matched its best performance of second behind defending champions Puerto Rico.

The team has been preparing diligently under coach Jason Lopez and he thinks that Jamaica can go all the way this year and win the title for the first time.

“I think that we have as good of a team this year as we did last year. we have a lot of returning players. I believe that we can go all the way this year,” he noted.

“I think we will perform individually well again in certain categories. Our U-18 boys' team is very strong with all three players returning —Justin Burrowes being the defending champion in the age group along with Sebert Walker and Jack Stein. Emily Mayne, who was the runner-up in the U13 girls last year, she is now in the 15-year age group, but she is playing very well. Rocco Lopez, who was the U-13 champion, he is back again, but he in U15 boys and I expect him to do well. Hannah Foster, who did not play on the team last year, but she actually won the U-15 girls in Barbados two years ago. She is playing for us in the U-18 girls, which should give us a big lift.

“In the younger categories we have new faces.Aman Dhiman, the U-13 boys champion, he is coming on very strong along with his partner Trey Williams who is really coming on well. The young girls Winnie Lau — first year on the team along with Mattea Issa, Eryn Blakely —she will be playing again for us this year. I just feel like every single day we will score points in all the categories and that cumulatively gives us a chance to win the overall title,” said Lopez.

The coach credited the junior golf committee led by Alison Read as well as Bruce Lopez, Vickram Dhiman, and team manager Michelle Gabbay for organising a lot of team practice on various golf courses across the island including Cinnmon Hill, Half Moon, Tryall, Caymanas, and Constant Spring. Lopez is also pleased with the preparation of the team ahead of the championship and expects the team to come home with the big (team) trophy.

Borrowes, the team captain, was hopeful that the team will do well in the championship.

“I am just gonna try and lead by example. I am gonna stick to my normal routine and give my advice wherever I think it's necessary to all the players and try to be as supportive as possible. We are all very close friends, we all know each other and they are comfortable around me. I am comfortable around them and we all know that we can speak to each other and look for advice from each other,” he said.

According to Burrowes, the team has never played on the course in the Bahamas, but is not daunted by that as they have prepared well on various courses in Jamaica and have studied the course (in the Bahamas) online.

In terms of his own expectation, Burrowes said, “I feel like I am playing well right now and if I play to my ability, I feel I can win. I am going there with a positive mindset we see what happens after.”

Burrowes, along with five members of the junior team, returned to the island recently after representing Jamaica's senior team in the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship in the Dominican Republic where they placed third to better last year's fourth place position. The other five were Jack Stein, Sebert Walker Jr, Hannah Foster, Emily Mayne, and Eryn Blakeley.


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