Morris, Johnson lead the way
JAMAICA Hoerman Cup player Sean Morris and Delroy Johnson yesterday parred the 18-hole course at Sandals Golf and Country Club to sit atop the leaderboard with scores of 71 each on the opening day of the Jamaica National Amateur Golf Championship at Upton, St Ann.
Morris and Johnson, a former Hoerman Cup player, lead a field of 60 golfers vying for the national amateur title, which is being played outside the Corporate Area for the first time in its 24-year history.
Tracking Morris and Johnson are Sandals-based Zandre Roye, two over par, 73, and Jonathan Newnham, three over, 74, entering today's second round of the three-day Labour Day weekend tournament.
Playing alongside Roye, the fourth group to tee off yesterday morning, Morris promised to turn up the heat today on an already hot but windy course.
"It's a three-day event and, as such, I eased into the round this morning. I have some new equipment in the bag, which takes a while to get used to.
"It was a bit tricky with the wind gusting up to 20 miles per hour, at least a constant 10, playing on tiny greens. Regulating the greens can be challenging, a bit tricky. Your short game has to be in good nick, and I have always had a good short game," warned Morris, a Jamaica Hoerman Cup player since 2004.
Newnham, though three shots behind joint leaders Morris and Johnson, is backing himself to rally today.
"There were some positives. I hit the ball really well, but didn't score well, but there are positives going into tomorrow. If I can tighten my short game, I will have a really good chance by Monday," Newnham said.
Newnham teed off in the third group, which included former Sandals-based former Caribbean junior champion, Romaine Evans, who had a terrible start, 12 over par.
David Mais, tournament director, said the turnout was affected somewhat by the funeral of a member of the golfing fraternity, which clashed with the first day.
"A lot of the Constant Spring players were out attending the funeral of Rodger Braham, a member of the JMMB team and a keen golfer who played at Constant Spring," he said.