Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Paul Eales completes all-the-way win

Published:Sunday | January 15, 2017 | 1:00 AMPaul Clarke
Englishman Paul Eales

Western Bureau:

Englishman Paul Eales struggled on yesterday's final day, but held on to save par in dramatic fashion to eke out a one-stroke victory in the 2016 Jamaica Open Golf championship at the Half Moon Golf Course in Montego Bay.

Eales won the US$17,000 tournament under extreme pressure from American Tom Gillis, who tied the scores at the ninth hole, but had a few disastrous shots on the back nine to cede the lead once again to Eales.

Paired with Gillis and Kenny Goodykoontz, Eales needed to hold par at one under to secure the title and when his approach shot sailed into the bunker to the right of the green, those watching were worried that he may not have made it.

 

Final day

 

But his chip was excellent from the sand, landing him two feet from the flag and from there, he could not miss, with Gillis, the American who chased him all the way on the final day, just a stroke behind.

Eales, who carded rounds of 68, 72 and 75 for a 215 total, managed to stave off the challenge laid down by Gillis, who also had a par on the last hole for a 72 (216 for the tournament).

Delighted with the win, Eales said that his shot from the sand bunker gave him the match.

"I was having a hard time of it really with the wind and the greens so hard to read, but that shot at the 18th got me the win," said Eales.

"I was the one of only two players today to break par, so it goes to show again how challenging a course this is and I think all of Jamaica should be proud of it," Eales, the 2016 Jamaica Open champion, said.

 

Challenge

 

Jamaica's John Bloomfield had a torrid time all day. Bloomfield played alongside Thomas Hurst and James Hazen. The three were expected to mount a challenge to Eales, but they faltered badly from the start.

Bloomfield finished a disappointing 12th with a final-day score of nine over par 81 and 225 for the championship.

Two other Jamaicans finished in the top 20. Orville Christie was tied for 14th with 230, Michael Rowe was joint 16th on 231, while Wesley Brown ended tied for 18th on 232.

Owen Samuda had his worst scoring day of the championship with an eight over par 80, but it was good enough to land him the amateur title, ahead of compatriots Ricardo Perry and Zandre Roye, 11 over par 83, tied for second place.

Wayne Chai Chong's 14 over par for 86 was good enough for fourth in the amateur ranks.