CAJGC tees off today at Caymanas - JGA boss Chin confident despite injury blow
Despite losing the boys top 15 and under boys competitor Tristan Brown to injury, Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) President Peter Chin believes the local lads still have an outstanding chance of winning their first Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship (CAJGC) , which is set to tee off today at Caymanas Golf Club at 8:15 a.m.
Brown, one of the most experienced Jamaican players, is a four-time world junior participant. He has dominated golf locally in his age group and has been the JGA junior number one-ranked player for the last three years.
However, the 14-year-old, who was also the team's vice-captain, will not get a chance to participate and assist his team's cause, as he broke a bone in his hand after he fell down a step following training.
He will be hugely missed by the Jamaican team, but Chin thinks they still have a great team to challenge for the coveted championship.
"It's unfortunate that one of our top players, Tristan Brown, is injured. He got injured after coming down a step. He fell and broke a bone in his hand, that is so disappointing. But that is how life is, we still have a strong all-round team and we are still confident about our chances of success," he said
"This is the best chance we have had in the last few years, because we have a very strong team and we are playing at home," he added.
Brown will be replaced by Luke Wright, who returned to the golf scene last year after a three-year hiatus.
The 54-hole tournament also includes The Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turk and Caicos. Jamaica's coach, Jason Lopez, has high hopes that things will come together, and if that happens he believes they have a very good chance of lifting the regional title.
"Emily Mayne, Rocco Lopez, Justin Burrowes, Tajay Lobban and Mikey Lowe are all strong players. If these guys perform, we will be formidable and that's my hope, that all things being equal it will happen," he said at last week's launch.
He added: "Puerto Rico has won most (titles), so it is going to be hard to topple them. But with the home field (advantage), and the way the team has shaped up with representation in every age group and what we have done in recent times to bring the team together, I think we have a very good chance."
Meanwhile, all the teams practised at the course yesterday ahead of the opening ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
The Under-15 boys team now consists of Wright, Radino Lobban, and Michael Lowe. The Under-18 boys team comprise Justin Burrowes, Jack Stein, Sebert Walker Jr and Luke Lindo, while Rocco Lopez, Matthew Gant and Aman Dhiman make up the Under-13 boys team.
The Under-18 girls team includes Tianna Cruz, Kei Harris and Hannah Foster. The Under-15 girls are Erin Blakely, Justin McKenzie and Evelyn Lai, while Emily Mayne, Mattea Issa and Winnie Lau make up the Under-13 girls team.