Jamaica shine at CAJGC
After three exciting days of competition, Team Jamaica came out with wins in two divisions and copping two second-place finishes in the 31st Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships (CAJC), which ended last Friday.
The competition took place at Caymanas Golf Club last week and was a tremendous show of great promise for the future of young golfers in Jamaica, especially the females.
Results in the girls' sections included Emily Mayne's second-place finish in the 13 & Under girls category, and Kei Harris, who not only grabbed second place in the 18 & Under Girls, but also took home the Izzy Marley Award for Sportsmanship for the overall tournament.
Harris is the second Jamaican female to win this award, with Evelyn Lai being the first in 2016.
It's also a great farewell for the co-captain Kei, as this is her last year with the team, which begs the question: Where does the future lie with female golfers for Team Jamaica?
Peter Levy of BCIC, the event's title sponsor, was elated with the outcome.
"Golf affords young people the unique opportunity to build character because they compete against their own weaknesses rather than an opponent," Levy said. "BCIC hopes that developing this trait will turn out strong future leaders for Jamaica."
BCIC and JGA have teamed up to raise awareness of golf in Jamaica and also to entice females to learn the sport.
BCIC will be launching a mental coaching programme called Think Like A Champion, in support of young Jamaican golfers and for potential national junior team members, as well as a Girls and Golf campaign via social media to encourage females to get involved with the sport.
BCIC and the JGA will be encouraging high schools to participate in an Inter-Schools Golf Championship, with first-time trophies for the top female team and individuals.
BCIC and the JGA are also developing a mentorship programme for junior girls with current female golfers. They also pledge to financially facilitate participation in overseas tournaments for these young women. The hole-in-one, however, is BCIC's offer to sponsor a dream golf vacation to a world-class golf destination for girls who excel at the sport.
Eighty-six juniors aged 11-18 participated in three categories - 18&U, 15&U and 13&U - in this year's tournament, from eight countries: The Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks & Caicos. Puerto Rico placed first with a score of 143 in the overall competition for the 11th year in a row. Jamaica placed second with 136 points, Dominican Republic placing third with 131 points and Trinidad & Tobago placing fourth.