All set for BMW Jamaica Classic
Jamaica’s Ian Facey will be the final competitor in a field of 144 that will tee off at 1:10 p.m. today at the 119th PGA Latino America BMW Jamaica Classic at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course in Montego Bay.
The former Nova Southeastern University golf pro will be joined by compatriot Orville Christie and amateur Justin Burrowes, as the only Jamaicans in the field, which involves 26 countries.
The USA leads the list of entrants with 80 golfers, followed by Argentina with 13, Canada and Mexico 6, Colombia 5, and Trinidad and Tobago 4.
Brazil, Chile, Sweden, and Spain have two representatives each, while Australia, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Holland, Finland, France, Guatemala, Italy, Norway, Peru, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Uruguay, and Venezuela have one each.
American Tom Whitney will play his second event as the PGA Tour Latinoamérica Order of Merit leader. After his victory at the 88th Abierto OSDE del Centro, the Californian added a tie for 49th at the Puerto Plata Open. He has accumulated US$41,055 ($5.6 million) this season.
The BMW Jamaica Classic will be a special week for Whitney, who will turn 30 when the first round of play at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course begins. After five events, Whitney has not missed a cut. In addition to his triumph in Cordoba, Argentina, he added a top 10 at the Buenaventura Classic.
Absent this week is Jared Wolfe, No. 2 of the Order of Merit. The former BMW Jamaica Classic champion has been promoted to the Web.com tour due to his stellar play.
In addition to the three-time Tour winner, four other top-20 players of the Order of Merit won’t be playing in Montego Bay. They are Brazilian Alexandre Rocha (No. 8), American Alex Weiss (No. 13), Australian Harrison Endycott (No. 16) and Chilean Joaquín Niemann (No. 18).
According to tournament director Peter Lindo, one change has been made to this year’s championship with regard to the routing on the front nine.
“What we have done this year is change the signature hole, which was number 5 to number 1. So, the Par 3 hole, which was the 4th hole last year, will now be the 9th hole this year, that is the only significant change.”
Lindo further stated that the course is in great shape and a number of low scores are expected over the four days of competition.
Jamaica is the 17th country and the first English-speaking Caribbean nation to host an official PGA TOUR of the Latinoamérica event. The BMW Jamaica Classic is hosted by SportsMax and sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board, Iberostar Resorts and Cinnamon Hill.