Jamaica Open confirmed for December
There is good news on the local golfing front, as the flagship tournament for the Jamaica Golf Association (JGA), the Jamaica Open, is set to tee off in December at the Tryall Golf Club in Hanover.
The latest development was confirmed by the president of the JGA, Peter Chin, who told The Gleaner that sponsorship is on board and all is set to go pending regulatory approval.
The three-day tournament is set to get underway with the Pro-Am event on December 12, followed by the Open event from December 13 to 15.
An elated Chin says his organisation is keen to deliver a world-class tournament once again, despite the challenges posed by the global pandemic. He is, however, happy that the 53rd edition of Jamaica’s premier golf event will be a reality.
“We are very happy, and we have to hope that COVID-19 cooperates so that we can really have something special. We had to make our plans on the basis that the protocols and everything will be established by the time we get to the time of the tournament,” said Chin.
More than 120 local and international golfers are expected to take part in the event, which will feature golfers from the PGA Latinoamérica tour and others from the McKenzie Tour in Canada.
With several tours worldwide being cancelled, Chin expects a bumper field in Hanover, as pro golfers seek ways to cash in on the lucrative US cash prize on offer at the Open.
“The response so far from people who played last year has been tremendous. The only problem with the field is that we are limited by daylight. In December, we can’t accommodate more than 120 golfers. If we were having it in the summer, we could have 140 to 150 golfers,” added Chin.
The JGA has already begun its planning with regard to new protocols of hosting tournaments during the pandemic. The organisers are expected to follow social-distancing rules similar to what is being implemented at the PGA and European tours, which are currently underway.
Chin added that this year’s event will not feature a prize-giving; however, they will be coming up with innovative ways to ensure that nothing is taken away from the golf experience.
Last year, American Patrick Cover held off a stiff challenge from compatriot David Morland to claim his first professional golf title, after coming out on top in the 52nd staging of the Alacran Jamaica Open at the Tryall Golf Course in Hanover.