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High-quality field for Half Moon Jamaica Open

Published:Friday | November 2, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer

Olin Browne, the 2011 US Open senior champion, and Jamaica's Peter Horrobin will headline a field of more than 80 golfers who will compete in the Half Moon Jamaica Open Golf tournament set for November 28 to December 1 at the Half Moon course in Montego Bay.

Browne, who will be competing in the tournament for the second time, made history recently by becoming the fifth player in professional golf to win titles on the Nationwide, PGA and Champions Tour.

Horrobin, who is based in Florida, recently became the second Jamaican to qualify for the European Seniors Tour. He also represented Jamaica in the 2006 World Cup Golf Championships.

The golfers will be competing for prize money totalling US$85,000 with the winner pocketing US$16,000, second US$9,000, third US$6,500 and fourth US$5,500. The top nine finishers are guaranteed cash prizes.

Attractive trophies

Amateur golfers with a maximum handicap of 7.0 will also compete for attractive trophies and merchandise. In addition, the top-performing senior professional will receive a special senior's purse. The 54-hole tournament has also attracted 40 amateur golfers.

President of the Jamaica Golf Association (JGA), Wayne Chai Chong, said the Jamaica Open is part of the country's rich sports history and he is expecting a competitive championships.

"We have assembled a very good field this year and we have a number of players with PGA experience and who play on the Champions Tour," said Chai Chong.

"We will also have players from the Canadian Tour, European and also the Caribbean, and so I think we have a very high-quality field put together," he said.

Chai Chong added: "It is going be a very exciting championships because a couple of our local guys, like Peter Horrobin, will be hoping to defend our flag on this one."

Spencer Edwards, director of golf at Half Moon, who are the title sponsors of this year's tournament, said his company was committed to helping to promote Jamaica as the premier golf destination in the Caribbean.

"The family that owns Half Moon are keen golfers ... they have embraced their association with JGA and they really want to do whatever they can, not only to develop golf in Jamaica, but also help to put Jamaica on the map," Edwards said.

The 2012 Jamaica Open Golf tournament tournament will also be part of the official line-up of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's Independence.