Adrian Frater, News Editor
While it was reigning Senior British Open champion Russ Cochran who walked away with the coveted title at 2012 Jamaica Open Golf Championship, main sponsor Half Moon, A RockResort - which invested a whopping US$100,000 in the event - was the real toast.
With the 54-hole tournament, which was seemingly in trouble with the late withdrawal of the previous main sponsor LIME, Half Moon, A RockResort, took on the challenge as main sponsor for the event, which they have hosted at the scenic Half Moon Golf Course on eight occasions, and did so to rave reviews.
In explaining the motivation for taking up the sponsorship challenge for the 49-year-old golf tournament, Aram Zerunian, general manager of Half Moon, A RockResort, says it was a result of the resort's commitment to the development of golf in Jamaica.
"We are committed to supporting the Jamaica Golf Association in its mission to foster and promote the development of golf in Jamaica," he told Western Focus.
Reflecting on the tournament, which attracted some 58 overseas players, Diandra Shand, marketing and promotions manager at Half Moon, said the tournament was a success in both the quality of the participants and the impact the tournament had.
"It was a much stronger field than we have had in previous years," said Shand. "It is good that we could have taken on the main sponsorship role at such a late stage and had such a wonderful tournament."
In what was an intriguing event, the enterprising Cochran had a brilliant last day, shooting eight birdies on his way to a championship-winning seven under-par 65. The American bettered his 2011 score by three shots, completing the tournament with rounds of 66, 72 and 65 (203).
Canadian Dustin Risdon, who displaced Cochran atop the leader board at the end of the second day, but was overpowered on the final day by the American, took second place with a combined score of 206. Jamaica's Peter Horrobin, who climbed to as high as six under-par on the final day, took third place with a combined score of 212.
Having successfully staged this year's event, main sponsor Half Moon, A RockResort is yet to decide on what role it will play next year. However, based on the impact created this year, many expect them to be in the mix again.