BMW Jamaica Classic attracts rising stars from PGA Latinoamerica tour

By May 11, 2019
Tom Whitney Tom Whitney

The BMW Jamaica Classic, the only stop of the PGA Latinoamerica tour in the Caribbean has, for the third time in as many starts, attracted massive names, guaranteeing wonderful golf at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course in Montego Bay comes Thursday, May 16. 

The event will feature 144 golfers from around the world, including a few from the Caribbean, where the players have yet to make a significant impression on the tour.

There is Chris Richards Snr, Ben Martin, Dustin Risdon, Wan Ju Lee and Xzavier Wiggins from Trinidad and Tobago, Matthew Marquez, a T&T native who qualified from Barbados’ leg of qualifiers, along with Justin Burrows and Orville Christie from Jamaica.

Those golfers will earn huge experience playing alongside the likes of Tom Whitney, John Somers, Cristóbal Del Solar, and Ryan Ruffels, the best of the PGA Latinoamerica tour this year.

Whitney has steadily improved over the last few years, winning the 88th Abierto OSDE del Centro at the end of April. He is also the Order of Merit leader among the PGA Latinoamerica tour players this year, earning US$41,055 to date. He sits just ahead of Jared Wolfe, a former winner of the BMW Jamaica Classic, on the Order of Merit table.

Somers has also been good this season, sitting third on the Order of Merit chart. He was sixth at the Abierto OSDE del Centro and won the Abierto de Chile back in April.

Del Solar is an exciting 25-year-old, who also has a victory on the tour this year, winning the Puerto Plata Open. He won the Abierto OSDE del Centro in 2018.

Ruffels, at just 21 years old, has not yet won a PGA Latinoamerica tour event, coming close in the Molino Canuelas Championship last month.

His rise to prominence in the region has been noticeable, with the young man already earning US$32,847 this season as well as shooting 56 birdies and three eagles this year, landing him fifth on the Order of Merit chart.

The top players on the tour will be chasing a US$31,500 first prize from a US$175,000 purse as well as points towards the Order of Merit. In 2018, 41 of the leading 50 players on the Order of Merit were part of the BMW Jamaica Classic.

Wolfe won the competition when it debuted on the tour in 2017, while another American, Michael Buttacavoli shot a 21 under par 195, including a course-equaling 10 under par 62, in the third round to win the second staging of the BMW Jamaica Classic in 2018.

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 (JTB), Iberostar Resorts and Cinnamon Hill.

The BMW Jamaica Classic really begins on Thursday, May 16 and runs through to Sunday, May 19, however, the action begins before that with a qualifier on Monday, May 13, a welcome reception on Tuesday, May 14, and the Pro-Am on Wednesday, May 15.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Evian Championship moved after Olympics postponement Coronavirus: Evian Championship moved after Olympics postponement

    The Evian Championship has been moved to August after the Olympic Games was postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

    One of the LPGA Tour's five major tournaments, the Evian Championship in Evian-les-Bains, France, is now scheduled to take place between August 6 and 9, when Tokyo 2020 was originally due to take place.

    South Korea's Ko Jin-young is defending champion for the event which would have otherwise taken place in July.

    The move follows the rescheduling of another major, the ANA Inspiration, and helps the LPGA Tour as they restructure the 2020 calendar in the wake of a host of postponements and cancellations caused by COVID-19.

    "We greatly appreciate the willingness of Franck Riboud, Jacques Bungert and the team at the Evian Championship to move dates and align with our European swing," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.

    "This adjustment makes for easier travel for players and assists us as we look to reschedule previously postponed events during a crowded summer and fall timeframe.

    "This 2020 schedule shift is yet another example of them supporting our players and our Tours during a very difficult time around the world."

  • On this day in sport: Woods takes back top spot, Tyson leaves prison, Gretzky makes history On this day in sport: Woods takes back top spot, Tyson leaves prison, Gretzky makes history

    March 25, 2013 proved a momentous day for Tiger Woods following a rocky few years.

    An all-time golf great, Woods' career appeared to be spiralling out of control towards the end of the 2000s.

    But he was back at the top of the pile in March 2013, signalling an impressive renaissance.

    It was also a notable – albeit controversial – day for Mike Tyson back in 1995, as the infamous boxer was released from prison after being convicted of rape in 1992.

    Below, we look at those and the other major events to happen in the sporting world on March 25.

     

    1958 - Sugar Ray Robinson claims historic fifth title

    The phrase "pound-for-pound" essentially came into being because of Sugar Ray Robinson – a fighter whose performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions earned him renown. A professional boxer in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Robinson is regarded by many as the greatest of all-time and on this day in 1958 he became the first in history to win a world championship five times when he defeated Carmen Basilio.

    1982 - Wayne Gretzky reaches 200 points for season

    Wayne Gretzky's influence on ice hockey is unrivalled and he remains comfortably NHL's all-time leading points (goals and assists) scorer in history, with 2,857 – more than 900 clear of his closest challenger Jaromir Jagr. One of his finest accomplishments was becoming the first player to rack up 200 points in a single season during 1981-81, helping Edmonton Oilers to their first NHL title. He reached 200 with an assist early on against Calgary Flames, before adding another three points in that encounter. Gretzky finished the season with 212, 107 more than anyone else on the team.

    1995 - Mike Tyson released from jail

    After serving less than half of his six-year sentence for rape, Mike Tyson was released on March 25, 1995. He went on to ease through comeback fights against Peter McNeeley and Buster Mathis Jr, with Tyson's management accused of organising "tomato cans" to secure straightforward victories upon his return.

    2013 - Tiger Woods regains world no.1 spot

    After dominating golf in the 2000s, Woods endured a turbulent period from late 2009. Persistent injury problems, issues in his private life and struggles with a new swing all played a part in Woods dropping to 58th in November 2011. In March 2013, he was back on top thanks to victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, beating Justin Rose by two strokes.

    2018 - Steve Smith punished for sandpaper gate

    In March 2018, some Australia players were caught out in arguably the most infamous cricketing scandal ever. After admitting involvement in Cameron Bancroft's attempts at ball-tampering with sandpaper, captain Steve Smith was handed a one-match ban and fined 100 per cent of his fee by the International Cricket Council on March 25. That was just the tip of the iceberg, however. Smith and vice-captain David Warner were both banned for a year by Cricket Australia (CA), while Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension for his part in what CA labelled "cheating".

  • On this day in sport: Ronaldo scores as Mascherano sees red, Australia rule once again On this day in sport: Ronaldo scores as Mascherano sees red, Australia rule once again

    March 23 should forever be etched in the memories of Australian cricket fans, but Javier Mascherano will not remember the date so fondly.

    Poor India were on the wrong end of a hammering in the 2003 Cricket World Cup final in Johannesburg, even with a star-studded batting line-up at their disposal.

    Mascherano and his Liverpool team-mates also suffered a heavy defeat at Old Trafford, though the midfielder did not stick around to hear the final whistle.

    Meanwhile, in golf, there was a lesser-spotted Monday finish on the PGA Tour.

    We look back at the major events that happened on this day in sport.

     

    1981: Floyd reigns at Sawgrass after thunderstorms

    The eighth edition of the Players Championship was forced into a Monday finish after bad weather wiped out the scheduled final day at Sawgrass.

    Heavy thunderstorms led to a Monday finish, with three players – Raymond Floyd, Barry Jaeckel and Curtis Strange – tied at the top after 72 holes were completed.

    A play-off between the trio lasted just the one extra hole; Floyd was the only player to par the 15th to secure the tournament.

    It was his second successive win during the PGA Tour's Florida swing, the American having also prevailed at Doral near Miami the previous week.  

     

    2003 - Skipper Ponting shines as Australia rule the world again

    There was simply no stopping Australia in South Africa, Ricky Ponting's squad successfully retaining the trophy with a thumping victory over India to make sure they went through the 2003 tournament unbeaten.

    The captain led from the front too, Ponting blasting a superb 140 not out as he shared in an unbroken stand worth 234 with Damien Martyn, who finished up unbeaten on 88.

    Replying to a mammoth total of 359-2, India simply never recovered from losing Sachin Tendulkar - who was named player of the tournament - in the first over of their reply, caught and bowled by Glenn McGrath.

    Virender Sehwag did make 82, but Australia bowled their opponents out inside 40 overs to win by 125 runs, in the process sealing their third World Cup crown.

     

    2008: Ronaldo on target as Mascherano loses his cool

    Manchester United remained on the path to retaining their Premier League title with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Liverpool.

    Defender Wes Brown was the unlikely scorer of the opener, while Portuguese duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani added further goals in a comfortable win for the table-topping Red Devils.

    They were aided by the dismissal of Mascherano, who was sent off for dissent before half-time. The Argentina international did not go quietly, however, as he needed to be escorted off the field.

    United went on to be crowned champions again, a 17th top-flight title putting them just one behind their arch-rivals' tally at the time.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.