Jamaica junior golf team arrives home returns from history-making exploits at Caribbean Junior Golf Championships

By Sports Desk July 03, 2022

Several members of Jamaica’s history-making team to the 34th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship in Puerto Rico returned to the island with their trophies on Friday night.

No female had ever won in any age group category in the Caribbean championship until Samantha Azan and Emily Mayne wrote their names into the history of local junior golf.

“It means a lot because I am the first Jamaica girl to win it but I am happy with how my work has paid off," said Mayne who shot rounds of 74, 70 and 80 to share the win with Emily Odwin of Barbados.

Samantha Azan won the 15 & Under category by one shot ahead of another Jamaican, Mattea Issa, who led by two strokes at the 18th hole but failed to hold the lead after bogeying the hole.

"It’s disappointing,” she said.

“Leading up to the last hole and then I wouldn't say fumbling the bag but kind of. It was a struggle on the last hole.  I gave away the lead. I gave away the win. I gave it away so not a great feeling.

“I know I can do better and I'll continue to push and do my best every time so hoping it won't happen again and I can focus on the pressure better, handle the pressure better so that I can know how to handle the situation again."

Puerto Rico won the Hank James Trophy with 168 points, ahead of the Dominican Republic on 119 points.  Jamaica finished third overall with 117 points.

The performance was pleasing to Coach Jason Lopez.

“We were very pleased with the girls' performance.  To have Samantha Azan win the Under 15 Girls, Mattea Issa finishing second and Emily Mayne winning to win the Under 18 Girls, was inspirational for, hopefully, all the other young ladies out there who are contemplating what sports to play and we want them to come and play golf so we can continue to build out our women's game,” he said.

“I think we would have liked to and we have the capability of finishing second in front of the Dominican Republic.  Unfortunately, on the last day, the ball just didn't roll our way and we lost by a few points which was a little bit disappointing overall because it would have been nice.”

Related items

  • J.J. Spaun and Kim Si-woo share lead after first round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship J.J. Spaun and Kim Si-woo share lead after first round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship

    South Korea's Kim Si-woo and American J.J. Spaun are the co-leaders at eight under after one round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind.

    Being the first round of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the field is made up of the top-125 from this season's FedEx Cup standings, minus LIV Golf signees Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford, who failed to have their exclusions overturned by a judge earlier this week.

    Spaun shot a bogey-free 62 with eight birdies, while Kim posted seven birdies, an eagle and a solitary bogey on the par-three fourth hole.

    Speaking on the broadcast after his round, Spaun said he hopes his performance during the playoffs will book his place at The Masters next year.

    "It will be nice to punch another ticket there and be able to plan it out and get down Sunday, maybe even Saturday the week before, take my time and enjoy all the little things that come along with that great tradition," he said. "Hopefully keep playing well this week and the next couple weeks, and I'll be there."

    In outright third place is Sahith Theegala at seven under, while one further shot back tied for fourth are Austria's Sepp Straka, South Korea's Lee Kyoung-hoon, American J.T. Poston and the red-hot Tony Finau, fresh off back-to-back PGA Tour wins for the first time in his career. Finau has shot no worse than 68 from his past 10 rounds.

    The logjam in a tie for eighth at five under includes England's Tyrrell Hatton, Australia's former world number one Jason Day, and Rickie Fowler, who barely squeezed into the final field. Last week's 20-year-old first-time winner Joo-hyung 'Tom' Kim highlights the group at four under, along with Adam Scott.

    Many of the serious contenders are at three under, including Cam Smith, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland and reigning FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay, and they are one stroke ahead of major winners Matt Fitzpatrick and Shane Lowry at two under.

    Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy shot even-par 70s, and the pair of Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris have plenty of work to do after finishing at one over.

    Scheffler was responsible for arguably the round's most viral moment as he caught a side-eye from playing partner Smith when he walked right in front of the Australian while he was lining up a putt, with many speculating it was an intentional slight due to reports Smith has signed on with LIV Golf for next season.

  • Former Reggae Boy Alex Thomas appointed head coach of Jamaica Premier League team Molynes United Former Reggae Boy Alex Thomas appointed head coach of Jamaica Premier League team Molynes United

    Molynes United Football Club has appointed Alex Thomas as their head coach for the upcoming Jamaica Premier League season.

  • PGA Tour 'birdied the first' by winning FedEx Cup battle, says McIlroy PGA Tour 'birdied the first' by winning FedEx Cup battle, says McIlroy

    Rory McIlroy considered Tuesday "a good day" for members of the PGA Tour, as he felt the attempts of LIV Golf rebels to enter the FedEx Cup had made the dispute around the breakaway series "personal".

    A judge ruled ahead of the FedEx St. Jude Championship that LIV Golf players were not eligible to compete in the play-offs.

    Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford had filed a restraining order to allow them to play this week's tournament, while 11 LIV Golf stars put together an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

    McIlroy, who said he was following the proceedings live on Tuesday, was delighted the trio had not been granted access after abandoning the Tour for the lucrative new Saudi-backed league.

    "From my vantage point, common sense prevailed, and I thought it was the right decision," McIlroy said.

    "And now that that has happened, I think it just lets us focus on the important stuff, which is the golf, and we can all move forward and not have that sideshow going on for the next few weeks, which is nice."

    The four-time major winner, who finished third as Cameron Smith – reported to be the next LIV Golf signing – won The Open last month, was asked if the struggle between players on either tour had become "personal".

    "Yeah – and it was when that lawsuit was filed last week or whenever it was," McIlroy replied.

    "The thing that I would say [is that] I certainly have a little more respect for the guys that haven't put their names to the suit. Yeah, it's become a little more personal because of that."

    And while delighted with the outcome on Tuesday, McIlroy knows there will be plenty more battles ahead.

    Explaining his outlook, the Northern Irishman said: "Guys are going to make their own decisions that they feel is best for them, and that's totally fine.

    "I don't begrudge anyone for going over to play LIV or taking guaranteed money. If that's your prerogative and what you want to do, totally fine.

    "But I think where the resentment comes from, from the membership of this tour, is the fact that they want to try to get their way back in here with no consequences.

    "Anyone that's read that PGA Tour handbook or abided by the rules and regulations, that would feel very unfair to them.

    "That's sort of how it played out, and I think everyone that has abided by the rules was... There's such a long way to go – it's like you've birdied the first hole, but you've still got 17 holes to go – but it was a good day for the Tour and for the majority of the membership yesterday."

    McIlroy has been prominent in his opposition to LIV Golf, and he revealed on Wednesday he had received an offer from the Premier Golf League, but not from the latest threat to the PGA Tour.

    The 33-year-old was therefore asked if he enjoyed his role as an unofficial spokesperson for the PGA Tour.

    "Not really," McIlroy replied, but he does feel his game has somehow benefited from his being at the centre of a storm when off the course.

    "I don't feel like it's my job to be up here and stick up for the Tour or be a spokesperson," he said.

    "It's just sort of the role that I've found myself in, especially coming on the PGA Tour [policy] board this year. It was a great time to agree to do that...

    "I've said this to a few people: I feel when I then get myself inside the ropes, it's like no one can get to me, and it's really nice.

    "So, it's actually made the golf part of it way more enjoyable. And I sort of appreciate it a little bit more, because of all the other stuff that's going on.

    "If anything, it's probably helped my golf, just because I can get out there and I can not think about it and compartmentalise everything and maybe enjoy competing a little bit more – or at least appreciate it a little bit more with everything else that's going on."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.