Renewed calls for increased numbers of female golfers in Jamaica, as Lopez, Mayne cop individual trophies at 35th Caribbean Junior Golf Champs

By Sports Desk July 11, 2023
Jamaica's top male and female finishers Rocco Lopez and Emily Mayne Jamaica's top male and female finishers Rocco Lopez and Emily Mayne

Alison Reid has renewed calls for more females to consider participating in golf to help drive growth and, by extension, prolong Jamaica’s success in the sport on the regional stage.

Reid’s comments follow another credible showing by the country’s young prospects at the just-concluded 35th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships, where they secure two individual trophies courtesy of Emily Mayne and Rocco Lopez.

The Jamaican team which placed third overall with 116 points behind Puerto Rico (161 points), who took the coveted Hank James trophy, while Dominican Republic was second on 131 points.

Reid, who served as manager for the team stressed the need to increase the number of girls who play the sport going forward.

“Even though we are losing two players, we will still have a good 18 and under Boys section. The girls are where we are weak. It's hard to find girls and so that's where we really have to put our emphasis in,” Reid said.

Mayne, who was the team’s captain, brought home the second-place trophy in the 18 and under girls. She scored 14 over par 227 to end the tournament 15 shots behind group winner Holly McLean (212) of host country Cayman Islands.

Jamaica's other representative in the category, Mattea Issa, ended sixth, after posting 28 over par 241. Jamaica placed second in the group.

Mayne expressed pride at the team’s performance, especially due to the tough conditions they had to endure.

“The conditions we faced, it was very, very windy and of course we are used to some wind in Jamaica, but we really had to adapt to the wind. The First day was not so bad, but the second day and the third the wind really did pick up, so we had the whole 18 holes for both days in the wind,” Mayne explained.

"I went into the tournament trying not to put too much pressure on myself as I won last year but of course in the back of your head you are always going to put a bit of pressure on yourself. The girl, who won Holly, it was her home course, but I just try to stick to my game plan. The first day I had a rough start, probably just due to some nerves but then I brought it back on the second day and the last day,” she added.

Lopez, who entered the final day joint third with Aman Dhiman, finished with a one under par 70, to end three over par 216 in third place in the 18 and under boys’ section. He was one of just three players to post under par score during the championship.

Puerto Rico’s Kelvin Hernandez finished tops with a 10 under par 203, while Dhiman (227) and Ryan Lue (230), collected enough points to bag third place in the group.

“The scores weren't too bad, but I felt like I could have played a lot better. I felt like I wasn't hitting the ball that great. I like the greens, but I couldn't make puts and I didn't make all birdies, but I managed to scramble very well and that kept me around par each day,” said Lopez.

 Meanwhile, the two 11-13 boys, Kemari Morris and Shasa Redlefsen were responsible for the third place in the group. Puerto Rico was the group winner.

The girls' 11-13 representatives, Alessandra Coe contributed the team's fourth place in the group won by The Bahamas, while the 15 & under girls, Samantha Azan and Anoushka Katri, also gave points to the group's fourth place finish. Puerto Rico won the category.

Aaron Ghosh and Davin Hogan closed the championship in sixth place in the 15 & under boys’ category, also won by Puerto Rico. 

Related items

  • Scottie Scheffler out to win at Hilton Head after clinching second Masters title Scottie Scheffler out to win at Hilton Head after clinching second Masters title

    Scottie Scheffler insists he will not be taking things easy in the RBC Heritage in the wake of his second Masters title in three years.

    Scheffler justified his billing as pre-tournament favourite with a four-shot victory at Augusta National on Sunday, after which he made a brief trip home to Dallas before heading to Hilton Head.

    It was the world number one’s third victory in his last four starts and increased his lead over Rory McIlroy at the top of the rankings to more than six points, but the 27-year-old has no intention of just making up the numbers this week.

    “I won the tournament last week and now we’re here and it’s Wednesday and we’re all even par again,” Scheffler told a pre-tournament press conference.

    “It seems like to me in my head that everything starts over each week, so it doesn’t matter what I’m ranked going into the week. It only really matters kind of where you sit at the end of the week.

    “So going into this week it’ll be a bit more challenging than it was last week just because I think playing in contention at majors and especially winning takes a lot out of you.

    “There’s a lot of stuff that goes on after the Masters on Sunday and you get home very late and emotionally I think I’m a bit drained.

    “But we’re starting at even par, so I’m going to go home this afternoon and get as much rest and recovery as possible and show up tomorrow ready to play.

    “I was on a radio show earlier today and Colt [Knost] asked me if I thought about withdrawing and I said, no, I committed to this tournament and I’m not showing up here just to walk around and play a little golf.

    “I left my pregnant wife at home to come here and play in a golf tournament. I am here to play and hopefully play well. I’m not here just for fun.”

    Scheffler stressed how keen he was to get home to his wife Meredith during his post-victory media duties, so much so that a picture of him wearing the green jacket at a bar in Dallas on Sunday evening warranted an explanation.

    “I don’t know if I’d actually been to that place before,” Scheffler said.

    “There was another tavern around the corner that I’d been to a few times and it’s a nice place but shockingly it wasn’t open Sunday at 1:30 in the morning. This place was open.

    “On the plane ride home I was with my manager Blake and my coach Randy and then I had four of my good buddies with me, and I don’t remember who suggested it but it seemed like a good idea.

    “When Meredith picked us up at the airport it still seemed like a good idea and Meredith was down so we went for probably 20 minutes and went home.

    “Took a few photos, had a drink and then went home and went to bed.”

  • Nelly Korda looking to add major to winning streak at Chevron Championship Nelly Korda looking to add major to winning streak at Chevron Championship

    World number one Nelly Korda insists she is taking nothing for granted as she bids to secure a remarkable fifth straight win and second major title in the Chevron Championship.

    Korda took a seven-week break after winning her first title of the year, the LPGA Drive On Championship, in January, and returned to win three events in the space of three weeks, including beating Ireland’s Leona Maguire in the final of the T-Mobile Match Play.

    The 25-year-old is the first woman to win on four consecutive starts since Lorena Ochoa in 2008 and is also the first to enter a major on such a streak since Annika Sorenstam.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Nelly (@nellykorda)

    Sorenstam’s run came between the end of the 2004 season and the start of 2005 and the Swedish star went on to win the Kraft Nabisco by eight shots.

    “In 2021 I went on a run, and then in 2022 and 2023 golf really humbled me,” admitted Korda, who won four times in 2021, including her sole major title to date in the Women’s PGA Championship.

    “There are ups and downs. Every athlete goes through the rollercoaster, and that is what makes the sport so great. You mature and grow so much and learn more about yourself.

    “You never take these weeks for granted. You always try to appreciate and become very grateful for them.

    “It makes just all the hard work so worth it. But I think I’ve learned so much about myself even through the losses.”

    Korda has had one week since her last victory to recharge the batteries ahead of the first women’s major of the season at Carlton Woods in Texas, where she finished a shot outside the play-off won by Lilia Vu last year.

    “Last week I was so tired,” Korda added. “I don’t think I’ve ever been that tired. I would wake up and I was ready to go back to bed but I couldn’t. It’s almost to the point where you just can’t sleep, you’re just overly tired.

    “I made sure to prioritise any rest. My parents are on top of me to not overdo it.

    “I always want to practice more, do more to be better. So made sure to prioritize my rest and making sure to go to sleep early and sleeping a lot, too. That’s the number one thing for recovery. Overall this week I feel really good.”

    Korda and Vu have been drawn together for the first two rounds alongside Australia’s Minjee Lee, while English amateur Lottie Woad, winner of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur earlier this month, is in a group with Madelene Sagstrom and Gabriela Ruffels.

  • Rory McIlroy dismisses report that he was on the verge of shock move to LIV Golf Rory McIlroy dismisses report that he was on the verge of shock move to LIV Golf

    Rory McIlroy has dismissed a report that he was on the verge of a shock move to LIV Golf.

    London financial paper City AM reported at the weekend that McIlroy, who has been among the staunchest critics of the Saudi-funded breakaway, could be about to jump ship in a deal worth USD850million (£680million).

    McIlroy’s manager Sean O’Flaherty told the Irish Independent the report was “fake news” and the world number two was asked about the claim ahead of this week’s RBC Heritage.

    “I honestly don’t know how these things get started,” McIlroy said in an interview with Golf Channel which he subsequently posted on his official account on X, formerly Twitter.

    “I’ve never been offered a number from LIV and I’ve never contemplated going to LIV.

    “I think I’ve made it clear over the past two years that I don’t think it’s something for me.

    “Doesn’t mean that I judge people that went and played over there, I think one of the things that I’ve realised over the past two years is people can make their own decisions for whatever they think is best for themselves and who are we to judge them for that?

    “But personally for me my future is here on the PGA Tour and it’s never been any different.”

    Asked if he knew where the rumour had originated, McIlroy said: “No, no idea.

    “Jeez, I think over the last two years there’s been so many rumours of guys… and I think the one thing I’ve realised as well is guys need to keep an open mind and I’m sure there’s been players who are still playing on the PGA Tour that have talked to the guys from LIV and had offers and whatever.

    “But I have no idea. It’s never even been a conversation for us and it’s one of those things.

    “It’s unfortunate we have to deal with it and this is the state that our game’s in but I’m obviously here today, playing this PGA Tour event and I will play the PGA Tour for the rest of my career.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.