Junior golfers Mattea Issa and Ryan Lue emerged as the top performers at the Jamaica Golf Association’s national senior trials. The event, which concluded on Sunday at the prestigious Half Moon Golf Course in Montego Bay, saw both youngsters outplay their senior counterparts to claim the top spots on the leaderboard.

Issa, a rising star in Jamaican golf, led the women's division from start to finish across the three-day event. She finished with a total score of 10 over par 226, with daily scores of 76, 73, and 77. This secured her a four-stroke victory over Emily Mayne, the 2022 winner and reigning national female golf champion. Mayne concluded the trials with scores of 81, 76, and 73, totaling 14 over par 230.

Issa's triumph was particularly commendable given the challenges she faced, including adverse weather conditions and a personal mishap. Reflecting on her performance, Issa said, “The conditions on the weekend were very tough. There was a lot of wind and rain and there was even a lightning delay on the second day.

“On the third day, while warming up, I had a little incident where I was hit in the face with one of my training aids and had to visit the emergency room before my tee time. Despite these challenges, I’m proud of my performance and happy to win back-to-back titles in 2023 and 2024.”

In the men's division, Lue finished with a total score of six over par 222 after rounds of 79, 75, and an exceptional four under par 68 on the final day. This final round score, possibly his best on local soil, secured him a four-stroke victory over Jack Stein, who posted a total of 226 after a one under par 71 in the last round.

Lue expressed his satisfaction with his performance, stating, “I feel like the trials went well. I am very happy with my performance, especially with my final round score. Winning the trials and the opportunity to represent Jamaica this summer in the Dominican Republic is very exciting.”

Several other golfers also made notable contributions, particularly on the final day. Rocco Lopez, who led on day one, finished joint third with Zandre Roye, both scoring 227.

 Roye, the current national golf champion, recovered from a challenging second round to post a one under par 71 on the final day. William Knibbs, the 2023 national champion, and Oshae Haye, the 2022 champion, also showed strong performances, finishing fifth and joint sixth, respectively.

Both Issa and Lue are now set to represent Jamaica at the Caribbean Junior Amateur Golf Championship, scheduled to be held in Jamaica in early July. They will also participate in the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship later in July in the Dominican Republic, where their recent performances will have set high expectations.

 Mattea Issa improved her lead over former national female golf champion Emily Mayne by three shots after scoring one over par 73 on the second day of the national senior trials to Mayne's four over par 76. Issa's combined score of five over par 149 is eight strokes ahead of Mayne's 157. 

Issa was very pleased with her second round score card which showed a birdie and a bogey on the front nine and just one bogey on the back nine. She was even par up to the 13th hole, then she dropped the bogey on the 14th.  Now five strokes ahead she is well positioned to top the female section of the senior trials for the first time.

Mayne's scorecard showed four bogeys and a double bogey but she had two birdies which cut her second round deficit to four. She still had a reasonable day on the course as she was even par up to hole number 14 but had a double bogey on 15 along with bogeys on 17 and 18. She has it all to play for on Sunday's final day of the trials but came in with some confidence as she had a very successful collegiate season which saw Howard University winning the championship.

Last year's national champion William Knibbs and the 2022 national champion Oshae Haye were joint leaders at the end of the second round after both golfers scored five over par 77s for the round. Their two-day scores were four over 76 and 77, respectively, for a total of nine over par 153. They were in joint second play at the end of the first round.

Dr. Mark Newnhan, Ryan Lue and Shamar Wilson all share the third spot with combined scores of 154 each after scoring 75, 75 and 76, respectively, in the second round.

First round leader Rocco Lopez scored 14 over par 86 in his second round for a total of 14 over par 158. He is the only golfer to post an even par score (72) so far, which he did in the first round.

Current national champions, Zandre Roye dropped from joint second (76) to seventh place after posting eight over par 80 in the second round. He will start the third and final round on 12 over par 156 but just three strokes behind leaders Knibbs and Haye.

The golfers will tee off at 9:00 am on Sunday aiming to qualify for a spot on the team to represent Jamaica at the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship in July.

Rocco Lopez and Mattea Issa are the early leaders at the Jamaica Golf Association's National Senior Trials which began on Friday at the Half Moon Golf Course in St. James. 

Lopez ended the first round on even par 72 after being on one under par up to the 17th hole but bogeyed the 18th hole.

His scorecard showed three birdies on holes five, twelve and sixteen but they were cancelled out by the three bogeys on holes number one, three and eighteen. 

Three former national golf champions Zandre Roye (the current champion), William Knibbs (2023) and Oshae Haye (2022) all shot four over par 76 for a three-way tie for second place. 

Roye held the lead at the 13th hole with a two under par score but had a wretched time on the course after that after sending down four bogeys and a double bogey. Overall, he shot four birdies, six bogeys and a double bogey for the round. 

Knibbs, who has been away from the local golf scene for a while, sent town six bogeys in the round including bogeys on holes 17 and 18 but he had two birdies in the back nine on holes 10 and 12. 

Haye's scorecard showed four bogeys and a double bogey but his two birdies on holes 11 and 12 helped him to share the second spot. 

Many time national representative Owen Samuda was one stroke back in fifth place on five over par 77. 

Fresh off her first national female golf title was Mattea Issa leads the female section of the national trials by five clear strokes.

Issa closed the first round on four over par 76 after recovering from a rough start bogeying holes number one and two.

She followed up with a birdies on hole number seven but got into trouble again with bogeys on holes nine and sixteen plus a double bogey on hole number 11. She did get a reprieve with a birdie on fifteen. 

Emily Mayne returned for the trials after coming off a successful college season in the United States where she helped her university to win the national collegiate championship.

She had a torrid time on the course, sending down 10 bogeys and a birdie for a first-round score of nine over par 81. She topped the national trials in 2022 at the same venue so she will be looking to improve in the second and third rounds. 

The golfers will tee off at 10:00 am on Saturday as they seek to improve their scores and positions in order to gain a spot on the national team to represent Jamaica at the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship in July.

 

Zandre Roye and Mattea Issa were crowned national amateur golf champions on Sunday at the Caymanas Golf Course in St. Catherine after three challenging rounds.

Both golfers are first time champions. Issa won by seven shots while Roye won by four after posting his best score in the final round.

Roye matched his first round four birdies but only had two bogeys to close the round on two under par 70 after scoring one under 35 for the front nine and another one under par 35 for the back nine.

His birdies came on holes number two, six, seventeen and eighteen while the bogeys were on holes four and sixteen. His three-round scores were one under par 71, five over par 77 and 70 for a total of three over par 219.

He was pleased with copping his first national championship after getting close on several occasions.

“Coming into this tournament year after year and seeing the trophy and wondering when I am going to get my name on it and its just my time now," he said.

“The course conditions were a little bit tricky out there with it being so dry but we are used to the conditions. I think I manage the game today out of all three days, pretty well. The putting was just not there this weekend but I hit a lot of greens and that helped a lot,” Roye added.

2022 national champion Oshae Haye moved from third place on the first and second day to end the in second place, four shots behind Roye. Haye posted scores of three over par on day one and two respectively and one over par 73 on the final day for a combined score of seven over par 223.

Junior golfer Trey Williams performed very well in the championship after taking over the lead at the end of the second round with a one under par 71 but was pegged back in the final round with four over par 76 in the third round. His total score of eight over par 224 included 77 in the first round, to be one stroke off the runner-up spot.

First time national female champion Mattea Issa got the better of many-time national champion Jodi Munn Barrow to win by seven shots.

Issa's final day scorecard showed three birdies, six bogeys and two double bogeys for seven over par 79.

Her first and second round scores were nine over par 81 on each day for a combined score of 25 over par 241. Munn-Barrow's scores were 84, 81 and 83 for a total of 32 over par 248, for the runner-up spot.

"It feels really good. I am really happy. I am very happy for the win but diving deeper more into my game I wish I have played better. I have been playing really well recently and I am not sure if it’s the combination of the conditions, it’s very dry at the moment, the greens are in the best shape so I just have to figure out how I can properly play the course because I know that everybody had a difficult time this weekend. So, I just have to analyze that and keep on progressing and keep on getting better," said a very pleased Issa. 

Another former national champion Sean Morris copped the trophy for the national senior champion on the back of scores of 84, 74s and even par 72 to close the championship at 12 over par 228.

The national super senior champion was Keith Stein 227 (78, 71, 78). Philip Prendergast 232 (72, 82, 78) bagged the runner-up spot while former Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) president Wayne Chai Chong 235 (85, 76, 74) was third.

Munn-Barrow, the current JGA president praised the players for their performances.

“What we saw was very good performances from all of our juniors in all of the various categories. So, it was a good week, the only disappointment for this week was the lack of sponsorship of our national event. I am hoping that next year we can get sponsorship so we can have an even bigger and better event.”

 

Zandre Roye and Mattea Issa both had a three-point lead over their nearest competitors at the end of the first round of the Jamaica Golf Association's National Amateur Golf Championship being played at the Caymanas Golf Club in St. Catherine.

Roye scored even par 72 for the round to lead former national champion and club mate Oshae Haye and Jack Stein by three strokes after they both scored three over par 75.

They were being tracked closely by young guns Rocco Lopez and Trey Williams who are just two strokes back on five over par 77.

Roye had a good front nine and was up by two between holes six to eight after copping two birdies on holes two and six but bogeyed number eight to close on one under par 35.

He started the back nine by dropping a shot on hole number 10 but recovered on holes 11 and 12 to be up by two shots between 12 to 15 but dropped a shot on 16 and 17, then parred 18 to close the back nine on one over par 37.

His four birdies were cancelled out by the four bogeys which he scored in the round. That makes him the only golfer to go into day two with a clean sheet to build on.

Junior player Mattea Issa scored nine over par 81 to take the lead over many time national champion Jodi Munn-Barrow who ended the first round on twelve over par 84. Alessandra Coe, another junior player was just two shots behind on 14 over par 86.

Mattea Issa

Both Roye and Issa were happy with their first round performance under hot and windy conditions on the course, while looking forward to extending their lead at the end of the second round of the three-round championship.

The second round will get under way at 8:30 am on Saturday morning.

There will be a new male and female champion this year as William Knibbs and Michelle McCreath who are the 2023 champions did not tee off on Friday and will not feature in the championship this year.

 

An upbeat Jamaica senior team of mostly junior golfers departed the island on Sunday for the 66th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship in the Trinidad & Tobago between July 27 to 29.  

The four female members of the team are Jodi Munn-Barrow, juniors Emily Mayne, Mattea Issa and the only new comer Anoushka Katri, who played in the U15 category this year on the junior team. 

Many-time national representative Jodi Munn-Barrow, president of the Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) and the secretary of the Caribbean Golf Association, expects Jamaica to do well in this year. 

"I expect the team to perform well. They know each other. Most of them played last year together. The camaraderie is high. Everybody really wants go out there and make Jamaica proud and that's all we can ask of them. It's very good to see that six of the ten players are juniors so that's very good for our programme," said Munn-Barrow. 

In terms of her own game she said, "well from my side, I am hoping to bring some experience to help the girls as best as I can, of course to go out there and try my best." 

Mayne who captained the team that carried home George Teale Trophy last year said "I am hoping to play well. I am hoping to bring home a trophy again as last year the women's team won the trophy. So, I am just hoping that we can really build some team spirit and help everyone play well so we can bring home the trophy." 

The male members of the team are Justin Burrowes - captain, Zandre Roye who returns to the team after a number of years; juniors Rocco Lopez, Aman Dhiman and Ryan Lue. The sixth player, William Knibbs is already in Trinidad & Tobago and will participate in the two practice rounds prior to the start of the championship. The male team placed fourth in 2022. 

"I think I am pretty prepared. The last four five months I have not been in Jamaica. I changed my base to the States. I have been playing golf every single day, practicing every single day. I have been really working on my short game which always need a bit of work. I am looking forward to this week. I am always honoured to represent my country," said Burrowes. 

Junior golfer, Lopez, will be following his coach's instruction "to not expect anything, just go out there and try my best and whatever happens, happens but I expect to play well because I have been practicing very hard and I am excited to play." 

Dr. Mark Newnham, the team manager was upbeat about the team's chances to do well this year. 

"This year I think we have the perfect team, perfect of young enthusiastic hungry talent with the right mix of experience. I am not going to call anybody older but let's say wiser, so we have that perfect mix. We are looking forward to building on the success of last year. Our women's division took home the top prize so we are just looking forward this year to representing and doing better than last year." 

He also said that the men are motivated to put on a special performance this year, led by Burrowes who plans to go pro next year and wants to go out with a bang as an amateur. 

The team received sponsorship support from the Jamaica Olympic Association.

 

 

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. 

A confident Jamaican team left the island on Sunday afternoon, for the Cayman Islands to compete in the 35th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships.

Coaches Jonathan Newnham and Jason Lopez were upbeat about the team's chances to win the championship.

“The team is great. We have representation in every category,” Newnham said of the team that had encouraging practice rounds on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s start to the tournament.

“We have quite a few experienced (players) and most of the team have played there before. We have a few new guys but we have been training with them and welcoming them with open arms so we are looking forward to the challenge.

“Cayman, I have a lot of personal familiarity with it and the course should be a good fit for our players so I am excited by the challenge ahead."

Coach Lopez supported that position saying, "We have a good team so I think that myself and coach Johnny are going to really do everything we can to get them across the finish line this time."

 Team co-captain Mattea Issa was happy to take on the additional responsibility.

"It feels good to be co-captain (and) all the responsibilities that come with it and I am going to help the team as much as I can to put our best foot forward to try and get the best results possible,” she said.

“As far as competing in the Under 18 age group - the big guns now, being 16, I still have two more years in this age group so I am just hoping to do my best and not think about expectations or pressure and just compete as calmly as possible."

Samantha Azan is one of two age-group defending champions having won the U15 Girls trophy and the Kenneth Francis Trophy last year – the first time ever for a Jamaican player.

"This is my last year in this category. It was definitely a struggle but I pushed through to the very last hole last time. I have been training really hard with my coaches in both Florida and Jamaica so I am pretty confident but then again the course conditions are very different compared to what I am used to, so I am going to do my best.”

Meanwhile, Davin Hogan, the only new member of team says he is looking forward to the experience.

 “I have never done this before and it'll be new for me and hopefully it will be a good experience for everybody."

 The Jamaicans are set to take on players from The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and host country, the Cayman Islands.

 

 

Sixteen-year old junior golfers Ryan Lue and Mattea Issa produced dominant performances to win the male and female sections of the Jamaica Golf Association's National Senior Trials at the Half Moon Golf Course in St. Jameson on the weekend.

Lue topped the leaderboard each day with scores of 70, 72 and 68, respectively, for a combined score of 210 to win by eight strokes.

"I had a pretty good weekend. It was really fun out there. Played well. Game really connected. Feel really happy about my outcome,” said Lue who had a dream start to his final round on Sunday with an eagle before following up with birdies on holes number two, six and eight for five under par 31 on the front nine.

“It was tough for the three days but I felt calm on the course and it paid off. It showed off in my scores and I am happy to be back competing in Jamaica again and it was really fun and I am happy to come out on top."

Recently crowned national champion, William Knibbs, was the runner up with score of 76, 72 and 70 while Zandre Roye (73, 75, 73) finished third. Rocco Lopez 226 (77, 76, 73) took fourth place. Owen Samuda (85, 71, 78) and Aman Dhiman (81, 75, 78) tied for fifth place.

Issa shot an 82 on Sunday to win her first senior event. Jodi Munn-Barrow shot an 81 on Sunday but it was not enough to overcome Issa, who shot 80 on Saturday to Munn-Barrow’s 84. Their final day score was a repeat of the first day score, with Issa scoring 82 to Munn-Barrow's 81 for a combined total of 244 and 246, respectively.

“I am happy to come away with the win this weekend. The conditions were not ideal. It was raining for the majority of the first two days. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get a practice round in as it was raining" said Issa.

"It was fun getting to play with aunty Jodi Munn-Barrow, the president of the Jamaica Golf Association as I am always learning from her.

“I am so proud of all the other juniors who participated in the senior national trials and did so well. Overall, it was a fun tournament and I am very excited to represent Jamaica for the junior team in Cayman and hopefully for the senior team in Tobago."

The other female in the field was Anoushka Khatri who posted a score of 283 (93, 96, 94) for third place.

Mattea Issa conquered the 16-18 age group at the RBL Trinidad & Tobago Junior Golf Open recently, winning the category by 15 strokes at the Brechin Castle Golf Club in the twin-island republic.

Issa shot rounds of 76, 81 and 78 for a combined score of 235 to be crowned champion over Chloe Ajodha 250 (90,79, 81) and Emily Whyatt who was further back on 271 (87, 95, 89) in third place.

"It’s always an honour to get to represent your country and I am so happy that I got the opportunity to do that in Trinidad,” Issa said afterwards.

“It was an extremely tricky course with very windy conditions but I was able to stay calm and bring the win home."

The tournament helped Issa prepare for the Caribbean Junior Amateur Golf Championship scheduled for July 3-8 in the Cayman Islands. She was second to Emily Mayne in the Girls 18 & Under category in the Jamaican trials to select the team for the championship and is looking to ramp up her preparation by competing in other high-level tournaments as she continues to hone her skills for the July championship

Two of Jamaica's promising junior golfers are in Scotland for the three-day R&A Junior Open which tees off on Monday at the Monifieth Golf Links. Sixty-five countries including Jamaica were invited to field two representatives - a girl and one boy - at the tournament which is held every two years.

Mattea Issa and Ryan Lue, both 15, were invited to play in the tournament after posting the lowest scores at Jamaica's national junior trials held in April at the Caymanas Golf Course.  The invitees had to be in the 12-16 age group.

The pair will be in a field of 110 golfers who are expected to attend Sunday's opening ceremony after the practice round earlier in the day.

The top 80 golfers who make the cut after round two on Tuesday will move on to the final round on Wednesday.

Alison Reid, Jamaica’s team manager to the recently held 34th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship and convener for junior golf in Jamaica, has accompanied Issa and Lue to Scotland.  She expects that the golfers will give a good account of themselves.

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.

Emily Mayne and Mattea Issa topped their respective age groups as Jamaica enjoyed a good day two at the 34th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship being staged in Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

Justin Burrowes, Sebert Walker Jr., Ryan Lue and William Knibbs form part of a 12-member Jamaica team named for the 65th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships in the Turks & Caicos Islands from August 1 to 6.

Rocco Lopez and Owen Samuda have also been named to the team for which Aman Dhiman is the reserve player. Lue, at 15 years, is making his debut as the youngest male player while Samuda is 52.

Meanwhile, Emily Mayne, Mattea Issa, Cameron March and Winni Lau comprise the female team with Eryn Blakely named as the reserve player.  Issa at 15 years is the youngest female player on the team but has experience under her belt as this is her second time on the senior team.

The team was named after a rigorous four-day national senior trials played at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course on the first two days and Half Moon Golf Course on the final two days.  Sebert Walker Jr. topped the leaderboard for the first three days and was ahead by 11 shots at the end of day two but faltered badly and gave up the advantage to Justin Burrowes who won by a stroke on the final play.

Emily Mayne shared the lead between herself and Jodi Munn-Barrow over the four days but ended up winning by eight strokes and ending the trials on 309.

Former player Dr. Mark Newnham will serve as team manager.

The ladies will also be trying to take their first hold of the George Teale Trophy.  Last year, while not fielding a full-strength team, ended in fourth place.

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