The USA's Andrew Arft is at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the first day of the 56th Jamaica Open Golf Championship at the Tryall Golf Club in Hanover.

The American show a six-under-par 66 to enjoy a three-shot lead heading to Tuesday’s second day. Josh Anderson, also of the USA, is second after shooting a 69 and he is followed by Trinidad & Tobago's Chris Richards, who shot 70.

Defending champion Patrick Cover was further back after shooting 73 saying afterwards that he expects to be better in the rounds ahead. Wesley Brown, the highest placed local professional shot one over par 73.

Justin Burrowes and Sebert Walkert Jr who both turned pro at the championship posted scores of 10 over par 82 and five over par 77, respectively. Former national representatives Sean Morris and Oshae Haye both shot three over par 75 to be joint leaders in the amateur section while junior golfer Trey Williams scored five over par 78 for the first round.

 In an exciting development for Jamaican golf, the 56th Jamaica Open Golf Championship at the Tryall Golf Club in Hopewell, Hanover, is set to witness the professional debut of two rising stars, Justin Burrowes and Sebert Walker Jr. The Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) made this announcement during its final media briefing on Friday.

Justin Burrowes, the reigning amateur champion, has already proven his mettle on the greens, having outplayed another highly talented amateur player, William Knibbs. Sebert Walker Jr., on the other hand, is ready to make his mark in the professional golf circuit. The anticipation for their debut is palpable, as they step onto the professional stage with immense promise.

The 56th Jamaica Open is expected to host around sixty professional golfers from overseas and an array of amateur golfers hailing from the USA, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, and, of course, the host country, Jamaica. The tournament kicked off with the pro-am event on Saturday morning, setting the stage for the championship, which is scheduled to tee off on Sunday and continue through Tuesday for the 54-hole competition.

Professional golfer Hunter Summy, who has been honing his skills on the course for the past two weeks, expressed his readiness for the upcoming challenge. The Tryall Golf Club's Director of Golf, Ewan Peebles, assured everyone that the course was in impeccable condition. He did mention that recent windy conditions may pose an additional challenge, and some fairways had been narrowed to make it more demanding, but he believed that the skilled golfers would excel.

The event received strong backing from sponsors, including Dr. Carey Wallace of the Tourism Enhancement Fund and Scott Summy of Aqua Bay Resort, the presenting sponsor. Aqua Bay Resort, which has been a staunch supporter for the fourth consecutive year, expressed its commitment to continuing the partnership. Other sponsors include TEF, Tryall, JTB, Digicel Business, Jamaica Tours, Grand Palladium, SDF, Fidelity Motors, Coldwell Bankers Reality Jamaica, Ultra Financiers, and GK Finance.

The 56th Jamaica Open promises not only thrilling golfing action but also the debut of two Jamaican talents on the professional stage, marking a significant moment in the country's golfing history.

Sebert Walker Jr. dropped six shots by the end of the third day of the Jamaica Golf Association's National Senior Trials at the Half Moon Golf Course in St. James but still enjoys a sizeable buffer over the rest of the field.

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