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. 

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    Clark could become just the fourth player since World War II to retain the U.S. Open title, after Hogan (1950 and 1951), Curtis Strange (1988 and 1989) and Koepka (2017 and 2018). 

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    The U.S. Open was formerly known as a real test of endurance, but things have changed somewhat in recent years.

    From 2005 to 2013, six of nine editions produced an even/over-par winning score, but nine of the last 10 have been won with an under-par score, the exception being Koepka's 2018 victory at Shinnecock Hills (+1).

    What kind of score will be required this time out? If Scheffler maintains his outstanding form, he will take some beating. 

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