The Masters: Runner-up Zalatoris frustrated but revels in Augusta 'dream'

By Sports Desk April 11, 2021

Will Zalatoris was frustrated to have finished second at The Masters, but the Augusta debutant basked in his "dream" week at the iconic major.

Zalatoris did not look out of place in his rookie Masters appearance, the 24-year-old earning the runners-up cheque, just a stroke behind history-making champion Hideki Matsuyama on Sunday.

Tied for sixth at last year's U.S. Open, Zalatoris – who had no status when the 2020-21 PGA Tour started in September as the coronavirus pandemic meant there was no Qualifying Tournament for the developmental Korn Ferry Tour in 2020 – catapulted himself into Masters contention.

Attempting to become the first player since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 to win his Masters debut, Zalatoris carded a two-under-par 70 in the final round, which included five birdies and three bogeys.

Zalatoris, who now has six top-10 and 11 top-25 finishes in his 15 Tour starts this season, said: "Absolute dream. To be in a situation, I've been dreaming about it for 20 years.

"I thought I did a really good job this week of just enjoying the moment, but not letting it get to me. I think I kind of let everything soak in Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then back to work on Thursday.

"So it was an absolute treat, and obviously to come up one short and be disappointed is motivating but obviously very exciting."

Zalatoris – the only player to shoot under par in all four rounds at this year's Masters – said: "I think the fact that I'm frustrated I finished second in my third major says something, and the fact that I didn't let any moment really get to me, was really exciting.

"And obviously my two majors as a pro, I finished sixth and runner-up. I know if I keep doing what I doing, I'm going to have a really good chance in the future."

"I've wanted to be on this stage for forever, for basically my entire life. So I think, if anything, it's like you finally get to this moment, and why shy away now? I've gotten here. So let's go do some damage. It was a fun week," Zalatoris continued.

"I can play with the best players in the world."

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  • A fusion of passion and purpose: Sandals Golf and Jerk Festival hailed for its impact on community development A fusion of passion and purpose: Sandals Golf and Jerk Festival hailed for its impact on community development

    With another staging of the Sandals Golf and Jerk Festival now done and dusted, Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation and Jonathan Newnham are content to bask in the success of their hard work, having once again set the bar high.

    The event, hosted at the Sandals Golf and Country Club in Upton, not only combined the love of golf with Jamaica’s renowned culinary tradition, but also reinforced the power of sports and culture to bring people together for a common cause, as it also raised funds for the St Ann's hospital urology department, as well as Sandals Foundation’s Care for Kids programme. 

    Cavani James, 12, and his teammate Tajay Lobban, 21, were crowned overall champions of the golf tournament, which was split into three sections to add value for the over 80 participants that journeyed from near and far to contribute to the event’s success.

    Elon Parkinson, Digicel’s Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs, and Karen Zacca, Operations Director at the Sandals Foundation, share a photo opportunity with (from left) Jerome Thomas, Cavani James and Tyree Smith.

    For Clarke, the event was another testament of the foundation’s years of hard work and dedication to education, healthcare, and community development.

    “We haven’t calculated all that came in as yet, but I think that we did great. This is the fourth year that we've been doing this tournament, all with a focus on how we're doing capacity building for hospitals in this region,” Clarke said.

    “So last year, we focused on Port Maria hospital and their security system, and a year before that, it was the St Ann's Bay physio department, this year, the urology department. So we've really been able to do a lot, and I am very proud of the team and all the golfers that came out. We are very grateful to them all for the support,” she added.

    Kendra Miller, a HEART/NSTA Trust Hospitality student participating in the Jerk competition.

    Beyond golf, the Care for Kids programme, which engages kids between the ages of seven and 18 years old, through weekly mentorship training programme, also imparts life skills that Clarke says prepares them to navigate whatever challenges lay ahead.

    For the Jerk competition, members from Sandals Dunn’s River Resort, Sandals Royal Plantation, Beaches Ocho Rios Resort and the Country Club match skills with unique chicken, shrimp and fish recipes. In an effort to continue its youth engagement commitment, all jerk teams also comprised students of the St Ann’s Chapter of the HEART/ NSTA Trust’s hospitality school.

    “I think it was a fantastic success. Another big aspect of it is the jerk competition. So this year, for the jerk competition, we had the chefs out on the course, so golfers could sample jerk when they were out there. We had some HEART/ NSTA students join them for the competition, so they were mentored from the day before with all the preparations and then during the day of the event,” Clarke shared.

    One of the many participants prepares to tee off.

    “They all really had a fantastic time. So for us, it's always about how we work with our young people, whether they're playing golf or whether they want to learn about the hospitality industry, and how we're working to build our healthcare, and making our communities stronger. So I think, overall, it was a resounding success,” she noted.

    Newnham, director of operations at the golf club, also stressed that the festival is more than just golf, as he too pointed to the lasting positive impact it has on local communities.

    “It was just a very first class event and the feedback from the golfers was fantastic. It was fitting that our overall champion was actually a team of Cavani James, who won our junior qualifier a month and a half ago, and Tajay Lobban, a former, a former member of our junior golf programme. So that is very rewarding for us as a programme to showcase the talents that we nurtured,” Newnham reasoned.

    “It's a testament to the work that not only we do, but also as a Jamaican golf and junior community as a whole. So very proud that all the hard work that went into it was well awarded and it was essentially a celebration of sport and all it does for us and the surrounding communities, as the proceeds are for a cause,” he ended.

     

     

  • Caymanas Golf Club all set to host 36th annual Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship Caymanas Golf Club all set to host 36th annual Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship

    The Caribbean region’s best young golfers are set to descend upon Jamaica’s Caymanas Golf Course soon to participate in the 36th staging of the Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship.

    Teams will start arriving in Jamaica on July 1 with the competition set to take place from July 3-5 with the first tee time set at 7:00 AM local time.

    There will be eight competing countries and these include hosts Jamaica, defending champions Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

    Among these countries, there will be approximately 85 participants taking part in the championships split into the Boys and Girls 18 & Under, Boys & Girls 15 & Under and Boys & Girls 13 & Under categories.

    The official media launch for the junior golf showcase was held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Thursday.

    “The hosting of this prestigious event represents not only a celebration of golf, but it also fulfils our mandate by providing a platform for our junior golfers to hone their skills in addition to being a testament to the spirit of sportsmanship, camaraderie and youthful exuberance that thrives in our Caribbean region,” said President of the Jamaica Golf Association, Jodi Munn-Barrow, at Thursday’s launch.

    Lead sponsors of the July 3-5 championships are BCIC Insurance Company Limited and their CEO, Peter Levy, expressed happiness to be a part of this competition.

    “It’s an opportunity for us to reaffirm BCIC’s commitment to youth development through our title sponsorship of this prestigious event,” he said.

    “BCIC has always believed in the power of sport to shape our society and we see this partnership as an investment in the dreams and aspirations of young golfers across the Caribbean,” he added.

    Also on hand to give a glimpse of what to expect from the course itself was Caymanas Golf Club General Manager, Peter Lindo.

    “Our picturesque little course in St. Catherine eagerly awaits the talented young golfers who will be representing their countries. Our course superintendent, Mr. Jerry Hardy, and out groundskeepers have been working meticulously preparing the course taking every measure possible to present optimal playing conditions,” he said.

    “We’ve had some unusually hot dry weather up until last week and that little spell of rain has given us an even greener landscape. One of the challenges we’ve had over the years is the deterioration of our bunkers and Jamaica Aggregates Limited were very kind in donating sand which will go a very long way in the resuscitation of the bunkers,” he added.

    Other main sponsors for the championship include Sandals Foundation, R&A, Fleetwood, ORCA Golf, Caribbean Golf Association, CMK Bakery and Digicel Business.

     

  • Kane calls for calm but accepts England not good enough Kane calls for calm but accepts England not good enough

    Harry Kane called for some perspective following England's 1-1 Euro 2024 draw against Denmark but accepts his side were not good enough.

    England failed to build on a 1-0 win over Serbia in their Group C opener as they saw Kane's opener cancelled out by Morten Hjulmand in Thursday's match in Frankfurt.

    Gareth Southgate's side once again failed to push on after taking the lead in a game and supporters made their frustrations known.

    The draw means England have still yet to ever win their first two matches at a European Championship, with their place in the last 16 not yet certain.

    And Kane - the third man to score at four different major tournaments for England along with Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney - admits an improvement is needed.

    "We're struggling with and without the ball," he told BBC Sport. "The pressing in both games hasn't been quite right, and with the ball we haven't been good enough – that's from top to bottom, from me to Picks (Jordan Pickford). 

    "It was tough out there with the heat and the pitch. It wasn't our greatest game but we got away with a draw.

    "There's no easy games at major tournaments and I think that's being shown. There are levels we can reach, with and without the ball, but it’s a sign of a good team that you can get results when you’re not playing well."

    England sit top of Group C with four points from two matches and will guarantee a place in the knockouts with a draw against Slovenia on Tuesday, while a win sees them through in top spot.

    "We're top of the group and we've all but qualified," added Kane, who was substituted with 20 minutes to go. "I know there’ll be loads of noise and a bit of disappointment at home, but we experienced this when we drew with Scotland in the last Euros. 

     

    "It's a time to stay calm, reflect and try to improve. Step by step, we'll get there."

    Kane's opener was his fifth goal at the Euros, making him the first England player and the eighth from any country to score five or more in both this competition and the World Cup.

    However, Hjulmand levelled 16 minutes later with a shot from 30 yards - his first goal for Denmark in all competitions on what was his ninth appearance - and England could not find a response of their own.

    Southgate's side dropped deep after going in front, as they did against Serbia and have done in recent tournaments, and Kane believes that is an area that needs working on.

    "It’s not just when we score that [we drop deep]," he said. "It's something we need to get better at. When the teams drop a few players deeper, we're not sure how who's supposed to be pressing. 

    "In the second half we tried to change it a bit with me and Jude [Bellingham] playing in front of their two midfielders and then trying to get up. But it was difficult. Credit to Denmark, they’re a really good side and they carried a threat."

    England have now won just two of their past eight competition meetings with Denmark, and this most recent result means they are unable to rest up against Slovenia.

    Reflecting on the disappointing performance, Southgate told BBC Sport: "The performance was not what we would have hoped. At the moment we're not using the ball well enough, and if you do that you'll suffer as we have at times tonight. There's another level we have to find.

    "There's a huge amount of work to do - that's evident. We have to stay tight. We understand people will be disappointed with the performances, and rightly so. We've got make them better."

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