Five members of Jamaica's team to Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships depart for Puerto Rico

By Sports Desk August 22, 2021
President of the JOA Chris Samuda (r) shared a moment with Mattea Issa and the Jamaica golf team to the 64th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships at the Norman Manley International Airport on Saturday. President of the JOA Chris Samuda (r) shared a moment with Mattea Issa and the Jamaica golf team to the 64th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships at the Norman Manley International Airport on Saturday.

Five of Jamaica’s eight-member team departed the island on Saturday for the 64th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships which will be played at the Country Club at Grand Reserve, Rio Grande in Puerto Rico from August 24 to 26.

The five - Justin Burrowes, Mattea Issa, William Knibbs, Dr Mark Newnham and Shamar Wilson - will be joined later by Rocco Lopez, Owen Samuda and Madelyn Newkirk. The team will have two practice rounds on the par 72 course prior to the start of the championship as they prepare to challenge for the Arthur Ziadie Trophy, the Hoerman Cup and the George Teale Trophy.

A strong men's team headed by national amateur golf champion Justin Burrowes will lead the charge for Hoerman Cup which Jamaica has never won. Jamaica was third at the last championship held in 2019. There was no competition in 2020 because of the pandemic.

"It's one of my favourite tournaments, the Caribbean tournament, it means everything to me to travel with my team to represent my country and hopefully do well," said Burrowes, who welcomed the new players to the campaign.

 "I think they get along really well with the team. They are both very easy people to get along with so that aspect of it is easy.  They are both two very talented golfers so I know they will go out and do their best and that's all we can really ask for.

“I played junior golf with Rocco at least three or four times so I know Rocco really well and we are rooming together; and Shamar, we have been playing together for the past two or three years so we have a good connection there and in the team practices we have been getting along really well and I think to have them on the team is a good addition."

Meanwhile, Wilson said he is eagerly awaiting the start of the tournament.

"It feels exciting, naturally, to go and represent your country which is the highest stage there is.  Everybody wants to get to the stage where it’s the biggest thing to go represent your country, so I am really excited about that," he said.

The most experienced member of the team is Dr Mark Newnham is hoping he is able to inspire the team to give their best.

“What I bring to the team is not only that level of experience but in previous management as well as obviously physician capacities, I have been able to get the best out of the team and I am just looking forward,” he said.

“If you take out my age, we are talking about a very young group of players, talented, awesome and we just going to play and support each other and do Jamaica proud.  The awesome talent that's there and how well we gell together is going really do well for our chances of bringing home the Hoerman Cup and the George Steele Trophy."

 Williams Knibbs, a former amateur champion said he feels like he is ready to play his best golf at the tournament.

"I feel like I am rounding into form at the right time so physically the game is there so it is just for me to deal with it mentally and emotionally," he said.

The female team has been weakened by the unavailability of the four golfers who were named after the trials.  This is because the date of the championship was changed to a later time in August and they are unable to get the time off from school.  Fourteen-year Mattea Issa makes her debut on the senior team while Madelyn Newkirk, who represented Jamaica back in 2016, returns to the team.

Issa was happy to be called to the senior team for the first time.

"It feels great to represent my country.  It's something that I have always wanted to do.  It's a goal of mine to do at this age,” she said.

“Most of the people on my team are a lot older than me so being 14, I think is going to be a great learning experience and I am going to have a great time.  My expectations for this tournament is to learn a lot and do the best as I can, shoot as best as I can and overall, end this tournament being a better golf player because I will be learning a lot from the rest of my teammates."

Meanwhile, team manager Robert Chin has high hopes for the team's chances at the championship.

"I think the men's team will do very well given the experience and given the fact that these guys have performed at the highest level in the Caribbean before so I do expect them to deliver.  On the female side, a little short but it's what it is and we have to just play with what we have," he said.

 

 

Related items

  • No Pressure: World 400m champ Watson sets sight on remainder of season with confidence, determination No Pressure: World 400m champ Watson sets sight on remainder of season with confidence, determination

    As the track and field season prepares to hit high gear, the performances of reigning World 400m champion Antonio Watson is among those that will attract some degree of interest, as Jamaican sporting enthusiasts, in particularly, have harboured hopes that he can repeat his gold medal-winning feat at this Summer’s Olympic Games in Paris.

    But amidst the anticipation and scrutiny of track and field fans, who often accept nothing short of excellence, Watson remains unfazed, exuding an aura of calm and confidence that all but indicates his readiness for the tasks ahead.

    In fact, Watson in sharing his outlook for the business end of the season, revealed a mindset rooted in resilience and self-assurance, as he prepares to grace the track for a second time over 400m this year at the sixth edition of the Racers Grand Prix, on June 1.

    “No pressure. I'm not really pressured because I'm just focusing on myself and executing my races to the best of my ability. Yes, the title of World Champion comes with some amount of pressure to perform, but the aim is just to perform at my best,” Watson said during the event's launch at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, on Tuesday.

     Antonio Watson ease across the line to win the men's 400m B final at the Racers Grand Prix inside the National Stadium on Saturday.

    “I am still trying to gauge my competition form because I haven't run in 400m since my race in February, but I'm feeling good in training, so I'm just excited to go out there and try to ensure that my fans and my friends have a wonderful show,” he added.

    Interestingly, it was at the Racers Grand Prix that Watson broke the 45-second barrier for the first time in his career, and from there, he went on to top a quality World Championships field, with a new personal best 44.13s, in Budapest.

    With that in mind, the 22-year-old has every reason to be confident, especially after proving that he has what it takes to succeed at the highest level. Apart from the pedestrian 46.10s he clocked in February, Watson also had a 200m breeze at the Velocity Fest in March, where he clocked 20.84s.

    “Well, I'm very excited about it. It's my second year competing at Racers Grand Prix, and I enjoyed last year, so I just want to go out there this year again and put on another good show. My training has been good, I’ve been working on a lot of things over the past few weeks, getting them right, so I'm really excited to just go out there and perform, as the aim for this season is to lower my personal best, obviously, and also get more silverware this season,” he declared.

    Despite his achievements, over the past year, Watson remains humble and grounded, never allowing room for complacency or even to underestimate his opponents. This, as he won’t be facing a field of the World Championships or Olympic Games quality, but still views other competitors as equals.

    Along with Watson, the 400m field for the Racers Grand Prix includes, American Champion Allison, Nigerian NCAA champion Emmanuel Bamidele, Demish Gaye, Zandrion Barnes and Javon Francis.

    “For me, everyone is a threat because just like how I popped up last year, anyone can come out here and pop up this year. So I'm not downgrading anyone, these are good athletes Champion Allison is a sub-44 man, so too is Bamidele from Nigeria.

    “So it's a good field and I am looking forward to competing against them. It's going to be a big race and one that sets me up for trials and possibly the Olympics after. So it's going to be a very important race for me and I am just trying to go out there, perform to my best and hopefully get a great time,” Watson shared.

    While the rigors of training under celebrated coach Glen Mills at Racers Track Club can sometimes be overwhelming, Watson is unflinching in his desire to achieve excellence and, as such, leaves no stone unturned, as he braces for the challenges to come in the quest for greatness.

    “For me, hearing from coach daily really boosts me. He always has encouraging words and when I'm not performing or training to my best, he always points it out. So, for me it's good and also can be stressful at times, but coach says I'm on the right path, so I'm just sticking to the path that I am on, and hopefully I can better it,” Watson reasoned.

    “So, once I turn up at training, I'm ready to train, sometimes, it's hard to be focused for a million and one reasons, but as a professional, you have to know that it is time for you to be focused. So, I always try to stay locked in, and I have a good team around me that keeps me focused and ensures that I'm ready,” he ended.

     

  • 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.”

  • Jamaica's participation in UEFA U-18 Friendship tournament aimed at player development Jamaica's participation in UEFA U-18 Friendship tournament aimed at player development

    The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has assembled an Under-18 team to contest a week-long tournament in Turkey, which is aimed at strengthening the country’s youth programme and, by extension, prepare players for future tournaments.

    With their being no FIFA or Concacaf Under-18 tournament to qualify for, JFF's technical committee chairman Rudolph Speid views this UEFA Under-18 Friendship tournament as part of the Under-20 qualifying programme and overall national team development.

    A 20-player team to be led by Lenworth ‘Teacha’ Hyde and former Reggae Boyz player Rudolph Austin, will depart the island of on Friday for Turkey, where they will cross swords with Saudi Arabia, the host nation, and Mali on April 22, 24 and 27, with cross zone games being played on April 30. Ecuador, Guatemala, Morocco and Slovakia, will contest Group B.

    “It is a development tournament. A lot of the players are eligible for the under-20 World Cup qualifiers, the younger ones of the group. The ones now taking part in the under-20 qualifiers are the 18 and 19-year-olds, so the 18-year-olds on the (youth) World Cup qualifying squad will be included here,” Speid said in a recent interview.

    This UEFA Friendship tournament is a new initiative aimed at creating opportunities for talented young players to gain additional experience playing international football against teams from different confederations.

    The tournament will provide a unique opportunity for technical staff and players to grow both on and off the pitch, as they will experience different playing styles and cultures.

    “It is just another way to try and develop the players and give them international exposure as part of the whole World Cup qualifying development programme. We are doing a lot of things to get the team up to standard to compete. Even if some of these guys don’t make it into the qualifying squad, the exposure will be good for them," Speid noted.

     

    Delegation: Players – Jordane McDowell (Portmore United), Javin Williams (Reno FC), Taywane Lynch (Mt. Pleasant), O'Neil Headley (Chapelton Maroon), Dustin Cohen (Vere United), Jloyd Smith (Cavalier FC), Daniel Clarke (Unattached), Nashon Bolt (Arnett Gardens), Justin McPherson (Unattached), Nashardo Gibbs (Real Mona), Dylan John (Unattached), Orane Watson (Chapelton Maroon), Matthew Ellis (Cavalier FC), Ja-Son Whyte (Humble Lion), Ron Webb (FC Manchester), Deandre Gallimore (Chapelton Maroon), Alex James (Real Mona), Dantae Escoffery (Petersfield FC), Odane Wilberforce (Cavalier FC), Keyanni Jackson (Cavalier FC)

    Staff -Lenworth Hyde (Head coach), Rodolph Austin (Ass. coach), Andrew Sewell (Goalkeeper coach), Tyrese Palmer (Equipment Manager), Karen Clarke-Lumsden (Manager), Edmund Regis (Team Doctor), Wendell Downswell (Technical Director), Gregory Daley (Head of Delegation)

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.