Cayman’s junior golfers among Caribbean’s best

Aaron Jarvis (left) and Justin Hastings with their runner-up trophies.

The Cayman Islands produced a pair of runner-up finishes against elite junior golfers from across the region at the just concluded 30th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships in Trinidad.

Aaron Jarvis and Justin Hastings finished second in the Boys 15 & Under and Boys 13 & Under divisions respectively at the 3-7 July tournament played at St Andrews Golf Club in the Port of Spain suburb of Maraval. Both finished behind Puerto Rican golfers.

Other top 10 finishes came from Holly McLean (5th among 13 & under girls), Andrew Jarvis (8th among 18 & Under boys), and Andrew Hastings (9th among 13 & under boys).

Aaron Jarvis moved up an age division after winning the 13 & under division in 2016. He opened with an 80 that left him 5th after round one but rebounded with a division best 73 on the second day to move up the leaderboard and rounded out the competition with 81 in the third. He finished second with a three-day stroke total of 234 (+18) and was 10 strokes back of the winner, Andres Aranguren of Puerto Rico. He will compete as a member of the senior team at the 2017 Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships in the Dominican Republic at the end of July.

Other Cayman Islands golfers in the 15 & Under Boys were James Bould, who finished 13th (286, +70) and Derek Peene, who finished 15th (290, +74).

Photo by: Elizabeth Ferreira

Justin Hastings, the reigning Cayman Islands Amateur Champion, shared a three-way lead after shooting 77 in the opening round in the Boys 13 & Under group. The 13-year-old playing in his fifth Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships, was consistent as he shot two more rounds of 77 to finish second, two strokes behind Puerto Rico’s Gustavo Rangel. Hastings finished with a three-round total of 231 (+15).  He will also compete for Cayman at the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships later this month. Andrew Hastings, Justin’s younger brother, finished 9th of 14 qualifying golfers with a gross score of 270 (+54) in the division.

Holly McLean, playing in her second regional championships, moved up the 13 & under Girls leaderboard on the final round to move from 7th to 5th place with her best day on the course. Her third day 87 was an improvement on her earlier rounds of 93 and 95 and ensured a top-five finish for Cayman’s top junior female.

Andrew Jarvis sinks a put at the St Andrews Golf Club. Photo by: Elizabeth Ferreira

Team captain Andrew Jarvis sat in third of a competitive field after the first round with his 77. While he was consistent with 78 and 79 the next two days, others among the leaders trimmed their scores, as Jarvis finished 8th to give Cayman another top-10 finish. His 234 (+18) was 12 strokes behind the winner, Sachin Kumar of Trinidad and Tobago. Jarvis, an experienced representative for the Cayman Islands overseas, will also tee-off in the senior regional championships with his brother and Justin Hastings.

Joe Purton and Joe Ribbins finished down the field in 21st and 23rd respectively with scores of 270 (+57) and 281 (+65).

The Cayman Islands Golf Association team was accompanied by coach Tim Dwyer.

“The team really acquitted themselves well over this very tough three day event; playing a difficult course in testing conditions. Cayman is one of the smallest countries who took part in this event and to have two runners up and the boys to finish 4th overall is a great achievement,” said CIGA President Paul Woodhouse.

“The Cayman team were just a few points behind Trinidad and Dominican Republic – both much bigger countries with more resources and many more players.  Particular thanks go to PGA Professional Tim Dwyer, team coach, for his work with the team both in Cayman and at the tournament. Also to the Ritz Carlton Golf Club who generously donated time both on the course and use of The Bunker, their state of the art Trackman facility to help the juniors prepare. And finally, as always thanks to the parents for their support,” he added.

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