Thursday, April 18, 2024

Two new golf champions


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There are two new champions of golf in Barbados.

National player Julian Jordan upstaged 12-time champion James Johnson to win the men’s title in the Massy United Insurance Barbados Open while Sally Schofield took the women’s equivalent at Royal Westmoreland Club yesterday.

 Holding a narrow  two-stroke lead after the first 18 holes on Saturday, Jordan staved  off the defending champion and rival Barbados player Carlsen Leacock on a pressure-filled final day to win the title for the second time.

Jordan  showed great consistency over the two days, posting an even par 72 again yesterday, to finish with a gross 144, three strokes better than Johnson who shot 73  yesterday for an 18-hole gross of 147. Third was reigning Antigua champion Omarry James, who posted 73 after his first day 76 for a gross 149, while fourth was Leacock with a two-day gross 151.

“The intermittent showers didn’t really bother me . . . my strategy was to hit the fairways and greens and avoid the rough. James is a very good player so I had to play well and I came through,” said the new champion.

Jordan, who first won the Barbados Open back in 1988 with a two-stroke victory over  Trevor Levine of St. Kitts, exhibited well-measured shot-making and good touch around the greens while  separating  himself from the championship contenders.

He registered five birdies, three of them  on the back nine, and had it all sealed by the 16th hole when he held a three-stroke lead over the field. Thereafter it proved to be a cruise to victory for the new champion.

The male and female championship divisions (featuring players with 0 to 9 handicaps) were played over two days  at Royal Westmoreland, after the scheduled first day was rained out and the tournament was reduced to a 36-hole contest.

Among the women, veteran Sally Schofield played steadily to hold off her challengers after  posting a 3-over-par 75  on the first day.

The British-born Schofield, who previously represented Barbados in regional competition, posted  79  yesterday for a 36-hole gross 154, which was five strokes better than young Trinidadian Ysabelle Lawrence and  former Jamaica player Leiza Munn-Blakeley. Lawrence shot 79 on Sunday and Munn-Blakeley, 78, for both to finish second on a two-day gross 159.

Thirteen year-old Mavi Vergos, who was second in the tournament last year, shot 83  yesterday and posted a two-day gross 161  for fourth position.

In other divisions, which were also completed on the final day at Royal Westmoreland,   Malcolm Hunte emerged winner of the men’s first flight with a gross 169 , while early leader Ravi Deonarine of Trinidad was second, with 171.

Among the seniors (50 years and over),  Charles Cox registered 76 yesterday to take that title with a two-day gross 161 while  Terry Nanton was second on 165.

Barbadian  Bill Weir fended off a challenge from Trinidadian Monty Chapman to successfully defend his Super Seniors (60 years) title, winning by one stroke with a gross 155.

Among the 120 players who took part in the tournament were Minister of Health John Boyce and former West Indies cricket coach Ottis Gibson.

After play on the fairways and greens – players, officials , sponsors and other supporters of golf were last night attending the awards ceremony in the clubhouse at Royal Westmoreland.


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