Junior golfers fail to make cut in St. Andrews
The Bahamas Golf Federation (BGF) sent a couple players, Saketh Hegde and Haylie Turnquest, to compete in the R&A Junior Open at St. Andrews Golf Club in St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland earlier this week, but both missed the cut.
Hegde finished with a stroke total of 163 and shot 23-over par through two rounds. In the first round on Monday, Hegde shot an 83 strokes. He hit a birdie at hole 10, eight pars, five bogeys and four double-bogeys or worse that really hurt him. He had a better second round as he finished the course with a score of 80. Hegde scored a birdie on hole five, had seven pars, nine bogeys and three less double-bogeys or worse than what he had in the first round.
His best holes for both rounds were 16 to 18 where he hit pars. Hegde barely missed out on advancing to the final two rounds, finishing six spots from making the cut.
Turnquest finished 24-over par with a total of 164 strokes. She had her best round of golf in the first round. She ended the round with a five-over par 75. She had three birdies, seven pars, four bogeys and four double-bogeys or worse. The birdies came on holes 12, 16 and 18.
In the second round, Turnquest scored an 85 strokes as she struggled a little on the back nine. She ended the round with zero birdies, seven pars, seven bogeys and four double-bogeys or worse.
Both of these golfers competed in the 2018 Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships at the Caymanas Golf and Country Club in St. Catherine, Jamaica earlier this month.
In the 18-and-under girls, Turnquest placed fifth out of nine competitors. Hegde placed 10th out of 19 competitors.
This year, young Bahamian golfers got more exposure, particularly to stronger competition.
Winning the championship at St. Andrews was Martin Vorster of South Africa. He carded his tournament worse 74 in the final round. He finished with a score of 205 and shot five-under par in the competition.
Finishing a close second was Japanese golfer Tsubasa Kajitani. He finished the competition with 206 strokes and was four-under par. Third was New Zealand’s Jayden Ford. He shot 207 to end at three-under par.
The Junior Open inaugurated in 1992. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) took it over in 2000. In recent years, it has attracted entries from over 60 nations and the experience for juniors includes not only the golf tournament but an opportunity for competitors to meet their counterparts from different nations.
Traditionally, the Junior Open is played the same week in July as The Open and at a nearby course. All competitors are invited to attend The Open after the conclusion of their own event.
Portugal’s Pedro Lencard Silva won the 2016 and 2017 titles. Golfers like Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Paula Creamer all played in the competition.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism