Bahamian girls 15-and-under golfer Sophie Anand shot a very efficient three-under-par 69 to lead her age category, and the field, at the 32nd Annual Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships (CAJGC) which is underway at the Albany Golf Course at the Albany resort in southwestern New Providence.
So far, leading the race for the Hank James trophy – the award for the best team overall – is Puerto Rico with 53 points. The Bahamas and Jamaica are tied for second with 44 points each.
The top junior golfers from around the region are showcasing their golf skills this week. Action continues today, and the championships will wrap up tomorrow.
Apart from Anand, the Bahamian team is represented by Tyesha Tynes in the 11-13 girls category; Kyndall Campbell in the 15-and-under girls category; Ashley Michel and Haylie Turnquest in the 18-and-under girls category; Diego Azar in the 11-13 boys category; Heathcliffe Kane, Benjamin Knowles and Zion Taylor in the 15-and-under boys category; and Dominic Greives and Saketh Hegde in the 18-and-under boys category.
The manager and head coach of the team is Alena Hutcheson, and she is assisted by Inecia Rolle and Cameron Riley.
The other countries represented at the tournament are Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Anand was on a mission as she finished the round shooting three under-par 69.
On hole six, she secured an eagle to finish the front nine with 36 strokes. She also had a birdie on hole number three.
She was even more impressive on the back nine as she shot three birdies and even-par on six holes. Her birdies came on holes 14 through 16.
After having a rough time on holes two and three, she was bogey-free or worse for the rest of the round.
Campbell, her 15-and-under girls teammate, had a rough outing yesterday as she scored 22 over-par 94.
As for Anand, the talented young golfer is being chased by the Jamaican duo of Emily Mayne and Eryn Blakeley. Mayne finished the round in second place with an even-par 72. Blakeley sits in third going two over-par 74.
Kane is in a tie for second place in his division. He and Caymanian Justin Hastings both ended the first round with a score of six over-par 78.
Kane’s strongest nine holes were on the back nine. He shot a low 36 as he picked up a birdie on holes 11 and 13.
Taylor ended the day at 18 over-par 90 to finish in the 13th position after day one of competition in his division. Knowles had a rough day as he finished in 15th position after day one with a score of 25 over-par 97.
In the lead in that age category is Puerto Rico’s Gustavo Rangel Badillo. He is five strokes ahead of Kane and Hastings with one over-par 73.
Azar was in a fierce battle with Puerto Rico’s Daniel Belrado. In the end, they are tied for first place in the 11-13 boys age category. There were three over-par 75 at the end of the first round.
For Azar, he shot three birdies on the front nine – hole numbers two, six and four. He shot a 35 on the front nine and a 40 on the back nine.
The Turks and Caicos’ Kurt Rivers is a distant third as he scored a 13 over-par 85.
Tynes finished tied for second in her division, scoring 13 over-par 87. She had a tough start on the front nine shooting a 45. On hole number 10, Tynes was able to make a birdie. She scored a 42 on the back nine.
In the lead in that age group at the end of the first round was Puerto Rico’s Camila Negroni with a score of 11 over-par 83. Jamaica’s Winni Lau is tied with Tynes.
Hedge had an average round in the 18-and-under age category as he finished in sixth position with a six over-par 78. Greives ended the day at the bottom of the leaderboard with a score of 33 over-par 105.
Tied for first place are Puerto Rico’s Andres Aranguren and Jamaica’s Justin Burrowes. They finished the day at a safe even-par 72.
Aranguren’s teammate, Diego Saavedra-Davila, is in third place as he finished two over-par 74.
Turnquest and Michel finished the day in fifth and sixth position respectively in their age group. Turnquest scored 16 over-par 88 and Michel finished 19 over-par 91.
Leading that age category is Barbados’ Emily Odwin with an even-par 72. Hannah Foster from Jamaica is second with a score of four over-par 76. Rounding out the top three positions is Trinidad and Tobago’s Yeji Lee with a score of six over-par 78.
The CAJGC is presented by the Caribbean Golf Association (CGA) and is being hosted by the Bahamas Golf Federation (BGF) in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Sports Tourism Department of the Ministry of Tourism. After finishing fifth at last year’s championships, The Bahamas ended day one tied for second.