By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
IT’S not how you start, nor how you get there, but more importantly, it’s how you finish. The Finish Line, a weekly column, seeks to invoke commentary on the state of affairs of the local sports scene, highlighting the highs and the lows, the thrills and the spills and the successes and failures as we transgress from one week to the next.
If you missed the 2015 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Tournament, you missed quite an interesting event, featuring the top female players in the world at the Ocean Club on Paradise Island.
What was so interesting was to see the amount of Asian female players who are making an impact on the circuit, especially with an average age of 20.
Most of these players have been groomed from a young age and are now having their coming out party after graduating from the qualifying school in the past year or two.
South Korean rookie Sei Young Kim won her first LPGA tour title by holing an eight-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff with countrywoman Sun Young Yoo and Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn.
Kim, by the way, is just 22, but she played like a true veteran.
Talking about veteran, Grand Bahamian Racquel Riley had a golden opportunity to prove her skills with the homecourt advantage.
But the 33-year-old got hit by a stomach virus and she had to withdraw before she completed the first round that expanded to two days before the inclement weather.
Take nothing away from Riley, but she would have had to shoot an incredible two rounds of golf in order to advance to the final two days of competition where the cash prizes in the $1.3 million were at stake.
Just to give you an idea, Kim collected $190,000 for her effort and both Yoo and Jutanugarn picked up $120,962 for finishing in a two-way tie for second.
Not bad for four days of enjoyment in the sun, no inclement weather, on Paradise.
It’s a pity that Riley could not have capitalised on the tournament and make her breakthrough on the tour. At least, she got a chance to rub shoulders with the top players in the world and will only get better as she and 30-year-old Georgette Rolle, who missed the cut this year, continue to make their own sunshine.
ON A ROLL
Across the water, Grand Bahamian Jonquel Jones continues to wrack up her accolades as a member of the George Washington Colonials women’s basketball team.
The junior forward was named the Atlantic 10 women’s basketball Player of the Week for the seventh time this season, the latest feat covers games played February 2-8.
Jones averaged a double-double of 15.0 points and 15.5 rebounds while adding 3.5 assists in leading the Colonials to wins over A-10 rivals Davidson and Dayton to remain perfect in league play at 10-0 and extend their winning streak to 19.
Jones tallied 12 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in the Colonials victory over Davidson on Thursday. The Naismith Trophy candidate then posted a dominant performance against unanimous preseason favourite Dayton on Sunday, notching her league-best 14th double-double of the season with 18 points and a career-high tying 18 rebounds. She made a pair of three-pointers and added three helpers.
A native of Freeport, Bahamas, Jones is the only player in the Atlantic 10 averaging a double-double on the season, as she leads the league and ranks fifth in the nation in rebounding (12.3 rpg) and ranks sixth in scoring (15.7 ppg).
The performances also named her A-10 player of the Week by College Sports Madness on Monday, and she was also nominated for espnW’s National Player of the Week.
If that wasn’t enough, Jones was named one of 30 midseason candidates for the 2014-15 Naismith Trophy, the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the men’s and women’s college basketball players of the year.
Wow. Those stats are quite astonishing, but both Jones and her coach, Jonathan Tsipis, in a previous interview with The Tribune, indicated that the sky is definitely the limit for Jones.
The good thing is that she still has another year in college, but if she continues to put up these types of numbers, her stocks will certainly increase tremendously for a shot at the Women’s National Basketball Association.
Keep the name Jonquel Jones in mind. She will be a force to reckon with, not only in the future, but right now.
Next week, we will take a look at the progress of the College of the Bahamas men’s basketball team.