By RENALDO DORSETT
TEAM Bahamas faced off against the best junior golfers in the region but fell one spot off their pace in recent years.
The Bahamas finished sixth at the 29th edition of the Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships, hosted in Christ Church, Barbados.
The eight-member team concluded the final round yesterday following the three-day competition at the Barbados Golf Club.
Puerto Rico led the field from start to finish and claimed their ninth consecutive title. They were followed by Jamaica who moved up to second from a fourth place finish last year.
The best finish for the Bahamas came in the Girls’ 15-and-under division from Haylie Turnquest.
The Bahamas junior national champion for her age group, she has also won several tournaments in South Florida, finished second in her division and No.19 overall.
Turnquest closed out the competition with a final round of 78 after he shot a second round 79. She shot an opening round 78 on day one for a score of 235.
Cameron Riley was the next best finisher for Team Bahamas, 29th overall and 10th in the Boys’ 17-and-under division.
Riley closed out the competition with identical rounds of 80 on day two and three. They followed an opening round 88 for a score of 248.
Riley is the Junior boys national champion and a veteran player for the junior national team. He will play collegiate golf for Florida A and M University this fall.
Inecia Rolle led the way for the Bahamas’ female members with a team low score of 254, good enough for 7th in the Girls 17-and-under division. She shot an 84 on the opening day but fell two spots to fourth when she followed with a second round 88. She was able to close strong with a final round of 82.
Rolle is the reigning Bahamas Junior girls national champion, Bahamas women’s national amateur champion and longest serving junior team member. She will join the women’s golf programme at Chowan University this fall.
In the Boys 15-and-under division, Xavier Robinson was the lone competitor for the Bahamas.
Robinson shot an 89 on day three after he shot a second round 88, following his opening round 84. He finished with a score of 261, No. 15 in the division.
Robinson is the Boys 14-15 junior national champion and is a member of the Bahamia Country Club Member’s Golf. It was his fifth appearance representing the Bahamas at the CAJGC tournament. He will also represent the Bahamas at the 2016 R&A Junior Open in Scotland this summer.
In the Girls’ 11-13, the Bahamas fielded the duo of Sophie Anand and Ashley Michel.
Anand finished with a three-day total of 258 to finish No.3 in the division. She shot 86 in round one, 83 in round two and finished with an 89 in round three.
Anand made her first appearance at the CAJGC tournament as a member of Team Bahamas. The sixth grader at Windsor Preparatory School has been playing golf for just two years and is the
reigning Junior Girls Club Champion at Albany Golf Club.
Michel made her third appearance at the CAJGC and finished in eighth place with a score of 314 after shooting 101 on day one, 114 on day two and a low of 99 on day three.
In the Boys 11-13 division, the Bahamas fielded a pair of players making their CAJGC debuts, Heathcliff Kane and Dominic Greives.
Kane, a student at IMG Academy, is the current Boys 11-13 Bahamas junior national champion and the reigning Albany Club Junior Boys Club Champion. He closed the tournament with his best round of 85 after rounds of 88 and 94. His total of 267 finished ninth in the division.
Grieves’ best round came on day two when he shot 94, bookended by rounds of 101 and 105. He shot 300 to finish in 13th place.
The Bahamas finished fifth last year at the 28th edition of the CAJGC, hosted in St Croix, US Virgin Islands. The eight-member team finished with a total of 77 points following the three-day competition at the Carambola Golf and Country Club.
The Bahamas has finished fourth in the previous two editions of the event. In 2014, the Bahamas scored a total of 92 points, behind Puerto Rico (161), Dominican Republic (136), and Trinidad and Tobago (121).
In 2013, the Bahamas finished fourth with a score of 118 behind first place Puerto Rico with 151, the Dominican Republic with 139 and Trinidad and Tobago with 135 at the North Sound Golf Club, Cayman Islands.
The championships are played annually and is rotated amongst the members of The Caribbean Golf Association.
This team event, first played in Puerto Rico in 1988, is played over 54 holes in three divisions for boys and girls 10-17 years.
The Bahamas Golf Federation will now set its focus on the senior level for the 60th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships, scheduled to be hosted July 24-30 at the Ocean Club Golf Course on Paradise Island.
Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the US Virgin Islands will all be here vying for the Arthur Ziadie Trophy, which will be awarded to the team with the combined accumulated score.