By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
IT wasn’t the type of performance that Devaughn Robinson and Steven Kemp expected at the Latin America Amateur Golf Championships in Panama City over the weekend.
They both chalked it up to a learning experience after Robinson finished the four-day tournament yesterday in a four-way tie for 30th after he shot rounds of 74-73-73-72 for a 292, while Kemp missed the cut on Friday in his debut with two rounds of 78-83 for 161.
Afterwards, both players put their performances in perspective with The Tribune.
“Not a whole lot went wrong,” Robinson stated. “It was an extremely difficult test of golf and I let a few minor details elude me which snowballed into bogeys or weak pars.”
Robinson, who was hoping to improve on his 32nd and 19th positions in his first two appearances over the last two years respectively, said this has definitely caused him to regroup.
“It’s back to the drawing board,” he said. “I learned a ton about my game and I have a clear idea on the areas of my game that I need to focus on going forward. I’m satisfied with the state of my game considering the limited practice time, and short playing schedule.”
As he looks ahead to the future, 28-year-old Robinson admitted that he has some work to do.
“I need to work a bit closer with the Ministry and my team in Houston in efforts to play in more events,” said Robinson as he prepares to get back to work at the Ministry of Tourism in Houston, Texas.
Based on what he saw, Robinson said it was even tougher for Kemp as he got his feet wet in the tournament.
“On that golf course, it doesn’t take a lot to shoot a big number so my opinion on Steven’s performance is understanding,” he said. “It could have happened to the best player in the field.”
Despite not getting out of the 36-hole cut to play in the final two days of competition, Kemp said his performance taught him quite a bit about himself.
“I didn’t manage to make the cut because I drove the ball so poorly off of the tee. This course punishes you if you’re not in the fairway,” Kemp said.
“Also, this is only my second big event so I think nerves also played a part. I took eight years away from the game and only got back into in 2016 so I’m pleased that in such little time I was able to get my game to where it is.”
Having gotten a taste of a higher level of competition, Robinson said he’s eager to get back for another tournament.
“I look forward to playing in our national amateur event and to make the Herman Cup team,” he said. “I would like to play in more competitive events to get used to the pressure but it’s not realistic to travel that often.”
And even though he fell short, he said he would be delighted to be able to watch Robinson compete with the contenders for the title.
“Devaughn played solid golf. A lot of par saves kept him going,” he said. “The greens are very tricky to putt on as they are super grainey and burnt out so I think he should be very satisfied with his performance this week.”
Kemp, also 28, said he would now concentrate on his family planning as he and his wife, Hayley, are expecting their first child.
He’s also here at home working in the construction industry, applying some of the skills he developed when he was employed in the mining industry in Australia for a year and-a-half.
Toto Gana from Chile won the title after he beat out Alvaro Ortiz from Costa Rica andJoaquín Niemann, his compatriot from Chile, on a second round playoff hole.
They finished in a three-way tie for first place with a total of 279 at the end of the competition.