By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
TEAM Bahamas opened play at the 2018 Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships yesterday as the event teed off at the at the Caymanas Golf and Country Club in Caymanas Estate, Jamaica.
A roster of five boys and four girls will contest the tournament and look to improve on last year's finish.
The girls' team is made up of Ashley Michel (15), Haylie Turnquest (15), Sophie Anand (14) and Tyesha Tynes (12).
The boys' list has Cameron Riley (18), Xavier Robinson (17), Dominic Greives (15), Saketh Hedge (15) and Matthew Deveaux (13).
Leading the way for Team Bahamas is the duo of Michel and Anand, tied for third in the Girls' Under-15 division. Both shot an opening round 79, seven shots over par.
Michel closed out the front nine with a birdie on the ninth. She also birdied 12 and 13 on the back nne. Anand birdied early on hole two and shot par on seven of her final nine holes.
In the 18 field Boys U-18 division, team captain Riley is tied for eighth after he shot an 81 (+9) and Robinson is tied for 15th with an 86 (+14).
Sebert Walker of Jamaica leads the group after he shot an even 72.
Turnquest shot an opening round 82, 10 shots over par. She is tied for fourth in the division among nine golfers.
Hedge, playing in the Boys' U-15 division, is tied at No.7 overall with an opening round 79, (+7) over par. He is ranked No. 9 in the 19-man field.
Dominic Greiveis is ranked No. 13 with an 84, +12.
In the Boys' U-13, Matthew Deveaux is in 15th place with an opening round 107 (+35) and in the Girls' U-13 Tynesha Tynes shot 95, +23, tied for seventh.
The Bahamian golfers will continue to face-off against their Caribbean counterparts from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) on the 18-hole championships course. The tournament concludes on Saturday, July 7.
"The Bahamas junior national team is comprised of seasoned and experienced junior players from throughout the Bahamas," said Alena Hutcheson, chairperson of the BGF Junior Division.
"We, the Bahamas Golf Federation, are looking forward to seeing all of their hard work and dedication pay off at this year's championships. The Bahamas has one of its best teams to date and the juniors are gearing up to play to the best of their abilities for their country and families.
In 2017, Team Bahamas produced a pair of top three finishers against elite junior golf talent in the region at the 30th edition of the event, hosted at the St Andrews Golf Club in Maraval, Trinidad and Tobago.
Puerto Rico led the field from start to finish and claimed their 10th consecutive title. The best finishes for the Bahamas came from Turnquest and Anand as they both finished second in their respective divisions.