By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
ALTHOUGH they got off to a slow start after the first day of competition at the 34th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships, manager Gina Gonzalez-Rolle is confident that Team Bahamas will get into the swing of things in Humacao, Puerto Rico.
After yesterday’s opening round of competition, the Bahamas sits in fourth place out of a field of eight countries with 37.00 points. Puerto Rico tops the table with 52.00, followed by the Dominican Republic with 42.00 and Jamaica with 35.00.
Aiden Gorospe produced the Bahamas’ best performance as he finished in a two-way tie for the lead in the boys 13-and-under division with Evan Pena of Puerto Rico, both at two-over-par 73. Kennington Rolle sits in fourth place with 78.
In the boys’ 15-and-under, Jackson Mactaggart is fifth overall with 79, followed by Camdyn Forbes in 13th with 90 and Rhan Miller in 17th with 101.
Dominican Republic’s Rodrigo Hueta and Cayman Island’s Danny Lyne topped the division evened at 75.
And in the boys 18-and-under, Bahamas Golf Federation’s national men’s champion Heathcliff Kane is sitting in third place with 74. National runner-up Alexander Dupuch is 14th with 84. Puerto Rico’s Gustavo Rangel shot a two-under-par 69 to take the early lead.
Kane, the team captain, said the course is in pretty decent condition, but the greens are a little bumpy but, other than that, everything is okay.
“The first day results were alright,” he said. “I know I’m struggling with my swing, but I managed to keep it together and shot a benchmark round, but I hope to improve on that over the next two days.”
As a team, sitting just five points behind the second place team, Kane said they are encouraged as they prepare for the final two days of competition and should be able to make up some ground to get into the hunt for the overall team title.
On the girls’ side, Haley Hall also got off to a fantastic start and is currently in third place in the 13-and-under division with 86, two stokes behind Dominican Republic’s Maria Fernandez, who shot 84. Puerto Rico’s Ava Saavedra is out front with 79.
In the 15-and-under division, Chemari Pratt had a rough day, shooting 101 to sit in the ninth and final spot. Jamaica’s Samantha Azan has surged out front with 74. Tynesha Tynes is occupying the 10th and final spot in the under-18 division with 94. Cayman Island’s Holly Mclean and Barbados’ Emily Odwin are tied for the lead with 73.
“We had some slow starts today and a lot of that could be attributed to the fact that we had a lot of heavy rain today,” Gonzalez- Rolle said. “There was a lot of breeze on the back nine.
“We had one of our boys, Aiden is in the lead and we had about three others in the top five. So we’re looking forward to a brighter day tomorrow (today). We’re still looking forward to pulling off second or third place.”
Based on what she saw, Gonzalez-Rolle said the competition is stiff, but the Bahamian players have worked extremely hard to get prepared for the tournament.
“All of the countries here came out pretty strong and once our players do what they are capable of doing, we should secure some good spots,” Gonzalez-Rolle projected.
She noted that the camaraderie is very good and all of the players are really excited about competing in the tournament.
“One of our players Camdyn Forbes was a bit nervous this morning competing in his first international competition, but I’m sure he will do even better tomorrow (today),” Gonzalez-Rolle said. “Our coaches have been working with the players, getting them the tips and motivation they need, so I’m still confident that we will end up in the top three in the tournament.”
The Bahamas, coached by Lemon Gorospe, Georgette Rolle-Harris and Frederick Taylor, returns home on Friday.