By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
After a rain delay on Friday, the Bahamas Golf Federation finally got a chance to complete its National High School Golf Championships yesterday at the BGF’s Driving Range.
St John’s College Giants’ Taniesha Tynes and Aquinas College’s Anton McDonald emerged as the senior girls and boys individual divisional winners, while Aidan Gorospe of Windsor School at Albany and Chemari Pratt, of Queen’s College, captured the junior boys and girls crowns.
Tynes, a 10-year veteran of the sport whose goal is to become a professional golfer, shot a score of 35 to win the senior girls’ title over second place finisher Miljojka Gojkovic of Teleos Christian School with 45 and third place finisher Mia Underwood of Queen’s College with 48.
“I played with some very good players, but I’m a very strong mental player and I tried to keep composure,” said Tynes, a 16-year-old 11th grader. “I knew if I had a bad hole, I still had enough time to make it up.”
McDonald, who is preparing to graduate from Aquinas College this year, said golf has become his passion. But he said having put in the practice, he was able to move up from ninth place in the initial tournament last year to the top of the ladder this year.
In finishing first with 31, McDonald held off a strong field - both Jackson Mactaggart of the Lyford Cay International School and Benjamin Dupuch of St Andrew’s posted an identical 33 for a two-way tie for second.
“I think I played well. The field here was very competitive. It just took a lot to come back from last week to come back stronger to win it today (Monday),” said the 17-year-old. “I think I played very well. Compared to last year, the competition was much better because a lot of the mediocre players certainly improved their game and so the competition was just better this year.”
As for the team competition, Windsor Academy and Queen’s College took the bragging rights in the boys and girls.
“We had an exceptional showing today (Monday). In the qualifying rounds, all of our teams placed first and we had a few on the podium for the individual awards,” said Windsor Academy’s head coach Katie Roach. “We knew that it was going to be some stiff competition, but we played pretty good and came out on top in the upper school primary boys, the junior girls and boys (grades 7-9) and the senior boys (grade 10-12).”
With such a wonderful tournament put on by the BGF’s junior development programme and the Fourteen Clubs Golf Academy, Roach said St Andrew’s will be back as a well-oiled machine to continue to do their best.
Alex Dupuch, an 11th grader, played in the tournament for the first time for Windsor Academy, but he was thrilled in helping them to secure the senior boys’ team title. “I go to the Golf Academy and that has helped me to develop my game to a high level,” he said. “The team performed very well. We won the first round on Thursday and we came back today (Monday) and swept the whole thing. All of our teammates won something.”
Ethan Mul, a senior at Windsor Academy, said they had a great team and it showed in the performances with the results they posted as they avenged their loss to St Andrew’s last year.
“We have some D1 golfers from around the world come to our school to assist our players and that has helped in our performances,” he said. “We believe we have players who have the ability to become D1 players as well. So I’m super happy with my team. We took the private school division and the overall team trophy, so I’m very happy with our performances.”
Deborah Pownall, the head coach for Queen’s College, said her Comets performed exceptionally well, especially the senior girls, in carting off the team title.
“They did good. They were really nervous Thursday. It really took them a while to settle in and today (Monday), we just came out here to have some fun and enjoy the competition,” she said. “They are a lot happier today because they performed very well. We only won the senior girls, but we came second in the junior boys and girls and third in the senior boys.”
One of the Comets, Biswapriya Pati, celebrated her 16th birthday on Monday.
“I’m actually very proud of my team. We kind of got a late notice for the training, but we came out here and we gave it our best shot,” said Pati, who intends to celebrate her birthday with her teammates.
She assured their rivals that Queen’s College will be back bigger and stronger next year.
Gina Gonzalez-Rolle, chairperson of the BGF’s junior golf development programme, noted that the weather brought new impetus to the tournament because they saw a few new players emerge as champions as they joined some of their regular players who were expected to make their presence felt. She noted that they are looking forward to the majority of these players taking centre stage this weekend when the BGF’s Junior Nationals is held at the Atlantis resort on Saturday and Sunday.
Quite relieved after they had to halt the remainder of the finals on Friday because of the rain with only the lower primary boys and girls competing, tournament director Georgette Rolle said as it turned out, they made the right call in pushing the rest of the finals for Monday.
“We were able to have one of our sponsor representatives from Lowe’s, Riann Sands, come out and help give out some of the awards and we also had Minister of Sports Mario Bowleg, for the majority of the day to give out some awards as well,” she said. “So I think it all turned out very well. Despite the weather, I think it was meant to happen today (yesterday).”
Looking at the average scores produced over the week-long tournament, Rolle said it was a vast improvement from the initial tournament last year and she’s just happy that her Fourteens Club Golf Academy was able to provide the vehicle to help the junior golfers in their pursuit in the sport. She noted that their efforts in assisting the BGF’s junior programme was well worth it.
Craig Flowers, the driving force behind the creation of the Driving Range, said although he knew the date and the time for the tournament, they had some challenges at the property, which came as a result of COVID-19 and others because of mechanical failures, but they managed to get everything sorted out to assist the BGF in the smooth operation of the tournament.
“We were able to get the golf course in a semi condition, good enough to host the tournament and that’s a good thing,” he said. “We are very proud that the Bahamas Golf Federation chose to use the golf property here for the event. I’m certain that the magnitude of this tournament could have been played on any of the other golf properties, but we are happy to know that they chose this one.
“So we are hoping that we can get on an even keel like Atlantis, or Baha Mar, or Albany or Bakers Bay and the other resorts, so that we can hold more events like these in the future.
“We know that Mother Nature has to take its course to be able to grow the grass to the point that it is in the right condition so that we can compete with the other facilities for other events in the future.”
• Here’s a look at the final individual and team scores at the conclusion of the tournament:
Lower Primary Girls
Team Results - 1st Place - Windsor School at Old Fort- Team Score of 169 - Zara Greaves, Taylor Davis, Adrielle Goncalves and Esther Boesel.
2nd Place - Eva Hilton Primary School - Team Score of 199 - Jamiah Miller, Diana Pierre and Kazmyn Rolle.
3rd Place - Home School - Team Score of 200 - Zion Poitier, Zeden Poitier and Zaire Poitier.
Top 10 Individuals - 1st Place - Zara Greaves, Windsor School at Old Fort - 44; 2nd Place - Safari Hanna, The Meridian School - 53; 3rd Place - Lenita Vickerie, Gavin Tynes Primary School - 57; 4th Place - Regan Olivia Moxey, Summit Academy - 58; 5th Place - Taylor Davis, Windsor School at Old Fort - 60; 6th Place - Jamiah Miller, Eva Hilton Primary School - 63; 6th Place - Sarah Scheidecker, Nassau Christian Academy - 63; 6th Place - Payton McKenzie, Xavier’s Lower Primary School - 63; 9th Place - Zaire Poitier, Home School - 64; 10th Place - Adrielle Goncalves, Windosr School at Old Fort - 65; 10th Place - Diana Pierre, Eva Hilton Primary - 65.
Lower Primary Boys
1st Place - Lyford Cay International School - Team Score of 123 - Luis Ortiz Von Bismarck, Andre De La Torre, Philippe Ciampini and Aden Jones; 2nd Place - Windsor School at Old Fort - Team Score of 136 - Maximilien Demole, Jack Fox, Thomas West, Hawthorne Wood and Adam Turnquest; 3rd Place - Eva Hilton Primary School - Team Score of 169 - Antonio Hernandez, Fritzner Sylvester and Zhvargo McKenzie; 4th Place - Claridge Primary School - Team Score of 197 - Samuel Joseph, Nazario Major and Javardo Ingraham.
Top 10 Individuals - 1st Place - Maximilien Demole, Windsor School at Old Fort - 36; 2nd Place - Luis Ortiz Von Bismarck, Lyford Cay International School - 38; 3rd Place - Antonio Hernandez, Eva Hilton Primary -40; 4th Place - Andre De La Torre, Lyford Cay International School - 41; 5th Place - Philppe Ciampini, Lyford Cay International School - 44; 6th Place - Oliver Van Oselan, St. Andrews - 45; 7th Place - Thomas West, Windsor School at Old Fort - 50; 8th Place - Jack Fox, Windsor School at Old Fort - 50; 9th Place - Aden Jones, Lyford Cay International School - 52; 9th Place - Reef Harvey, Home School - 52.
Upper Primary Girls
1st Place - Eva Hilton Primary School - Team Score of 145 - Caitlin McWilliam, Aiyanna Hernandez, Janai Miller, Rihanna Hanna and Brenae Knowles; 2nd Place - Queen’s College - Team Score of 188 - Isabel Grimes, Arianna Forbes, Kaleah Brown, Tatyana Clarke and Vonteneke Rolle; 3rd Place - Palmdale Primary- Team Score of 191 - Kimya Poitier, D’Maya Hudson, Ria Thompson, Khyielle Wallace and Aliya Pinder; 4th Place - Carlton E. Francis Team Score of 204 - Destiny Pratt, Janique Edwards, Paris Case, J’Mayah Mullings and Abigail Cleare.
Top 10 Individuals - 1st Place - Haley Hall, Jordan Prince William - 34; 2nd Place - Maddison Carroll, Sandilands Primary - 39; 3rd Place - Kayleigh Rolle, The Meridian School - 40; 4th Place - Tatum Adderley, E.P. Roberts Primary School - 44; 5th Plaace - Caitlin McWilliam - Eva Hilton Primary School - 45; 6th Place - Renaisha Dill, C.W. Sawyer Primary School - 47’; 7th Place - Aiyanna Hernandez, Eva Hilton Primary School - 49; 8th Place - Janai Miller, Eva Hilton Primary School - 51; 9th Place - Alyssa Richards, St. Thomas Moore - 52; 10th Place - Rylee Cunningham, Home School - 54.
Upper Primary Boys
1st Place - Windsor School at Old Fort- Team Score of 115 - William West, Harry White, Hugo Johnston, Maximillian Landry and Nicholas Turnquest; 2nd Place - Lyford Cay International School- Team Score of 128 - Sebastian Halewyck, Francisco Ortiz Von Bismarck, Juan Pedro Viana, Lucas Klonaris and Oliver Brooke; 3rd Place - St. Andrews International School- Team Score of 132 - Mirko Gervasini, William Mahelis, Caleb Davis and Harrison Van Olselan; 4th Place - Eva Hilton Primary School- Team Score of 154 - Rashawn Hanna, Juan Wilson, Antonio Bain, Anton Davis and Yelisey Smith; 5th Place Queen’s College- Team Score of 162 - Liam Eneas, Deon Flowers, Lathan Bowleg. Khai Neely and Hiram Tinubu.
Top 10 Individuals - 1st Place - William West, Windsor School at Old Fort - 35; 2nd Place - Mirko Gervasini, St. Andrews - 38; 3rd Place - Harry White, Windsor School at Old Fort - 38; 4th Place - Sebastian Halewyck, Lyford Cay International School -39; 4th Place - Zachary Christopher Joseph, Claridge Primary -39; 4th Place - Briland Cunningham, Home School -39; 7th Place - WIlliam Maheilis, St. Andrews -41; 7th Place - Kai Bastian, St. Thomas More -41; 7th Place - Edward Johnson, Windsor School at Old Fort - 41; 10th Place - Hugo Johnston, Windsor School at Old Fort -41.
1st Place - Windsor School at Albany- Team Score of 94 - Aidan Gorospe, Kerrington Rolle, Oliver White and Camdyn Forbes; 2nd Place - Queen’s College - Team Score of 112 - Luke Grimes, Rhan Miller, Michael Knowles, Alexander Knowles and Atarri Moss; 3rd Place- St. Andrew’s International School - Team Score of 125 - Reeves Maheilis, Axel Dridi. Enea Gervisini. Thomas Robinson and Aidan Robinson; 4th Place - Lyford Cay International School - Team Score of 134 - Patrick Tomlinson, Alec Hooper, Erik Jensen, Jose Vianna and Thomas Briard.
Top 10 Individuals - 1st Place - Aidan Gorospe, Windsor School at Albany - 28; 2nd Place - Kerrington Rolle, Windsor School at Albany - 31; 3rd Place - Luke Grimes, Queen’s College - 35; 3rd Place - Oliver White, Windsor School at Albany - 35; 5th Place - Camdyn Forbes, Windsor School at Albany - 36; 5th Place - Rhan Miller, Queen’s College -36; 7th Place - Reeves Maheilis - 38; 8th Place - Axel Dridi, St. Andrews - 41; 8th Place - Michael Knowles, Queen’s College - 41; 8th Place - Percival Richardson, A.F. Adderley Junior High - 41.
1st Place - Windsor School at Old Fort- Team Score of 127 - Lilly Bisterzo, Elyse Hanna, Olivia Ott and Tysha Johnson; 2nd Place - Queen’s College - Team Scores of 145 - Chemari Pratt, Daliah Hamilton-Knowles, Cianna McWilliam and Bailey Bostwick; 3rd Place- Lyford Cay International School - Team Score of 166 - Sophia Briard, Sofia Klonaris and Cassandra Carlino; Team 4 - Kingsway- Team Score of 177 - Taylor Sands, GHailey Ellis and Arranique Brown.
Top 10 Individuals
- 1st Place - Chemari Pratt, Queen’s College - 35; 2nd Place - Lilly Bisterzo, Windsor School at Old Fort - 36; 3rd Place - Kamaya Burnside , D.W. Davis Junior High - 41; 3rd Place - Elyse Hanna, Windsor School at Albany - 41; 5th Place - Olivia Ott, Windsor School at Albany - 50; 6th Place - Taylor Sands, Kinsway Academy - 51; 7th Place - Daliah Hamilton- Knowles, Queen’s College - 53; 8th Place - Sophia Briard, Lyford Cay International School - 54; 9th Place - Sofia Klonaris, Lyford Cay International School - 55 ; 10th Place - Beyonce Knowles, H.O. Nash Junior High - 56.
1st Place - Windsor School at Old Fort- Team Score of 105 - Zadok Smith, Alex Dupuch, Jaden Ward, Ethan Mui and Kaizer Briggs; 2nd Place- Lyford Cay International School - Team Score of 112 - Jackson Mactaggart, Nolan Kull and Patrick Mactaggart; 3rd Place - Queen’s College - Team Score of 114 - Andrew Benjamin, Christopher Knowles, Arjun Shetty Pericles Maeilis and Ravaro Underwood; Team 4 - St. Andrew’s - Team Score of 136 - Benjamin Dupuch, Stanley Wilson and Robert Holcombe.
Top 10 Individuals -
1st Place - Anton McDonald, Aquinas College - 31; 2nd Place - Jackson Mactaggart, Lyford Cay International School -33; 2nd Place - Benjamin Dupuch, St. Andrews - 33; 4th Place - Zadok Smith, Windsor School at Albany - 34; 5th Place - Alex Dupuch, Windsor School at Albany - 35; 7th Place - Windsor School at Albany - 36; 8th Place - Jermaine Dawkins, C.R. Walker Senior High - 39; Christopher Knowles, Queen’s College -39; 8th Place - Nolan Kull, Lyford Cay International School - 39.
1st Place- Queen’s College- Team Score of 180 - Mia Underwood, Lauren Ramsey and Biswapriya Pati.
Top 10 Individuals - 1st Place - Tyesha Tynes, St. John’s College - 35; 2nd Place - Miljojka Gojkovic, Teleos Christian School - 45; 3rd Place - Mia Underwood, Queen’s College - 48; 4th Place - Elvanique Rolle, Charles W. Saunders - 49; 5th Place - Gabrielle Pratt, Kingsway Academy - 52; 5th Place - Shenell Stewart, C. R. Walker Senior High - 52; 7th Place - Nataija McPhee, Greeneville Preparatory - 54; 8th Place - Shenique Stewart, C. R. Walker Senior High - 57; 9th Place - Biswapriya Pati, Queen’s College - 64; 10th Place - Lauren Ramsey, Queen’s College - 68.