Junior putters storming the links

Cayman is in the midst of hosting a major junior golf competition. 

Grand Cayman’s North Sound Golf Club is putting on the Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship this week. Practice rounds were held on Tuesday, with the tournament starting on Wednesday and wrapping up on Saturday. 

Some 80 junior golfers from around the region are here, with boys and girls ranging from 11 to 17 years-old. The Cayman Islands are competing against eight other countries in Bahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Trinidad and Tobago. Those squads also brought with them some 70 supporters.  

Cayman has been participating in the tournament since the mid-1990s and last served as host in 2002. Representing Cayman this year are J.C. Trickett, Joe Purton, Ben Black, Justin Hastings, Joe Ribbins and Adam Stainrod in the 11 to 13 age group, Andrew Jarvis and Sam Stainrod in the 14 and 15 age group and Conor O’Dea in the 16 and 17 age group.  

The team manager is Siobhan Ribbins and North Sound’s coaching staff of Jason Deerwester, Robert Chilman and Brad Deschiffert helped team members prepare.  

Jason Perras serves as president of the Cayman Islands Golf Association, which is responsible for organising the event. Perras said, “We are delighted to welcome all the junior golfers to Cayman.  

“The organisation currently organises a junior coaching programme and we hope that staging an international event like this will really showcase the game of golf and help us grow golf as a sport here in Cayman.”  

The Cayman Islands have a history of producing great golf talents. Johnny, Samantha and Jack Widmer all played in the junior championships with Johnny and Sam going on to play at the US collegiate level and represent Cayman at senior level championships.  

Matthew Wight was also a successful junior who now plays on the senior team. Emily Ribbins, whose younger brother Joe is competing this week, will be playing college golf next year after playing as a junior and senior here. 

News of the junior competition comes ahead of two events this summer. Cayman golfers are taking part in the Island Games in Bermuda this month before tackling the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships on 4-10 August in Mahogany Run, St. Thomas. 

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Johnny Widmer rose through the collegiate ranks. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES

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Young talent will be on display at North Sound Golf Club.
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