Juniors perfect their swings for Puerto Rico

Junior golf in the Cayman Islands is targeting its next major event.

The Cayman Islands Golf Association has announced its six-member team representing Cayman at the Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships in Puerto Rico in July. The squad consists of: Boys 13 and Under category – Justin Hastings and Aaron Jarvis, Boys 14/15 – Andrew Jarvis, Joe Purton and Adam Stainrod and Boys 16/17 – Conor O’Dea.

Association president Jason Perras wished the team good luck for the upcoming tournament.

“The boys have played really well in the qualifying competitions, each of them have shown a great improvement from last year when they played in the junior amateurs here in Cayman,” Perras said. “This is a testament to their hard work and practice and to the coaching they have received. I also take this opportunity to thank the sponsors, Cayman National Bank, Scotiabank, Logic and Conyers, who are supporting the national teams this summer.”

The Puerto Rico tournament will be one of two competitions this summer for Jarvis, who flies to the U.K. in mid-July to represent Cayman in the Junior Open Championship. Being held at West Lancashire Golf Club near Liverpool, the global event will feature players from around 65 countries.

In the buildup to those competitions, the junior program has had added focus in Cayman. An after-school program started on May 6 at the North Sound Golf Club, with a total of 75 kids being split between the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions. In addition a first-ever Junior Fun Skills Day was recently held at North Sound that attracted 50 children aged 8-17. The youngsters took part in a number of skills tests including straightest drive, putting, bulls eye and bunker shots.

Prizes were awarded for different age groups. Beth Walton won the girls category, Jake Barkinge won the Boys 8-10 group and was named the event’s overall winner, Aaron Jarvis won the Boys 11-13 group and Conor O’Dea claimed the Boys 14-17 crown.

Jason Deerwester, Director of Golf at North Sound, said the event was about promoting kids in the sport.

“It was great to see the kids out enjoying themselves having so much fun,” Deerwester said. “We have had a brilliant response to the junior clinics we have been running. We often get 25 at each session and this day was an extension of that endeavor. Particular thanks go to Siobhan Ribbins, a member of the golf association committee, who has worked tirelessly organizing junior golf and who was instrumental in making this day such a success.”

Outside of the junior ranks, local golf will also be gearing up for the Island Championships, which will take place at North Sound on May 31 to June 1. The event promises to showcase and crown some of Cayman’s top adult golfers. In addition, the tournament will solidify the places for the senior national team that will represent Cayman at the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships in Puerto Rico the first week in August.

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