Despite being one of the smallest countries to field a team in this prestigious regional event, Cayman did exceptionally well in three days of competition at the 2016 Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship in Barbados that ended July 8.
Top honors went to the two Cayman players in the boys 11-13 age group. Aaron Jarvis won the group, and Justin Hastings, who had lead for the first two days, was runner-up.
Aaron brought home the Bob Slatter trophy, named in honor of the Caribbean Golf Hall of Famer and supporter of junior golf in the Cayman Islands for the last 30-plus years.
The entire team played well, with all attaining top 20 finishes.
Holly Mclean, 11, playing in her first event of this type and the only girl on the team, finished 10th in her age group (11-13). Joe Ribbins (15 and under) was 16th.
In the 17 and under group, Andre Jarvis was 11th and Joe Purton was 20th. Joe traveled straight from Barbados to Scotland to represent the islands in the Junior British Open, and Andrew will be in the Bahamas on the men’s team at the Caribbean Amateur Championships for the second year and also playing the World Amateur Team Challenge in September.
Team coach and manager Brad DeSchiffert said, “I’ve never been so proud to be a coach. These kids worked so hard for the last six months and it shows. Each one learned a lot about themselves and their game.”
Cayman Islands Golf Association President Paul Woodhouse congratulated all of the juniors who played, particularly “Aaron on his win and Justin who was so close.”
“What these players have achieved is a real testament to the growth of the game here in Cayman,” he said. “In 2013 we hosted the Caribbean Amateur Junior Championships and started to get some juniors involved, and now they are winners.”
He thanked “all the professional staff at NSGC for their coaching input and the CIGA junior program coordinators James Walton and Siobhan Ribbins for volunteering their time and their boundless enthusiasm for junior golf.”