Teams begin arriving for amateur golf championship

Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship ambassador Cynthia Holland (left) stands with Jamaica team members Emily Mayne, Kei Harris, William Knibbs, Eryn Blakely and Justin Burrowes.

Jamaica is first in the clubhouse.

The competitors for the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships began arriving on Saturday, and Jamaica was the first team to touch down at Owen Roberts International Airport.

The tournament, which is being held at the North Sound Golf Club, will begin Tuesday and wind through Friday. There will be a flag raising and opening ceremony on Monday night at 5:00 p.m. at Camana Bay, and then the respective nations will begin jostling for position on the links.

Puerto Rico is the defending champion of the Arthur Ziadie Trophy and will provide a stiff challenge to the group of seven different international teams that are looking to win it in 2018.

William Knibbs, 24 years old, has been playing for Jamaica in the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships since he was 17. Now, following his playing career at Elon University in North Carolina, he’s back to lead Jamaica into battle against the best the Caribbean has to offer.

“It’s always an honor,” said Mr. Knibbs of representing his country. “It means that I’m one of the best qualified people to do it. And it’s cool getting to represent your country and see other people get to represent their country. You just watch the teams change over the years.”

Mr. Knibbs is visiting Cayman for the first time, and he said he’s excited to enjoy a productive week in a new environment. His teammate, Emily Mayne, is also visiting Cayman for the first time.

Ms. Mayne, 13 years old, is the youngest competitor on Jamaica’s team. She said Saturday that she’s competed internationally in four other tournaments before the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships.

Earlier this month, in fact, Ms. Mayne finished second in the 10-13 division of the Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf championships. Holly McLean of Cayman was the champion in that division.

Ms. Mayne, who began playing golf five years ago, is excited to test her ability against her peers.

“I’m proud, because I worked hard for it,” she said of representing her country.

Interestingly, in this tournament, there are no age brackets. Ms. Mayne will be playing against amateur golfers of all ages this week, and she said she hopes to be right in the thick of things.

“I’m hoping it will be challenging,” she said. “I came here to see what it will be like.”

People interested in the tournament can drop by North Sound Golf Club to watch in person. Rounds will begin between 7:30 and 9:30 each day and wrap up around 2 p.m., depending on pace of play.

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