Justin Burrowes put on a show on last Sunday’s fourth and final day of the JGA’s National Senior Trials at the Half Moon Golf Course in St. James to capture a big win from Sebert Walker Jr. who topped the leaderboard for the three previous days.
Junior female golfer Emily Mayne alternated the lead between herself and the JGA president Jodi Munn-Barrow but stamped her class on the final day to win the category outright.
Burrowes lagged behind Walker Jr. by 11 shots at the end of the second day but capitalized on Walker Jr’s stumble on the third day to make up some valuable ground. Walker Jr. shot eight under 64 on the second day but dropped six shots on day three when he carded six over par 78, while Burrowes shot one under par on day three to cut the lead to four.
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The final day was set up nicely for fireworks and a dramatic win by Burrowes who opened with an eagle, shot birdies on holes seven and nine for a four under par 32 on the front nine.
His good form continued on the back nine with a birdie on 12. He suffered a major setback with double bogeys on 15 and 16 but recovered with birdies on 17 and 18 (to post one over par 37) to the loud cheer of many spectators and family who gathered on the edge of the 18th green, for an exciting trials that went down to the last shot to determine the winner.
Burrowes shot three under par 69 for his final round and posted a combined total of one under par 287 for the four days (73, 74, 71, 69).
“The last few days were eventful. (The) first two days were at Cinnamon Hill, second two days were at Half Moon. It’s tough sometimes when you have to adjust to mentally re-adjust your game plan to a different golf course half way through, but I am proud of the way I battled through it. The conditions were very difficult.
“It was windy and very hot. It can take a toll on the brain meaning you can start to get tired and affect your play, but luckily, I was able to hang in there and overcome a very big deficit from the first two days at Cinnamon Hill. I was playing well but I didn’t make much puts and I was able to make a few more at Half Moon and hang in there and come back from an 11-shot deficit. I am proud of the way I battled and hung in there and I am looking forward to representing Jamaica again this year at another Caribbean Championship.”
Walker Jr’s contest ended at par 288 (72, 64, 78, 74) after posting two over par 74 in the final round, in the runner-up spot one shot behind Burrowes.
He said “today’s round was a little better, just a few mistakes as I went through the day that I definitely would have preferred not to have made and then, obviously a few costly ones such as 18 – that turnover driver out of bounds so that one came down to the wire with me and Justin Burrowes and that one cost the game.”
The top five spots were completed by Ryan Lue who shot one under par 71 for a total score of 13 over par 301; Rocco Lopez and William Knibbs who posted scores of 71 and two over par 74, respectively, for a combined score of 17 over par 305.
On the ladies’ side, Emily Mayne outplayed the JGA president Jodi Munn-Barrow and Mattea Issa to win by eight shots, on the back of scores of 78, 79, 77 and three over par 73 on the final day for 309 overall.
“Conditions the last four days were not too tough, however, the pace of the greens really was not what I was used to. I go to school in the Bahamas so the greens and the courses that I play on day to day are faster than the greens at Cinnamon Hill and Half Moon, so it took some time for me to get used to them. My putting is really what let me down these past few days. However, on the last day today I was able to redeem myself to finish my round with one under on the back which I am very happy and finishing with two birdies and holding two puts which I really was not expecting to do. I am really excited to represent Jamaica on the senior national team,” said Mayne.
Munn-Barrow posted scores of 80, 76 82 and 79 and was the day two leader but had to settle for the runner-up spot after totalling 317 for the four days.
Mattea Issa ended on 322 overall after scoring 81, 86, 77 for the first three days and 78 on day four.
The golfers will now finetune their preparation for the 65th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championship in Turks & Caicos Islands later this year.