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Regional golfers tee off

The 56th RBC Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships got off to a roaring start yesterday with an exciting first round that showcased the growing quality and parity of golf across the Caribbean.

Some early-morning gusts gave way to sunny, comfortable conditions at Royal St. Kitts, where after a full day a different country holds the lead in each one of the tournament’s categories.

A strong start by the Dominican Republic put them ahead of the Hoerman Cup field with a combined score of even par, thanks primarily to the efforts of individual leader George Riley (-2) and John Paul Garrido (-1), who had two of only three rounds under par.

The third such round belonged to Adrian Norford, who led the host OECS team into second place at +8. Jamaica stands third at +11 while Puerto Rico and Barbados, the last two Hoerman Cup winners, are tied for fourth (+17). In the Ladies’ competition, defending champion Trinidad & Tobago pulled ahead with a combined 152 from Monifa Sealy and Kelsey

Lou Hing. But, thanks to individual leader María Torres’ 72, Puerto Rico is just two strokes behind.

The competition is even tighter among the Seniors vying for the Francis & Steele-Perkins Cup: only eight strokes separate the entire nine-team field, led by Barbados’ duo of Robert Piggott and Ricky Skeete, who shot +1. In the Super Senior category, Puerto Rico’s Carlos Matos and Elvin González, Sr., are also in a tight race.

After shooting an even par 71, they hold just a one stroke lead over the Jamaican team, with Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados lurking not far at +3. But the day, perhaps, belonged to the mid-amateurs. Six teams submitted rounds of even par or better, none finer than Jamaica’s Keith Stein and Sean Morris, who started out on fire and ended their round at an impressive -6, three strokes better than the Cayman Islands squad currently in second place. (PR)

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