Young Barbadian golfers Iz Hustler and Emily Odwin will join others from 60 countries to compete in the 2016 R&A Junior Open Tournament in Scotland in July.
Hustler a 14-year-old Combermere student and Odwin, a 12-year-old from Queens College, secured entry to the annual tournament following trials staged by the Barbados Golf Association (BGA).
During the trials at the Barbados Golf Club, Hustler shot a gross 238 over 54 holes to defeat Xzavier Wiggins by five strokes (gross 243), while Odwin also won by five strokes (gross 261) over Alyssa Inniss-Gittens (266).
The two lucky Barbadian juniors, who will benefit from major exposure at the international Under-16 tournament, were recently met in Barbados by Mark Lawrie, the R&A’s newly appointed Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Laurie, who visited Barbados as part of a Caribbean swing, met with representatives of the Barbados Olympic Associationand toured the island’s golf clubs in the company of BGA President Trevor Tasker.
He said the juniors will also get the opportunity to witness the world’s top players in action during the 2016 British Open at Royal Troon in July.
About his tour to the region, Lawrie said his post was recently created by the Scotland-based R&A, (formerly the Royal and Ancient Club which is the world governing body for golf), and it was an educational tour of member countries to understand their programmes for golf development.
“We have to grow the game and we have an interest in seeing what the territories are doing in terms of grass-roots development, high performance programmes and public facilities,” Lawrie said.
He pointed out that grass-roots programmes were critical in growing the sport of golf and the R&A tended to look favourably on supporting small associations with such programmes that were sustainable.
The R&A’s Regional Director said Barbados was gifted with world-class facilities and suggested the BGA was doing a creditable job with limited resources.
BGA President Trevor Tasker said Barbados was in the process of designing a strategic plan to move the game to the next level and the visit of Lawrie was timely .
“It was good for him to see our golf facilities and go away with his impressions on how the R&A can assist us in further developing golf in Barbados and especially for the juniors,” said Tasker.
From Barbados, Lawrie went on to Trinidad and also visited Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Venezuela, Argentina and the United States on his regional trip. (BB)
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