Barbados’ top juniors struggled in rainy conditions, along with most of their rivals, on the second day of the 2017 Caribbean Junior Golf Championships in Trinidad Wednesday.
In between two stoppages for rain, enforced as a proactive measure by tournament officials because of the presence of lightning and thunder, most players found it difficult on the heavy St Andrews course at Moka.
Barbados junior champion Iz Hustler, who was regarded among the early contenders, shot the day’s best score for his team, registering 79 to add to his first day 85 for a 36-hole aggregate of 164.
That kept him among the top 12 in the boys’ 16-18 division, where defending champion and hometown favourite Sachin Kumar of Trinidad and Tobago posted the day’s best score of one-over-par 73 to position himself to defend his crown on the final day Thursday.
After 73 on the first day, the bespectacled Kumar maintained the lead with a gross 149, two strokes ahead of Gustavo Betances of the Dominican Republic, who also posted a 73 for a 36-hole gross 151. Rodrigo Sanchez, also of the Dominican Republic, was joint second with his compatriot (151) while Ian Aldarondo of Puerto Rico was third on 153.
Barbados player Xzavier Wiggins, who shot 78 on the first day, fell away on a wet and testing Day 2 as he registered 85 in the boy’s 14-15 age-group where Andres Aranguren of Puerto Rico seemed on course for the gold medal.
Aranguren posted scores of 74 and 76, for a two-day 150, and was followed by 14-year-old Aaron Jarvis of the Cayman Islands, who matched Kumar with the day’s best 73. Jarvis’ 73 moved him into second place with a gross 153, four strokes ahead of third placed Ho Jing Kang (157) of the Dominican Republic.
Among the girls, Brooke Rivers of the Turks & Caicos, who shared the girls’ 13 and under title with Barbadian Emily Odwin last year, remained on course to defend her title and was followed by Odwin who shot 82 Wednesday to add to her first day 88.
Rivers posted 81 for a two-day gross 165 while Odwin and Sophie Anand of the Bahamas were both tied in second place on 170.
Defending champion Valeria Pacheco of Puerto Rico remained too strong for her rivals, in the 17-18 category, and posted a 77 on Day 2 to lead the field by 12 clear strokes. Pacheco leads with a gross 156 and is followed by Kei Harris of Jamaica on 164. Barbadian Alyssa Inniss-Gittens shot scores of 94 and 87.
The 30th annual Caribbean Junior Championships are being staged by the Caribbean Golf Association and has attracted 94 players from nine regional territories.