Golf boss up­beat JGA Open will tee off de­spite COVID-19

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - TUESDAY SPORT - — Paul Reid

THE 53rd an­nual Ja­maica Golf As­so­ci­a­tion (JGA) Open is set to be held at the Tryall Club in Hanover for the se­cond-straight year in De­cem­ber, and ac­cord­ing to Pres­i­dent Peter Chin, the only thing that could pos­si­bly stop it would be an ex­po­nen­tial rise in cases of COVID19 forc­ing a clo­sure of the is­land’s bor­ders.

While not go­ing into de­tails, Chin told the Ja­maica Ob­server yesterday, they had raised the re­quired spon­sor­ship and re­sponse to the event from pro­fes­sion­als, in­clud­ing some from over­seas has been pos­i­tive.

“We are cov­ered as far as spon­sor­ship is con­cerned,” Chin said about the event set to be held De­cem­ber 12-15.

“But the COVID-19 is our big­gest challenge right now, es­pe­cially with play­ers ex­pected to come in from over­seas,” he added.

He went on to say that the cur­rent COVID-19 quar­an­tine pro­to­col that calls for 14 days of iso­la­tion would not work with the play­ers, but was op­ti­mistic say­ing the play­ers could take a test be­fore their ar­rival as well as say­ing he hoped by then the sys­tem that pro­duces re­sults in 15 min­utes would be avail­able here.

Golf, Chin said, was “the per­fect sport for so­cial dis­tanc­ing”.

“There is no need for any­one to be close [to oth­ers]. There will be only six per­sons per group, three play­ers and the cad­dies, and when a player is tee­ing off, he will have his dis­tance and through­out the round there are no rea­sons for play­ers to be close to­gether,”

Chin ex­plained.

Mean­while, Chin said he had made some changes to the play­ing sched­ule with the Proam set for Satur­day and the tour­na­ment to run from

Sunday to Tues­day.

Tra­di­tion­ally, the Proam would be played on Wednes­day with the tour­na­ment be­ing played Thursday to Satur­day, but Chin said the new for­mat would give the lo­cal am­a­teurs a chance to play in the Proam while the play­ing days would not be a big deal to the pro­fes­sion­als.

(Photo: Paul Reid)

Amer­i­can David Mor­land plays out of the sand trap on the open­ing day of last year’s 52nd JGA Open at Tryall, Hanover. Mor­land fin­ished se­cond in the 54 holes tour­na­ment.

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