Team 14b takes honours at Travel Agents golf tourney
JUNIOR Rodney of Team 14b, winners of Sandals Resorts’ annual two-day US Travel Agents golf tournament, said being an avid golfer enabled him to adapt to the Sandals Golf and Country Club course in Upton, St Ann, piloting his team to a four-stroke win, 128-132, over Team 16b on Wednesday’s closing day.
A second-time winner of the now 17-year-old tournament, which the Caribbean resort chain uses to promote the island as a golfing destination, Rodney, who won in 2015 with different team members, said he simply played the greens based on the conditions.
“You’re going to get greens at different speeds. If you get greens that are slow, you just have to adapt, listen to the advice of your caddy,” he said, adding that this year’s victory was more challenging than 2015 because his team had a new member in the four-man scramble on the last day.
Team 14b ended on Tuesday with Rodney, Melissa Muender, Rudolph Willis, and Ashley Beady, holding a one-stroke lead, 66, ahead of Team 9’s Gerald Christ, James Cassie, and Steve and Debbie Simmons.
On Wednesday, playing with Angela Hopson replacing Beady, Team 14b scored 62, nine under par, the second-best score behind last year’s champions, Team 2a, the Gerlins and Horniks, who came flying, 10 under par, 61, after Tuesday’s painful two over par, 73, Mark Gerling saying: “It was a little tougher this year. We couldn’t get those long putts to fall. We had a couple of bogeys, which is uncharacteristic of us.”
Team 16b’s Rodolfo Pico Arenas, Genith Toledo, Valdelucia Freire, and Albertha Brown, 132 (68, 64), staved off Team 1b’s Donia Davis, Mark Haley, Victor Cochran, and Mark Rigby, 133 (68, 65), by one stroke to grab third ahead of the Gerlins and Horniks, 134 (73, 61).
At Wednesday’s presentation-of-awards ceremony, Team 16b’s Toledo won the ladies’closest-to-the-pin prize and Team 7’s Thomas Ketchum was the male winner.
Linda Hyde won the Ladies’ Longest Drive and Ron Wagman was the male winner as Sandals welcomed 50 first-time players among the group of 92 travel agents, who Gary Sadler, senior vice-president, sales, Sandals/Beaches Resorts, thanked for impacting his life and that of his “14,000 Sandals colleagues across the Caribbean”, during the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Garth Laird, senior national director, sales, Unique Vacations, who plays alongside the travel agents each year, said this weekend would feature the seventh Latin American travel agents tournament, which he expects to be a colourful affair, starting tomorrow.
“It will be a lot of fun. The Latin Americans always seem to have a great time because they are food and music lovers, so they love Jamaica,” he said.