By Bernard Babb
Three of the island's most promising juniors are among four new faces in the senior Barbados team to contest the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships in the Bahamas later this month.
Fifteen year-old Iz Hustler, 14 year-old Xzavier Wiggins and 14 year-old Alyssa Inniss-Gittens , who all represented the island in the just concluded Caribbean Junior Championships, have been named in an eight-member squad for the July 24-31 senior championships.
All three players have been showing great improvement over the past 18 months and have been challenging the island's top players in various local tournaments.
Stocky left-hander Maurice Forde will also be making his debut in the Hoerman Cup where Hustler and Wiggins will be teeing up against the region's top senior men for the first time.
The national team was named by the Barbados Golf Association (BGA) after recent trials at Royal Westmoreland and Apes Hill Club, where the juniors impressed against more experienced rivals and where Forde , 27, made the break-through after 10 years of trying .
"I put a lot of work into my short game and it paid off . Making the team is a major achievement for me and my goal is to post a competitive score on each day and try to help Barbados to win the Hoerman Cup," said Forde, who attended a Florida University on a golf scholarship.
Inniss-Gittens, the current national female junior champion, will compete for the George Teale Trophy in the women's division along with Leiza Munn-Blakeley, a former Jamaica player, who dominated the local trials.
The squad will be captained by perrenial Barbados champion James Johnson and also includes veterans Julian Jordan and Simon Proverbs.
The Hoerman Cup and the George Teale Trophy now remain as the two major components of the revamped Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships . The mid-amateurs division (The Ramon Baez Trophy), the competition for senior men and a new competition for women over 50 were all played as part of the Caribbean Classic Championships in Jamaica in April.
Barbados won the 2016 Ramon Baez Trophy in Montego Bay as James Johnson and Marcus Clarke teamed for the first time in the two-ball-better-ball competition , beating second placed Jamaica by two shots and Trinidad by five shots.
The Hoerman Cup brings together the region's top men's players in stroke-play, and the Dominican Republic are the defending champions after posting a score of 1210 in Jamaica in 2015.
They were two strokes better than hometeam Jamaica (1212), while Puerto Rico (1225) finished third and Trinidad & Tobago (1235) fourth.
Barbados, who last won the Hoerman Cup at home in 2010, were fifth with a score of 1245 over four rounds.
Maurice Forde is making his debut in the Hoerman Cup.
The squad will be captained by perrenial Barbados champion James Johnson
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