St. Andrews GC - Trinidad & Tobago
Barbados top seed golfer James Johnson won the 108the Trinidad & Tobago Open Championships by 3 strokes.
Johnson finished on 11-over 299 with his final-round 75 at the par-72 St. Andrews Country Club. He was up by 1 coming in to the final day trailed by Omorry James from Antigua.
"I haven't been playing well lately and my expectations was low coming into this tournament" - say Johnson. "This is a difficult golf course where patients is key".
The start could have been better for Johnson as he collected an 8 on the par 4 hole 13 during the first day. However he never lost focused and came in with a 75, having 5 birdies for the round.
Another disappointing incident came on round 3 where he hit a solid drive slightly right on the 16th fairway but the ball was never to be found and he had to go back to tee and hit another ball with one stroke penalty.
Johnson had a solid start on the final day and missed two birdie putts on the first two holes but made the 40 foot eagle putt on the 3rd hole. "I was putting very well during the whole tournament" - say Johnson. "The greens are fast and undulating but reasonable fair. It's always a pleasure to come here and play golf. Todays win means a lot to me"
Behind Johnson was Sol Joanni from Trinidad & Tobago and Omorry James from Antigua both 3 shots behind and 13-over 302.
Final results here >>>
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Leading Barbados and Caribbean golfer James Johnson is celebrating his third capture of the Trinidad and Tobago Open tournament.
Following victories in 2011 and 2012, Johnson won the 108thedition of the Trinidad and Tobago Open on Sunday , by three strokes, at the St.Andrews Club, Maraval.
The seasoned champion held off Antiguan Omorry James on the final day after leading by one-stroke going into the last 18 holes. Johnson shot a final round 75, finishing with an 11-over-par gross 299 , while James shot 77 and ended with a four-day gross 302.
Displaying his character on a highly competive last day, the Barbadian held his focus and his nerve on the back-nine of the St. Andrew's course when the Antiguan, threatened to snatch the gold medal.
James briefly took the lead on the front nine on the final day but seemingly buckled under the pressure , dropping three strokes on the par-four No.12 as Johnson grew stronger and held steady to finish three strokes ahead of his nearest rivals.
Trinidadians Sol Joanni, and James all finished the four rounds with a gross 13-over 302.
"It is a difficult golf course and patience is critical. I haven't been playing well in recent times and my expectations were low coming into the tournament but I am happy that I was able to pull it off,” said Johnson.
Johnson, who was a disappointed man when he surrendered his grip on the 2013 TT Open title in a play-off with Costelloe, also sank a 30ft eagle putt on hole No.3 on the final day last Sunday enroute to defeating a field of 30 players in the championship flight. He registered scores of 75, 75, 74 and 75 over the four rounds, playing with a +4 handicap.
“ It is always a pleasure to come to Trinidad and play. This victory means a lot to me and I enjoyed the tournament,” said Johnson.
Among the women, Antiguan Kimesha Anthony won her second major tournament in two months as she pushed back Barbados-based former Jamaica national player, Leiza Munn-Blakeley on the final day.
Anthony, who won the Antigua Open in February, defeated Munn-Blakeley by a stroke as she posted a four-day gross 349 , to win the TT Open women's championship.
The Antiguan and OECS champion was just off the pace over the first three rounds, but made a late charge on the final day and posted 86 as Munn-Blakeley shot 88 and a four-day gross 350.
The tournament emerged as a tussle between the top two finishers after early leader, Trinidadian teenager Ysabelle Lawrence, was disqualified after leading the field by four strokes over the first two rounds.
Veteran Dave Rajkumar retained his seniors title (over 50 years) with a four-day gross of 310 after consistent scores of 76, 76, and 76 over over the first three rounds.
Around 20 Barbadians were among more than 140 players who contested the 2015 Trinidad and Tobago Open, which featured play in five divisions.
By Bernard Babb