The Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships has two of five trophies competed for by players aged 50 and over. Seniors are over 50 and Super Seniors are over 60. On the latter team for Jamaica is the current president of the Jamaica Golf Association, Peter Chin, and with him plays Easton Williams (aka ‘Tall Man’; he’s 6 feet 5 inches). Both are 61. Peter is representing for the first time and Easton is in his second year. Peter won the national trials with Easton second; positions were reversed in the national championship.
I’ve never played with Peter but Tall Man and I play together often and pair up in many competitions. He’s a very steady and good player. Peter often has a smile and is witty. They’ve been practising at least once a week since selection was made over a month ago. I know the practice has been going well if I judge the steady scoring I have to deal with.
In last year’s tournament Tall Man and his partner came fourth. I think this year’s pairing looks good to win. Let’s see.
Day one began yesterday and I watched some of the play.
Both began with great drives, but not before we’d seen older men with less sturdy frames hit the ball miles. The competition looked good and the experience was much deeper than on the Jamaica team. I watched a few holes before manning my volunteer post in the scoring tent. The start was patchy. I caught up with the pair as the turned to the back nine. A grinning Peter out up two fingers, meaning 2 over par. I next saw them on the back nine as they were midway through the last hole. “They’re one under!” team captain, Bobby Chin, told me. I ran to the green to see the end of the hole. Peter putted from a long distance and left a tap-in for par, which he made. Tall Man had a long birdie put that stopped half a ball short, but not because Peter didn’t will it up the hill yelling “Roll! Roll!”
Both pars made and a round of one under for a fourth place, trailing by one shot. They were pleased and had played a great back nine. We had a quick chat before they headed off to rest. They’d teed off just past 10 and ended near 3:30. That’s a long time by my standards but the competition slows things down.
A new term is getting used for seniors who retire, it’s ‘refirement’. Golf handicaps mean that age and ability and gender get equalized and anyone can play and know their relative positions despite scores that are quite different. But good players are clear to see. Jamaica is well set with this pair and the ‘youngsters’ also on the team.
It’s early days but let’s hope my view holds true. First place looks very reachable.