Grow Well’s eight junior golfers and ten young volunteers were hard to miss at this weekend’s ECGA tournament. The golfers were delighted to be invited —their superb play showed they belong, and they conquered hearts.
In the Individual Men’s event late Sunday, Keymanie Thomas was top of the leaderboard for most of the back stretch but came up just short in the final two holes.
“This was a fantastic experience for me,” he said. “I learned so much particularly in the last nine holes. I was playing well these last few months and wasn’t surprised to find myself in the final group with these amazing, seasoned players. I found my zone for most of the day and my putts dropped.”
Keymanie said he allowed himself to be distracted when spectators poured around the final three holes anticipating an upset. “That won’t happen again,” he vowed. “I will work hard on the mental side and close the deal.”
Meanwhile, Neil Carasco flew under the radar. Aged 15, he was the youngest St. Lucian in the tournament, handed the surprise opportunity by SLGA secretary Habib Chreiki: “I hear Neil is driven. He’s young. Let’s get him into tournaments.”
Neil’s coaches agreed this would be the greatest experience. Who was to know that he would win the net prize for individual male golfers! His playing partners were impressed. “He has the maturity, he has game.”
Both days, Neil had far his best scores ever.
All summer, Neil wanted a phone. Before the competition, he was promised: “Practice hard, play well and it’s yours.” He claimed it!
Neil attends Patricia James Secondary School.
Britney Mangal had stardom written all over her even in primary school. She left the golf program, and also St. Joseph’s Convent to join the Sports Academy to actively train in track and field. We lured her back this year and she rediscovered her love of the game.
Winning a Golf Association tournament on her 17th birthday in March was a highlight, as Club members joyously hosted her celebration. At this year’s Sports Academy graduation ceremony and won most of the academic trophies. Golfers marveled particularly at her long drives, rivaled only by her cousin and rival 17-year-old Celina Lubin of Corinth Secondary.
Both hope to represent St Lucia in the Women’s category in next year’s SLGA tournament.
A team of 10 golfing volunteers, led by former Grow Well girls champion Lisa Daniel, provided support around the course and in the clubhouse. They demonstrate that Grow Well Golf is not only about starring in tournaments. It’s also about community service. The compliments keep flowing:
“ Huge shout out for Grow Well’s contributions this weekend. It was a boost to see young players in the mix and their smiles. From the start: players, volunteers, right through to prize giving,” wrote Lesley Saunderson, SLGA member and ECGA competitor.
Grow Well Junior Golf thanks its sponsors who believed in the Gros Islet youth program through the years: Sandals Foundation, Sandals Golf and Country Club, Ollie Gobat Sports Fund, St Lucia Golf Association and many other caring businesses and individuals.
Following the tournament on Sunday, Grow Well heard the news that yet another great sponsor, Sagicor, was moved to support.
Grow Well Junior Golf — Onward and Upward for the youth of Gros Islet.
SOURCE: Sandals Resorts