COVID bubble to highlight 53rd Jamaica Open Golf Tournament
The Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) will be undertaking a ‘bubble style’ format for this year’s staging of the Jamaica Open, which is slated to get under way with the Pro-Am event on Saturday, December 12.
Similar to the protocols being undertaken on the current PGA and European Tour, the JGA, with the help of The University Hospital of the West Indies, will be implementing full COVID-19 testing for all participants, caddies and administrators for the 53rd edition.
Overseas participants will have to provide a negative COVID-19 test on arrival in Jamaica, after which the players will enter the bubble at the designated tournament hotel. From there, they will be taken to and from the golf course throughout the duration of the tournament.
Tournament organiser Jodi Munn-Barrow announced that the event is expected to feature more than 80 professional and amateur golfers at the Tryall Club in Hanover.
“All participants have to be tested and will be tested. Our caddies and administrators will be tested and we are going to allow limited spectators to come, such as family members, but they all have to present a negative COVID-19 test,” said Barrow.
More than 70 players have already registered for this year’s event, which was made possible by title sponsors Aqua Bay and presenting sponsor the Tourism Enhancement Fund.
According to president of the JGA, Peter Chin, this year’s tournament has been severely impacted with some overseas participants declining to take part for contrasting reasons. However, the organisers are still expecting golfers from the USA, Canada, the UK and Latin America to take part.
“The change of the date has impacted our entries; unfortunately, we have a clash with a PGA Latino America event, which is taking place on the same weekend, and several players who participated last year will not be attending this year due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Chin.
Another change expected for this year’s tournament will be the absence of an electronic scoreboard at the ground. Scores will instead be provided on mobile devices.