Payten Wight and Emily Ribbins parlayed strong first round leads into amateur titles at the 2018 Cayman Islands Golf Association (CIGA) Amateur Championships held 24th-25th March at the North Sound Golf Club. Wight shot an opening round 68 and a final round 71 to put himself comfortably ahead of the nineteen-man pack with a final score of 139. Second place went to Aaron Jarvis (147) while Joel Dodson finished third (147). Defending champion Justin Hastings finished tied for fourth with Michael Wight (149). The 23-year old champion told Cayman 27 the opening day was key.
“I feel really good about it, I played a good opening round and put myself in contention to try and close it out.”
In the women’s championship, Emily Ribbins surged ahead of the seven-women pack with an opening round 76 and an equally steady final round 77 to claim the title. Ribbins finished nine strokes ahead (153) of second place junior Holly McLean (162). Third place went to veteran Nitti Howe (166). Ribbins says she had such a good day on the links, the competition became secondary to the enjoyment of the game.
“I thought I played really well. I was playing with such great people, I wasn’t too concentrated on the scores but I am really happy that I played as well as I did.”
With the win, both Ribbins and Wight will now represent Cayman at the 2018 Caribbean Amateur Championships, scheduled to be held at the North Sound Golf Club July 31 – Aug 3rd. The 22-year old says she was happy to gain entry onto this year’s amateur team.
“I just graduated from university, so this is the first time I’ve been back to compete in this event in the last 5 years, so being able to win it for the first time is very exciting. I am really looking forward to representing Cayman, in Cayman this summer” say Ribbins.
Wight is no stranger to international competition, most recently representing Cayman at the 2017 NatWest Islands Games where he finished 14th overall. He says the no matter where the competition takes place, he wears Cayman’s colors with pride.
“Anytime you can represent your country nationally, it’s a huge privilege and I feel honored to represent my country again.”
In the Senior Championship, Scott Kapucinksi was crowned champion after finishing with a final score of 152 to top a field of seven golfers. Kapucisnki, who stood just two shots ahead (79) of CIGA President Paul Woodhouse after round one (81), surged ahead with a final round 73 to defeat Woodhouse (159) by seven strokes.
In the Super Seniors, Stephen Heal topped the field of four to finished 1st overall with a final score of 161. Second place went to Mick Whitworth who shot 167.