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Joo Lee, Lawrence lead T&T Juniors to Caribbean Champs

By \\\\\ Mark Pouchet

Wan Joo Lee  and Ysabelle Lawrence, male and female captain of the Trinidad and Tobago golf team, will lead this country's 14-member squad into battle when the Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship tees off at the Dorado Beach Golf Resort in Puerto Rico next Tuesday.

Joo Lee recently returned from the Callaway Junior World Golf Championships in California where he placed 49th out of 206 of the world's best  young golfers.

Lawrence is the "veteran" junior among the females, having helped T&T to  the  George Teale trophy for the top ladies team at last year's Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships in the Cayman Islands.

Leading the team is coach Chris Richards, a former Caribbean Senior Amateur champion, who spoke of his confidence in the team’s ability to challenge for the titles. 

Richards said the team had practised with a five-day/four-hour a day schedule in preparation to take on the Caribbean's best juniors next week.

"We’re focusing on the short game and course management, and I am confident that these kids will be ready to put in a serious challenge for the trophy this year," he said of his team that placed third last year.

"Richards said the T&T juniors are naturally very aggressive but the challenge was to temper aggression with a good defensive game.

"We have some  wizards around (the) green like Liam Bryden, Sol Joanni, Brandon Matabadal," Richards stated. 

"But if we want to stand a good chance of winning, especially on a course that is not familiar, our short game has to be very, very sharp, have a lot more confidence in playing the putting game.”

Richards said he expected Joo Lee to bring his experience to bear on the boys while he said Lawrence was  "a born leader". 

"The two should ad some value to the team," Richards said.

Richards said  Puerto Rico and the  Dominican Republic are the two teams he expects to  post the biggest  challenge to his squad but "once we focus on our game plan, if we should execute, we could  come out with a victory,"

With the many water dangers around the Dorado course and the windy conditions, Richards emphasised that "controlling your yardage,  the distance you  hit the golf ball" will be key.

"The golfers have  orchestrated how far they are  hitting the  ball, that is  the number one priority on a course like that," coach Richards concluded. 

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