PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida – PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will sanction its first official event in Jamaica, June 12-18. The inaugural Jamaica Classic, which expands the first half of the 2017 schedule to nine official events, was announced by Event Managers & Broadcasters SportsMax and their sponsor, the Jamaica Tourist Board on Thursday.
The tournament will be played at Cinnamon Hill Golf Course in Montego Bay. Originally designed by Hank Smedley in 1969, the 6,828-yard par-72 was redesigned by Robert Von Hagge & Rick Baril in 2001.
Winding its way along the sparkling shores of the turquoise Caribbean Sea and through the lush green mountain terrain of its demanding back nine, Cinnamon Hill's diverse elevations combine the best of both links and inland golf.
President & CEO of SportsMax, Olly McIntosh is elated that Jamaica will be one of the stops on the PGA Tour Latinoamérica, “SportsMax has always contributed significantly to the development of Golf in Jamaica, first through our annual Team Match Play Golf Tournament and now it is our distinct pleasure to have the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica on Jamaica’s shores as we continue to expose the immense golfing talent in Jamaica and the Caribbean”
“Partnering with PGA Tour Latinoamérica & event conceptualizers and managers, SportsMax to host the Jamaica Classic is a significant move for us,” said Paul Pennicook, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “We offer some of the best golf courses in the region, and have hosted some of the top championships. The Jamaica Classic is a good fit for the destination. We are so much more than sea and sun, so much more than food and music and so much more than track and field, we are the complete destination.”
Featuring a field of 144 players from over 20 countries, this new event will be played immediately after the Puerto Plata DR Open. As the final event of the first half of the schedule the Jamaica Classic will provide PGA TOUR Latinoamérica members one last chance to earn Order of Merit points before the midseason reshuffle.
“The addition of the Jamaica Classic not only allows us to continue expanding PGA TOUR Latinoamérica's footprint in the region but also allows us to reconnect with a long-time partner in Jamaica Tourism. Event Managers & Broadcasters SportsMax and the Jamaica Tourist Board, have done a fantastic job in order to bring our Tour to one of the top destinations in the Caribbean and we’re sure the players will enjoy their visit to Jamaica” said Jack Warfield, President, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
All-set to become the 17th country ever to welcome an official PGA TOUR Latinoamérica event, Jamaica has had its share of top professional golf events in the past. The Jamaica Open, an unofficial PGA TOUR event played from 1958 thru 1963, had its share of Latin American competitors, including 1961 runner-up Roberto De Vicenzo.
Bringing some of golf’s biggest names in the early nineties, Jamaica also hosted the Johnny Walker World Golf Championship. Won twice by Fred Couples, the small field event also brough starts such as Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Bernhard Langer and Ernie Els.
New event at a glance:
Official Name: Jamaica Classic
Dates: June 12-18, 2017
Host City: Montego Bay
Golf Course: Cinnamon Hill
Course Designer: Robert Von Hagge & Rick Baril redesigned it in 2001, From Hank Smedley's original design in 1969
Open since: 1969
Course Website: http://www.visitjamaica.com/cinnamon-hill-golf-course