Category: TRACK

THE BEST-OF-THE-BEST: Long Island skipper Stefan Knowles takes home Class B, C titles

Photos by Patrick Hanna/BIS

Photos by Patrick Hanna/BIS

As of Monday, December 4, 2023



#Tribune Sports Reporter

#After four days of exciting action on the seas and on land at Montagu Bay, the best of the best in sloop sailing around The Bahamas were awarded at the sixth Best-of-the-Best Regatta last night.

#Stefan Knowles, one of Long Island’s top skippers, took home two titles this time around in Class B and C.

#Class A went to Leslie “Buzzy” Rolle, hailing from Exuma. Meanwhile, Joss Knowles and Kiano Hutchinson earned bragging rights in the Class E event.

#Rolle stopped Knowles from repeating as a triple crown champion this time around when he edged out a win in Class A.

#Over the course of four days, Knowles earned back-to-back wins with the Running Tide on Thursday and Friday. However, on Saturday and Sunday, Rolle and the Silent Partner took charge to notch a victory in Class A.

#On the final day, Silent Partner led the entire way on the waters ahead of Running Tide and Ruff Justice. The former ended in second and Ruff Justice had some difficulties and dropped to third.

#“Everybody could see that it was a great competition. When you beat a guy like Stefan, who is pretty tough in racing, that is a great accomplishment for us. I just want to thank the Black Point boys for giving me a chance to really do what I wanted to do to that boat. We won yesterday [Saturday] and I told them that is only the start and we did it today. I feel proud,” he said.

#In Class C, Knowles repeated as champion with the Sassie Sue. Rolle sailed in second with the Bull Reg and third place went to Jeff Gale who skippered the It Aint Right boat. The double crowned champion collected three first place victories in Class C. However, Rolle had one strong message for Knowles.

#“We are gonna do the National Family Island Regatta in April and I expect the same thing to happen. The only difference is we are going to win the Class C,” the Exuma native said.

#In addition to Knowles’ Class C trophy, he skippered the New Susan Chase to yet another top finish in Class B.

#He only dropped one race in four days and on the final day ended in first. Jeff Gale and the Lonesome Dove trailed for second and Rolle placed third with Lady Sonia.

#Joss Knowles reeled off four consecutive wins to claim the top honours in Class E.

#Over the weekend, the Lady Kayla sailed to a first place finish ahead of Captain Peg and Papa on Friday. The following day Knowles led the way leaving One Bahamas and Mako to fend for second and third.

#On the final day, the Lady Kayla came out on top, Papa, skippered by Patrick Tomlinson, ended in second and Captain Peg settled for third.

‘Geno’ Nairn honoured at Big Red Madness

As of Monday, December 4, 2023


Honouree Eugene ‘Geno’ Nairn is flanked by head of athletic department Jason Edwards and vice principal Bemnedict Dorsett (right).


HONOUREE Eugene ‘Geno’ Nairn shares a moment with principal Marici Thompson.


#Senior Sports Reporter

#ALTHOUGH he walked off St Augustine’s College as a graduate in 1968, Eugene ‘Geno’ Nairn continued to come back, giving of his time, energy and resources to assist with the further development of the Big Red Machine athletic programme.

#On Saturday as SAC hosted is second Big Red Madness on its campus, the Big Red Machine Athletic Department honoured Nairn for his invaluable contribution.

#In receiving his accolades, Nairn said he was really “taken aback” because he didn’t envision it coming.

#“It all turned out well. The kids really had a good time with the competition. I was looking for more alumni to come out and support the event,” Nairn said.

#“I was looking for more graduates from the school.

#“Maybe next year, they can have some activities for the graduates to participate in. I think if they can offer them for the various classes, we can get more participation and attendance from the former students. But it all went very well and I’m really appreciative for the recognition they gave me.”

#Organiser Jason Edwards, the head of the Athletic Department at SAC, said it was an honour to recognise Nairn for his unwavering support over the years. He served as the Alumni president for about a decade, he has helped to raised funds for the construction of the softball field of dreams and he is serving as an assistant coach for the senior boys’ softball team.

#“We appreciate all of the support that he’s given in the trenches over the years and how he still continues to give back,” Edwards said. “It’s good to pause and recognise persons like Geno, who never stop giving back to the school.”

#Principal Marici Thompson commended the Athletic Department for the vision in putting on such a fun-filled activity for the school. “I would like to congratulate our athletic director coach Jason Edwards and his team on a job well done,” Thompson said. “Big Red Madness was a huge success again this year. It has grown and it will continue to be an annual one. It can only continue to grow to be bigger and better from here on.”

#At the same time, Thompson commended Nairn for the active role he continues to play in the development of the Big Red Machine’s athletic programme.

#“He has contributed so much to the college over the ways and he continues to serve the college in various capacities,” Thompson added. He was a member of the Board of Directors and one of the coaches of our senior boys’ softball team. He continues to give back anyway he can.”

#Thompson said in the future, they hope that they can continue to recognise those persons who have made significant contributions to the development of the Big Red Machine athletic prowess.

#Proceeds from Saturday’s event was earmarked for the further development of the weight room at SAC. Edwards revealed that they have been able to extend the room and they want to be able to purchase more equipment for the students to use their athletic development.

#After hosting the first event in 2019, the past two years were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But in its return this year, organisers staged competition in a home run derby, three-point shoot out, 4 x 4 mixed relay and the DJ sound clash.

#The major sponsor for the event was Oaktree Medical Center.

Tennis juniors shine in college showcase

BAHAMAS team members in Maples, Florida, where seven Bahamian junior tennis players participated in a college showcase last week.

BAHAMAS team members in Maples, Florida, where seven Bahamian junior tennis players participated in a college showcase last week.

As of Monday, December 4, 2023


#Senior Sports Reporter

#COACH Philip Major Jr said he was more than impressed with the performance level of the seven Bahamian junior tennis players who participated in the college showcase held last week in Maples, Florida.

#Twin brothers Sharano and Savanno Hanna earned full athletic scholarships to attend the United International College. They are members of the Flamingo Gardens Tennis Club, but travelled as members of the Island Tennis Bahamas.

#Island Tennis Bahamas, which is based at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, took seven members to the showcase. The others were Dentry Mortimer, Saphire Ferguson, Leila O’Brien, Khai Rees and Sierra Rodgers.

#“The trip went great. The kids did their thing. Everybody showed up and showed out,” said Major r, who travelled with coach Kevin ‘KJ’ Major Jr. “Some of them went undefeated during the whole showcase. All of them went there for a goal in mind and they all executed their goals, which was to get offers and meeting with the college scouts and coaches to discuss the possibilities or enrolling in school with the possibilities of doing it through athletic scholarships.”

#While the Hanna brothers, who are trained by Michael Butler, were successful in getting scholarships to UIC, based in Miami, Florida, Major Jr said the others got a lot of interest from various schools.

#O’Brien also received offers from UIC, Emerson College, Appalachian State University, West Virginia Wesleyan, Belhaven College, Piedmont University and LeTourneau University, while Mortimer, on the other hand, got offers from Warner University, Howard, DePaul, Chicago State, McPherson, Bethel, Boston College, Frostburg State, Prairie View and Xavier.

#All of the others received a number of offers from schools and will be engaging in some more formal discussions with the schools over the next few weeks with the view of making a final selection.

#This was Island Tennis Bahamas’ first venture into attending a showcase and because of the feedback that they received from the organisers and the coaches, Major said they will continue to attend more showcases in the future with the view of getting more exposure for the Bahamian tennis players.

#“We do intend to carry more Bahamians to this type of showcase that can benefit them for their future,” Major Jr said. “So it turned out to be a great trip overall and we’re pleased with what the players were able to accomplish.

#“It’s a big deal to go to a showcase like that and show out. Just to see the kids come out of their comfort zone and to communicate with the caches and scouts and demand what they want and what they want to study and holding that whole conversation was something great to see.”

#Major Jr thanked Audrey Oswell, president/managing director and the Atlantis resort team for their commitment to the growth and the development of the players at their facilities, as well as their parents who made the investment in the coaches to help facilitate the process for their children. A number of players from Island Tennis Bahamas are now in Florida where they are participating in the 17th Lil Mo Tennis Tournament in West Palm Beach, Florida.

#Major Jr wished all of them every success as they gain some international exposure playing against some top-notch players from around the world.

Catholic Primary Schools Basketball Championships all set for Tuesday

As of Monday, December 4, 2023

#THE 2023-24 Catholic Board of Education Primary Schools basketball championships will feature the Xavier’s Lower School Giants boys and girls versus the Sts Francis & Joseph School Shockers on Tuesday at the Loyola Hall.

#The Shockers remained undefeated and advanced to the finals after their boys closed out the St Thomas More Sparks 20-5.

#Meanwhile, the Shockers girls’ team dropped the Sparks 8-3 to book their spot in Tuesday’s championship game.

#For the Giants, they won against the St Cecilia’s Strikers 9-2 in the girls playoffs and 14-10 in the boys division.

#The Shockers’ boys team had a perfect season in the standings after they never lost a game.

#On Friday, Emery Sturrup led the way in scoring for the Shockers with 10 points in the playoff win.

#The primary school team got out to a 5-0 advantage to start the game which turned into an 8-0 lead and they never looked back.

#In the girls’ matchup, Grace Smith scored a team-high five points in the victory.

#Nkomo Ferguson, head coach of the Shockers, talked about how it felt to have two teams secure a spot in the respective championship games.

#“It feels great. The kids put in the work, tonight they looked pretty sloppy but they know how to recover from mistakes and our defence pulled through,” Ferguson said.

#Coach Ferguson did not mince words when it came to his expectations of the Shockers in the best-of-three championship round.

#“We are about to complete the sweep, that is my expectation,” he said.

#The Giants ousted the Strikers behind the efforts of Khaki Armbrister, who poured in 10 points in the win. The former maintained control of the game from the opening quarter and despite some last minute efforts by the Strikers, the game was never close.

#In the girls’ matchup, Lenise Leadon led the Giants with six in the game. Demarco Smith, head coach of the Giants, was pleased with the efforts of both teams.

#“I am happy for the kids, they put in the work and deserved to be here. They earned it so I am more than happy for them. We were able to come out here and show everybody the hard work we put in all season,” Smith said.

#The head coach is looking for the team to get the job done in the basketball championships.

#“My expectations is that we put our best foot forward and hopefully that is enough to win the championship. Our goal is always to win the chip,” he said.

#The Catholic Board of Education Primary Schools basketball championships game one takes place on Tuesday, December 5.

#Game two will be on Wednesday and game three will be played on Thursday if necessary at the Loyola Hall at 3:45pm.

Bahamas Youth Flag Football League champions crowned

As of Monday, December 4, 2023



#Tribune Sports Sweeting

#THE 2023 Bahamas Youth Flag Football League (BYFFL) season is now in the books after three champions were crowned over the weekend on the playing fields opposite the original Thomas A Robinson stadium.

#Team Dawkins reeled in a win in the 10-13 age group when they downed Team Kevin. Team Munroe collectively hoisted the championship trophies after defeating Team Allen in the 14-17 division.

#Additionally, Team Inne handled business against Team Dawkins in the featured game of the day in the 6-9 age group.

#Inne Marshall, head coach of Team Inne, was overjoyed to see the regular season success of the team translate to a championship victory. “We finished off the season in first place so I went into the championship game very optimistic about the win. I did not foresee a 35-13 victory. I thought it was going to be a lot tougher but we came out and pulled it out in the clutch. I am very proud of my kids. They did an excellent job this season,” Marshall said.

#Team Inne led their opponents 23-13 which blossomed into a 35-13 victory. Cha’Naldo King, who earned the league’s MVP honours in the 6-9 age group, was a dominant performer for Team Inne.

#In the game, he scored four touchdowns and evaded defenders at every opportunity he got to help his team coast to the championship win.

#Coach Marshall talked about the top performance turned in by King.

#“Cha’Naldo is very special. This is his second season working with me and he had an amazing season and has been partnered with an excellent quarterback in Shaquille Thurston who was actually a rookie. They make an amazing team,” she said.

#Next season the head coach is looking forward to being unstoppable once again but for now her sights are set on the USA Flag Youth Championships which most of her team members will play in.

#It was a low scoring affair in the Team Allen vs Munroe matchup with the latter finishing the game ahead by two points (8-6) in the 14-17 age division.

#Amari Hutchinson was named the league’s MVP in this respective division on Saturday.

#Reginald Cartwright, of Team Munroe, said the team’s perseverance helped them to emerge as BYFFL champions in the 14-17 category.

#“The win was mostly about perseverance. I think we had started the game off hot and made a few mistakes but we decided to pull together and we got it done.

#“It is an overwhelming feeling but it is all about the kids. It is good to see them take on the sport, enjoy it and actually learn and grow from year to year,” he said.

#In Saturday’s first game of the BYFFL championships, Team Dawkins handed a 23-14 loss to Team Kevin to earn the bragging rights.

#Wyatt Cartwright was awarded the MVP honours in the 10-13 age division.

#Ulan Dawkins, head coach of Team Dawkins, was grateful not only for the championship but to see the development of the youth in flag football.

#“If I talk about the game I would be doing the season injustice.

#“The season itself was definitely one of those seasons where I saw we had incremental growth and at the tail end we saw exponential growth.

#“It was a tight and emotional game. We played a great team but our team was able to rally, get through that emotional wall and get the win.

#“I am proud of them for that. It is a humbling experience but one of the biggest wins that we had was seeing the team develop chemistry throughout the season so the championship was just kind of the cherry on top of the development,” Dawkins said.

#With the 2023 BYFFL season now in the rearview, the focus will shift to the USA Flag Youth World Championships scheduled for December 29-30 in San Antonio, Texas.

Scheffler makes it look easy for 3-shot victory in Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods finishes 18th

Scottie Scheffler, of the United States, right, poses with the trophy next to Tiger Woods, of United States, after winning the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at the Albany Golf Club, in New Providence, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Scottie Scheffler, of the United States, right, poses with the trophy next to Tiger Woods, of United States, after winning the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at the Albany Golf Club, in New Providence, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

As of Monday, December 4, 2023

#NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Scottie Scheffler has made great gains in his putting. Add that to the rest of top-ranked game, and he made it look easy yesterday. He closed with a 4-under 68 for a three-shot victory in the Hero World Challenge.

#Scheffler, a runner-up in the Bahamas the last two years, played bogey-free at Albany and didn’t let anyone get closer than two shots on the back nine as he ended the year with his fifth victory worldwide.

#The Hero World Challenge is an unofficial event, though its 20-man field receives world ranking points and Scheffler only solidified his spot at No. 1.

#The week wasn’t a total loss for Tiger Woods, the tournament host playing for the first time since surgery to fuse his right ankle a few weeks after the Masters in April. Woods finished 72 holes for only the third time in the last two years. He has played six tournaments following the recovery from his February 2021 car crash in Los Angeles that badly injured his right leg. “Just like I said to you guys on Tuesday, I’m curious … what this is going to look like,” Woods said. “I haven’t done it in a while — I haven’t done it with my ankle the way it is now and I was excited each and every day to kind of get through it and kind of start piecing rounds together again. I haven’t done this in a long time so it was fun to feel that again.”

#Woods closed with a 72 and ended up 18th at even par. Scheffler finished at 20-under 268. Sepp Straka had three late birdies for a 64 to finish second. Justin Thomas had a 67 to finish alone in third. It was his third straight finish in the top 5 dating to September.

#Scheffler led the PGA Tour in just about every important statistical category — off the tee, shots to the green — until he got onto the putting surface. He sought help from highly regarded putting coach Phil Kenyon and is starting to see immediate results.

#“I played solid and kept my distance,” Scheffler said. “I was just trying to hit good shots and get as many looks as I could for birdies.”

#Scheffler had not played since the Ryder Cup — this was his first 72-hole tournament since the Tour Championship in late August. He said he was optimistic about the work he put in with Kenyon before the Ryder Cup. “It’s nice to see some fast results,” Scheffler said. “It’s paid off pretty good this week.”

#Scheffler didn’t make his first birdie until he chipped close on the par-5 sixth and then pitched up the slope on the drivable par-4 seventh to 2 feet.

#Straka, Thomas and Jordan Spieth at times were poised to make a run. Scheffler answered with birdies at the right time to hold them off. He missed a birdie putt on the 17th from just inside 3 feet. It was his only miss inside 5 feet all week.

#Rarely is this holiday event without some measure of drama, and such was the case on Sunday. Collin Morikawa was given a two-shot penalty before he teed off for using material in a greens-reading book on the fourth hole Saturday.

#Turns out his caddie had used a level on the practice green and put some notations in the book. According to new rules, such notes can only come from traditional methods, without outside devices. Morikawa was informed 15 minutes before his round, frustrated because he says he has been told by other officials and caddies that it was OK.

#“Apparently if they tell you something wrong one day in a different tournament (it) does not carry on, and I understand that. We made the mistake,” Morikawa said. “From our understanding, it was fine to use a level on the practice green and see how putts break and write that down. Obviously, it’s not.”

#Morikawa (68) finished seventh. Woods was never in the mix after each round, which was not the primary objective. He knew there would be rust, and he felt he knocked a little off each day. But not all of it. He had a pitch roll back toward his feet on the par-3 second hole for a double bogey, and he hit another poor chip that led to bogey on the par-5 11th.

#Woods remained optimistic he could play one tournament a month in 2024. “If you ask me right now, I’m a little bit sore,” he said. “Once a month seems reasonable. It gives me a couple of weeks to recover. Maybe I can get into a rhythm. That’s what the plan was going into next year. I don’t see why that would change.”

Champions crowned at ‘Best of the Best’

Silent Partner, New Susan Chase and Sassie Sue win in the three main classes

  • Simba French
  • 5 hrs ago
  •  0
Sports Lead Pic1 (4).jpeg

A busy day concluded a weekend of sailing at Montagu Bay yesterday as the ‘Best of the Best’ Regatta wrapped up with ‘Championship Sunday’, culminating the four-day event. Neighboring islands of Exuma and Long Island split the four classes in action with two wins each.

The ‘A’ Class was secured by Exuma’s Silent Partner which was captained by Leslie “Buzzy” Rolle. Long Island’s New Susan Chase and Sassie Sue won the ‘B’ and ‘C’ classes respectively. Both boats were captained by Stefan Knowles. The ‘E’ Class was won by Exuma’s Lady Kayla. That boat was captained by junior sailors Joss Knowles and Kianno Hutchinso

Rolle dethroned Knowles to take the ‘A’ Class this year. He never trailed in the final race yesterday. Rolle and his crew had a clear plan and stuck to it. They had some great tacks to fight off Knowles’ Running Tide which gained on them late in the race.

“It is teamwork,” Rolle said. “I told them on the start that we are going to get in front and try to increase the lead. That was the main thing. It was tough to beat Knowles with the Running Tide. I don’t sail in the ‘A’ Class but now and again I’ll sail one.”

He said he enjoyed the competition in the ‘A’ Class, especially against Knowles.

“It was great competition. When you beat a guy like Stefan (Knowles), who is very tough in racing, it is a great accomplishment. I thank the Black Point boys for giving me a chance to do what I wanted to do to the boat. After winning on Saturday, I told them that it was only the beginning and we did it again today (Sunday),” Rolle said.

Finishing third was Long Island’s Ruff Justice, captained by Joshua Knowles.

On Thursday, the Running Tide won the first race for the Governor General’s Cup. The Ed Sky out of Ragged Island that was captained by Lee Armbrister was second. Ruff Justice was third.

Stefan Knowles and his crew repeated their feat on Friday in the Aliv/Cable Bahamas Race. Ruff Justice placed second while Ragged Island’s New Courageous, captained by Stephano Kemp, was third. In the Fallen Sailor’s Race on Saturday that was named in honor of Lundy Robinson, the Silent Partner won. The New Courageous was second and Ruff Justice placed third.

The New Susan Chase won three races in the ‘B’ Class including the Fallen Sailor’s Race on Saturday. That one was named in honor of Eleazor “Barber J” Johnson. Abaco’s Lonesome Dove, captained by Jeff Gale, won the other race.

Stefano Kemp captained the Sassie Sue to victory in three of the four races in the ‘C’ Class. He and his crew won the Fallen Sailor’s Race that was named in Van Ferguson’s honor. The other race was won by Long Island’s Whitty K, captained by Chochise Burrows.

The Lady Kayla dominated the ‘E’ Class, not dropping a single race over the four days of competition.

The next big regatta on the calendar is the National Family Island Regatta, set for Elizabeth Harbour in George Town, Exuma, in April.

Champions crowned as BYFFL season ends

  • Simba French
  • 5 hrs ago
  •  0
Sports-Getting it Done.jpeg

A total of three champions were crowned in the Bahamas Youth Flag Football League (BYFFL) as it wrapped up its 2023 regular season outside the old Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium on Saturday.

In the featured game, Team Inne won the 6-9 age group championship game, taking down Team Dawkins. The 10-13 age group was locked up by Team Dawkins. In the 14-17 age group, Team Munroe won the championship trophy.

“We finished off the season in first place so I went into this championship game very optimistic about the win. I didn’t foresee a 35-13 victory as I thought it was going to be a lot tougher. We came out and pulled it out in the clutch and I’m very proud of my kids. They did an excellent job this season,” Marshall said.

Marshall said her plan was to pressure the opposing quarterback and limit his effectiveness. It worked for her and the team.

Team Dawkins got on the scoreboard early in the game, taking a 7-0 lead. Team Inne got on the scoreboard, going ahead 8-7. Team Inne got on the scoreboard again, taking a 15-7 lead. Team Dawkins made it a close game with a touchdown as Team Inne led just 15-13 at that point. That was the last point that Team Dawkins put on the scoreboard. Team Inne scored three more touchdowns and all three touchdowns came from King.

“Excellent quarterback Shaquille Thurston was actually a rookie. This is his first season with us and they make a an amazing team. Between them both, we were unstoppable this season,” Marshall said.

In the 10-13 age group, Team Dawkins pulled off a 23-14 win over Team Kevin. Team Dawkins scored three touchdowns in the impressive win. Their defense allowed just two touchdowns.

Head Coach for Team Dawkins, Ulan Dawkins, said he was impressed with his team’s performance throughout the season.

“The season itself was definitely one of those seasons where I saw we had exponential growth. When I say exponential it’s in terms of the teamwork and the chemistry. Today, we had a tight and emotional game so we knew that when we coaching them based on their passion, things get riled up. Nonetheless, we played a great game against Coach Kevin… they did a great job out there. Most importantly, our team was able to rally for the win,” Dawkins said.

The MVP for that division was Team Munroe’s Amari Hutcheson.

The 14-17 age group title was decided in a defensive game as both teams scored a combined 14 points. In the end, Team Munroe took care of Team Allen, 8-6, to carry that division’s title.

Assistant Coach for Team Munroe Reginald Cartwright said his team persevered in the championship game.

“I think we started the game off hot and we made a few mistakes, but we decided to pull together. It’s an overwhelming feeling but it’s all about the kids. It’s good to see them take on the sport and enjoy it, learn and grow from year to year,” Cartwright said.

Wyatt Cartwright won the MVP for that age category.

The 2023 USA Flag Youth World Championships will be held in San Antonio, Texas, from December 29-30. Three local teams are registered to participate.

Comets, SAC dominate BAISS Cross Country  

  • Simba French
  • 5 hrs ago
  •  0
Sports-Cross Country.tiff

In a battle between the Queen’s College Comets and the St. Augustine’s College (SAC) Big Red Machine, both teams won three divisions at the Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) Cross Country Championships at St. Andrew’s School on Friday.

The Comets won the under-13 girls, under-15 boys and under-20 girls divisions. SAC came away with the under-13 boys, under-17 girls and the under-20 boys divisions. Also winning a division title were the Temple Christian Suns and Windsor Preparatory School. The Sun captured the under-15 girls title and Windsor secured the under-17 boys division.

SAC’s Dylan Simon had a strong race in the under-20 boys division, clocking 10:59.09 to get the victory. The Comets’ Zion Miller interrupted a SAC gold, silver, and bronze performance as he placed second after crossing the finish line in 11:23.50. Simon’s teammate Edney Russell finished third in 11:32.44.

Jade Knowles of the Comets ran away with the under-15 girls title in a time of 7:26.29. Lyford Cay International School Dragons’ Issa Bournas had to settle for second after crossing the finish line in 7:26.44. Windsor’s Emma Johnston clocked a time of 7:36.69 for third.

The Comets’ Ayden Russell was all by himself in the under-13 boys division, stopping the clock at 6:59.52. He was the only one to finish the race in less than seven minutes. Finishing behind him in second was Windsor’s Thomas Fox who crossed the finish line in 7:09.79. St. Anne’s Christon Joseph placed third in 7:36.48.

Chayanne Hepburn crossed the finish line first for the Comets in the under-13 girls division. She posted a time of 8:02.24. Finishing behind her was Temple Christian’s Ariel Thompson who recorded a time of 8:07.09. Hepburn’s teammate Cierra Delancy won the bronze medal after crossing the finish line in a time of 8:11.52.

Tiger Woods putts into a bunker and loses ground, Spieth and Scheffler share lead in Hero World Challenge

Tiger Woods, centre, watches his shot from the 18th fairway during the second round of the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at the Albany Golf Club, in New Providence, Bahamas, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Tiger Woods, centre, watches his shot from the 18th fairway during the second round of the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at the Albany Golf Club, in New Providence, Bahamas, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

As of Friday, December 1, 2023

#NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Tiger Woods opened with four birdies in seven holes. The closing stretch was another struggle Friday in the Hero World Challenge, which included a putt that went off the green and into the bunker.

#It added to a 2-under 70 that left Woods 10 shots behind Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth, but still getting around just fine at Albany and slowly getting back into the groove.

#But the back nine isn’t helping. Woods shot 39 on the back in the opening round, and he shot 38 on Friday with a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th. For Woods, there wasn’t a great mystery why he wasn’t finishing better.

#“Maybe because I haven’t played in a while,” he said with a laugh.

#This is his first tournament since he withdrew before finishing his third round Sunday morning at the rain-delayed Masters, and he had ankle fusion surgery a few weeks later. In fact, Woods hasn’t finished 72 holes since the 2022 Masters.

#“I’m rusty,” he said. “This golf course will bring that out of you. You can run the tables here or go the other way. Unfortunately, I haven’t finished off my rounds the way I’d like to.”

#Scheffler had eight birdies on a day suited for good scoring. He lost the lead on his final hole when he went from the rough to a waste area behind the 18th hole, his ball in a slight depression. He did well to get it out to 15 feet but missed the par putt.

#“As long as you can keep it out of trouble, you’re going to play well,” Scheffler said.

#Spieth had eagle putts on four holes — two of them par 4s — didn’t miss a fairway and managed a relatively boring round, at least compared with Thursday when he made only five pars. This time he was bogey-free for a 67.

#Scheffler and Spieth were at 9-under 135, one shot ahead of British Open champion Brian Harman, who shot 31 on the back nine to salvage a 69.

#For Woods, the trouble again came on the par-5 15th hole, where he took double bogey in the first round after trying to chop it out of a bush in the sandy soil. This time, he piped his drive and had only a 9-iron to the green. But he pulled it into a bunker, leaving little green between him and the hole, and blasted it out to 35 feet.

#That wasn’t the problem. His putt was too firm, racing by the hole, off the green and back into the bunker. He had to make a 15-footer to escape with bogey.

#Woods once hit a putt off the 13th green into a tributary of Rae’s Creek at the Masters. But he couldn’t recall hitting a putt into the bunker.

#“That was not a good putt,” he said. “It was downwind and I hit it way too hard. It got going on the wind and got going on the grain and was gone. I was obviously ticked. At the end of the day, it was better than yesterday.”

#He also had a three-putt from inside 15 feet for bogey on the 13th, missed a short birdie chance on the reachable par-4 14th and dropped a shot on the 16th, the toughest at Albany.

#Woods was five shots better than his opening round, though still out of the mix for now in 15th place in the 20-man field.

#“I think it’s just trying to get my feels back and the mindset over a shot and how many things run through my mind of hitting the shot the right trajectory, the right window, the right shape, the right distance,” he said. “I did a better job on that today and I’m sure I’ll do a better job of that tomorrow.

#“The more rounds and more reps I can get under my belt competitively, I think those things will start coming back.”