Justin Burrowes and William Knibbs will represent Jamaica at the seventh Latin America Amateur Golf Championship (LAAC) between January 20 to 23, in Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic at the Teeth of the Dog Golf Course.
They were invited by the LAAC executive committee on behalf of the Masters Tournament, The R&A, and the United States Golf Association (USGA), based on their position in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Burrowes is ranked at 825, while Knibbs is ranked at 3,205.
Burrowes will be competing in the championship for the third time while Kinbbs will be making his second trip to the event. There was no championship in 2021 due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
Burrowes' best performance to date was a 2019 round of four under par 68 on day-three where he tied for 23rd (217) but had a bad final round and ended the four days in the 41st position on 295 or 11 over par.
His last outing in 2020 saw him making the cut. His best round of two over par 73 came on the final day. He tied for 42nd that year (309, + 25) but looks forward to a good performance this time around.
“I expect to do my best and go through all my pre-shot routines or whatever rituals I have in place. I know that I have prepared well enough. I know that I have the physical and mental aspects of somebody who can win it. Everybody starts at the same and it's just who can hit the hole the least times. As it stands right now and as it will stand early Thursday morning, as everybody tees off we will all be at the same, we will all be at even par and everybody has an opportunity from there.”
According to Knibbs, “I am looking forward to the event. It's such a well put together event, well run. The golf courses are always in tremendous condition. In terms of my preparation, that's been going really well. I am swinging the golf club better than I have in a little while, so I am really looking forward to seeing what I have been seeing in practice coming to fruition on the golf course.”
Knibbs had a rough time in his first outing in 2020 as he did not make the cut. The event leaderboard shows him tied at 58.
The two left island on Monday with the full support of the Jamaica Golf Association. President Jodi Munn-Barrow said: “I am very proud that both Justin Burrowes and William Knibbs have been invited to participate in the Latin America Amateur Championship. This is one of the most prestigious championships within the Caribbean and Latin American region and the winner gets an invite to the amateur championship at the Masters. Both William and Justin have been playing well as evidenced by their performances in the recently held Jamaica Open and I am sure that they will go abroad and make Jamaica proud.”
The championships will feature 108 golfers from the Latin American and the Caribbean. Host country Dominican Republic will have 10 golfers on the course, as per the tournament rules. There is a cut line of the top 50 golfers at the end of the second day.
Some of the competing countries are Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Argentina, Haiti, Chile, Costa Rica, The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.