JAMAICAN golfers Justin Burrowes and William Knibbs flew out of Norman Manley International Airport on Monday for the Dominican Republic to compete in the 7th Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC).
The tournament is scheduled for January 20 to 23 in Casa de Campo at the Teeth of the Dog Golf Course.
Two practice rounds are included in the itinerary for Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the start of competition on Thursday. They will face stiff competition and will have to get past the cutline after the first two days.
Burrowes knows what it feel like to make the cut, having done so on his two previous outings in 2019 and 2020.
“I can't really tell you how I am gonna finish but I am definitely gonna give it my best shot. I feel prepared mentally and physically — it's just to go out there and execute. I am gonna play as hard as I can and try and enjoy it as much as possible. I think that will give me the best result so I am gonna commit to that,” he said.
“The first time I played this event  it was at the same course, so I have played it before. I have been to the resort twice before so I am kinda familiar with the area so I kinda have an idea of what to do,” Burrowes added.
In terms of his preparation, he said: “I played two tournaments over the Christmas. Did okay but lots of stuff to build on from those two tournaments. I came back from a tournament two weeks ago so I am pretty fresh off a tournament, so I feel like I am pretty prepared for this one.”
Knibbs, on the other hand, did not make the cut on the first trip in 2020 and ended in 58th position, although the cutline was 50. When asked about his chances this time around, he said: “I am a much better player than I was two years ago. Two years ago I barely missed out on the cut. I am expecting to make the cut and [to] be in and around contention should I execute correctly.”
According to Knibbs, “preparations have been going pretty well”.
“I had a personal best at my home course on Saturday so that could not have come at a better time,” he shared. Knibbs shot nine under par 63 at Caymans Golf Club.
Jamaica has been participating in the championships since it started in 2015. The island's best-placed golfer in the tournament to date is Ian Facey, who tied for 24th in 2015 with a best round of 68 on the first day and a four-day total of 292 or 4 over par.
The best 108 golfers from the Latin America and the Caribbean will compete in this year's championship, with host country Dominican Republic having 10 golfers on the course, as per the tournament rules.