Caribbean's Aaron Jarvis wins Latin America Amateur Golf Champs
Aaron Jarvis

The seventh Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) at the Teeth of the Dog Golf Course in the Dominican Republic went to Aaron Jarvis of the Cayman Islands with a tournament score of seven under par 281.

His win makes it the first time that a Caribbean island is winning the championship.

Jamaica's representative Justin Burrowes battled his way during Sunday's final round to 34th place along with four other players from Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, Mexico and host country the Dominican Republic.

The 19-year-old champion Jarvis posted very good scores for the four days of two under par 70 on day one; three under pay 69 on day two; one over par 73 on the day three and another three under par 69 on the final day. His final day scorecard showed three birdies, one bogey and a double bogey on the front nine, and four birdies and a bogey on the back nine.

His final birdie shot on hole number 18 made the difference as he was being challenged by four other golfers who were just one stroke back and all tied for second place.

He was ecstatic with his win and said that it was every young golfer's dream to go to the Masters and he was happy to achieve that dream. The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship gets an automatic spot in the Masters which will be played later this year.

The four golfers to share second place are Santiago de la Fuente of Mexico, Fred Biondi of Brazil, Vincente Marjilio and Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira of Argentina. They all shot six under par 282.

Burrowes entered the final day tied in 23rd position with three other golfers but had his roughest day of the championship to post six over par 78 for a combined score of 10 over par 298. His previous day's scores were two over par 74 (day 1); par 72 (day 2) and 74 on day three.

His final front nine was a respectable one over par 37 which included one bogey, a double bogey and two birdies. At the point he was still in the 20s but a five over par 41 back nine did not help his cause after posting a bogey and two double bogeys.

According to Burrowes it was “not the day that I was kind of hoping for but again, another huge learning experience”. He quickly congratulated the winner. “I am super proud of my very good friend Aaron Jarvis and the win. Kind of open the door for us Caribbean guys. I grew up playing golf with him. I have beaten him; he has beaten me. It kind of just shows that we in the Caribbean have the talent to do it and to have the guy open the door for us is huge.”

Burrowes added: “I am just looking to the next LAAC and just gonna go with what I learned from this week and apply to the tournament.”

One of his objectives was to place better than he did in 2020 — the last time the championship was played. At the time he ended in 42nd place.

Jamaica's other representative at the championship, William Knibbs, did not make the cut on the back of scores of 12 over par 84 on day one and three over par 75 on day two. While not happy with missing the cut, he was satisfied with his second-day performance and looks forward to another opportunity to play in the championship.

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