(CMR) Caymanian Aaron Jarvis (19) won the Latin America Amateur Golf Championship on Sunday, earning him a spot in the Masters and the British Open. He will be the first player from the Cayman Islands to compete at the Masters and British Open.
Jarvis made birdie on the final hole Sunday for a 3-under 69 and a one-shot victory in a tense ending to the Latin America Amateur Championship, the Associated Press reported.
Jarvis will participate at Augusta National in April. The victory also means Jarvis is exempt into the final stage of U.S. Open qualifying.
“I can’t even put this into words. What a day. It means the world to me—the opportunity to go to the Masters, the British Open. There’s no young golfer who doesn’t dream of anything but going to those tournaments,” Jarvis said.
According to AP, Jarvis was one shot behind when his second shot into the par-5 18th on the Teeth of the Dog course at Casa de Campo came up just short and took a big hop onto the green. He two-putted for birdie and posted at 7-under 281. And then he had to wait.
Fred Biondi, a Florida freshman from Brazil, had a one-shot lead until he hit a poor chip from sticky rough off the 17th and made bogey. His second shot into the 18th drifted to the right, and he pitched about 30 feet long and made par for a 72.
Jarvis had seven birdies in his round, though a bogey slowed him on No. 8 and a double bogey on the ninth hole. But he battled back over the final hour. Even a tee shot that found the water on the par-3 16th didn't stop him. He holed a 20-foot putt to salvage a bogey and stay in the mix and then made birdie on the 18th, which proved to be the winner.
“I just stayed patient,” Jarvis said. “I knew out there anything could happen, especially with the holes coming in.”
Jarvis grew up in George Town and polished his game at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Orlando, Florida.
“I hope to get more kids involved and represent the country well,” he said.