Aaron Jarvis’ victory means he will become the first player from the Cayman Islands to compete in the Masters and Open Championship; “I can’t even express it in words. What a day,” the 19-year-old said on Sunday.
By Associated Press
Last update: 01/23/22 21:48
The Cayman Islands flag will fly at Augusta National in April after Aaron Jarvis birdied the final hole on Sunday for a three-under 69 and a one-shot victory in a tense end to the Latin American Amateur Championship.
The win means 19-year-old Jarvis earns a place in the Masters and Open Championship at St Andrews. He is also exempt from the final round of US Open qualifying.
“I can’t even put this into words. What a day,” Jarvis said. “It means the world to me. The opportunity to go to the Masters, the British Open – there’s not a young golfer who dreams of anything other than going to these tournaments.”
He will be the first player from the Cayman Islands to compete in the Masters and Open Championship.
Jarvis was one shot down when his second shot in the par five 18th on the Teeth of the Dog course at Casa de Campo was just short and swung wide onto the green. He putt two for a birdie and posted a seven-under 281. Then he had to wait.
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Fred Biondi, a Florida freshman from Brazil, had a one shot lead until he hit a bad chip off the 17th and bogeyed. His second shot in the 18th drifted to the right, and he threw about 30 feet long and made par for a 72.
It was equally painful for Santiago De La Fuente from Mexico and Vicente Marzilio from Argentina.
De La Fuente (71) landed a 35ft eagle attempt on the 18th, over the ridge with a sweeping break. He went about three feet beyond the hole, and he missed the birdie putt that would have tied Jarvis.
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Marzilio was two behind when he got a big break, a second shot that hit a sprinkler head before the 18th green, bounced high in the air and settled about seven feet away for an eagle that would have forced a playoff. He grabbed the left lip and spun. He shot 71.
Marzilio was in tears during a brief interview after his tour.
“I’m so happy that I gave myself a chance on the 18th,” he said. “I tried to hit the best putt I could. It wasn’t easy. It’s really tough because the competition is really tough. It comes down to one shot. I’m sure I’ll get another chance at the future .”
Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira of Argentina had a bogey-free 68. He missed an 18-foot birdie attempt on the last hole and joined the group that finished one shot behind.
Jarvis had seven birdies in his round, although he was slowed by a bogey on the eighth and a double bogey on the ninth hole.
But he struggled for the last hour. Even a tee shot that hit the water on the par-three 16 didn’t stop him. He made a 20-foot putt to save a bogey and stay in the mix, then birdied the 18 which turned out to be the winner.
“I just stayed patient,” Jarvis said. “I knew anything could happen there, especially with the holes coming in.”