Justin Hastings finished fifth overall while Aaron Jarvis finished tied for 25th as the Cayman Islands golfers for the first time representated their home at The Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship, in Coral Gables, Florida.
They joined 55 other players in a four-day battle for the boys’ championship at the Biltmore Golf Course. This year’s field brought together entrants not only from the US and Cayman but also comprised a diverse international field representing Iceland, Barbados, Russia, Croatia, Hong Kong, Ecuador, Finland and Northern Ireland.
Hastings was joint leader over the first two days of the tournament, shooting a 1-under-par 70 in each of the first two rounds. He finished even-par 70 on day three to stay in contention. In the fourth round, he finished even-par 35 over the first nine but bogeyed three of his final nine holes to finish the round with a 3-over-par 74, dropping him to fifth place overall. His performance earned him an invitation to next year’s Orange Bowl.
Jarvis’ best performance came in the second round, where he shot a 1-over-par 72. A difficult third day – 8-over-par 79 – set him back but he responded with a 3-over 74 in the closing round to finished tied with three others for 25th.
“We are incredibly proud of both Justin and Aaron. This is one the toughest events on the international junior circuit and one of the first individual 72 hole competitions they have played,” said Cayman Islands Golf Association president Paul Woodhouse in a press release. “For the Cayman Islands to have two such talented golfers making their way on the international junior scene is a fabulous achievement and shows the value of the investment of time, energy and resources into junior golf development which has been and continues to be a priority for our golf association.”
In an email to the Cayman Compass, Jarvis said of his play at the tournatment: “The field and course were very challenging. I played very well in the first two rounds. However, in Round 3, with high winds and difficult pin locations, it was very challenging. “In Round 4, I just tried to stay focussed on my game and not think about anyone else’s score. This helped me to have a better score. I’m happy with how I played over four rounds of golf and meeting coaches from top universities.”
The Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship has catapulted previous winners into stardom, including Tiger Woods. As for Hastings and Jarvis, both players acquitted themselves well despite the windy conditions. Later this month, Hastings, along with Jarvis’s older brother, Andrew, will be teeing it up at the Latin American Amateur Championships at Mayakoba’s El Camaleón Golf Club in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
JOBI Golf Championship leaderboard
1 Andrey Borges
2 Jose Luis Ballester
3 Juan Vesga Solano
Total score: 283
4 Yuki Moriyama
Total score: 284
5 Justin Hastings
Total score: 285
T25 Aaron Jarvis
Total score: 299