From left, Rich Hastings, Justin Hastings, Andrew Jarvis and Robin Jarvis at the 2020 Latin America Amateur Championship in Mexico.

Cayman golfer Justin Hastings finished tied for 28th – third best among Caribbean competitors – at the recent 2020 Latin America Amateur Championship, with compatriot Andrew Jarvis missing the cut after the first two days.Jarvis and Hastings joined more than 100 of the leading amateur golfers from South and Central America and the Caribbean at the annual championship.

The winner of this event gains direct entry into both The Masters and The US Open tournaments and a chance to qualify for the US Amateur Championship. This was the second time both golfers competed at the event. Jarvis played in the 2016 tournament in the Dominican Republic, and Hastings took part in the 2018 tournament in Chile. At the time, Hastings was 14 years old, the event’s youngest-ever competitor.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for our young players to test themselves against the very best in this type of tournament.” Paul Woodhouse

Hastings said in an email to the Cayman Compass that he was grateful for the opportunity to represent Cayman on a grand stage.

“It’s something you can’t get anywhere else,” he said. “The fact that I can go to an event as a 16-year-old, wear the Cayman flag proudly, and play for what every golfer dreams of achieving in their careers, is unbelievable. I am extremely grateful for the chance that the R&A (Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland), USGA (United States Golf Association) and Masters gives us.”

Jarvis added in an email, “I can’t be more grateful to go to this event. I’ve represented my country at many levels and to do it again at the LAAC I’m grateful for the opportunity. The Masters, R&A and USGA put on a very good tournament. The week was not my greatest, but just to be at an event like this is something special.”

Cayman Islands Golf Association president Paul Woodhouse, who is also vice president of the Caribbean Golf Association, attended the LAAC and in an email to the Compass, said he believes the sky is the limit for Cayman’s young golfers.

“This is an incredible event,” said Woodhouse. “It is a fantastic opportunity for our young players to test themselves against the very best in this type of tournament. It is invaluable experience for them. Future invitations to these events will be predominately based on World Amateur rankings. As part of its tournament programme, the Association will be staging more World Amateur Golf Ranking accredited events to help our golfers gain entry in the future.”

Cayman’s top amateur golfers will be in action again on 1 and 2 Feb. at the 28th Cayman Islands Amateur Championship, where Jarvis will be defending the title he won last year.