Two Cayman Islands golfers are in line to receive scholarships to play men’s golf at the NCAA Division I level.
Aaron Jarvis has verbally committed to play golf at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, while Justin Hastings has done the same at San Diego State University.
Both of these universities are part of the Mountain West Conference, which means the pair will be scheduled to compete against each other several times throughout the season. They both anticipate arriving on campus for the 2021/2022 school year.
“I think it’s awesome. It’s gonna be pretty cool,” said Jarvis on the prospect of facing Hastings at the college level. “Hopefully UNLV comes out on top but it’s gonna be fun. I can’t wait.”
Jarvis, 17, lives in Orlando, Florida, and is about to enter his senior year at Windermere High School. He trains at the nearby David Leadbetter Golf Academy.
“UNLV really trusted what I had going on here at the academy and my coaches (in Florida) have a lot of good connections with the people at UNLV,” Jarvis said.
“They have good facilities, good coaches, Vegas is a pretty cool spot so I think this is the right choice.”
Jarvis, who tied for 25th earlier this year at The Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship, in Coral Gables, Florida, expects to sign his National Letter of Intent this fall. An NLI indicates a student-athlete’s commitment to participating in college sports.
“It means a lot,” Jarvis said. “Just another step in the journey. It’s gonna be a fun one.”
UNLV had won four out of the last five Mountain West Conference men’s golf team championships prior to the 2020 season that was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Runnin’ Rebels have produced several professional players, including world No. 8 Adam Scott, Ryan Moore and Charley Hoffman.
Hastings, meanwhile, is in his senior year at Cayman International School. The 16-year-old says he’s been receiving college recruiting interest for about two years before giving his verbal commitment to San Diego State.
“I just felt like it was the best fit for me, not only golf-wise but academically as well,” Hastings said of the Aztecs’ programme.
Hastings earlier this year tied for 28th at the Latin America Amateur Championships, which is a qualifying tournament for prestigious competitions like The Masters and US Open. His finish was the third-best among Caribbean competitors. He first took part in the Latin America championships in 2018 when he was 14 years old, making him the youngest competitor to ever play in that tournament.
It was then that college recruiting interest began to grow.
Hastings visited SDSU in October 2019 and give his verbal commitment earlier this year. He was unable to meet his teammates during his campus visit but says he’s been in touch with them through social media. He hopes to sign his NLI next month.
“It’s just cool to be able to do what I’ve always wanted to do,” Hastings said.
School: San Diego State University
Location: San Diego, California
Head Coach: Ryan Donovan
Did you know?: The Aztecs led the conference in average team score in the shortened 2020 season.
The Aztecs had led the Mountain West Conference in total average score through seven events in 2020 before the season was called. The Aztecs have won three conference championships, the last one coming in 2015.
Former Aztecs Xander Schauffele, Scott Piercy and J.J. Spaun all play on the Professional Golf Association tour. Schauffele is the 11th-ranked player in the world.