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Jarvis was inspired by Masters

Front Pages 10 Apr, 2022 Follow News

Jarvis was inspired by Masters

 

Aaron Jarvis made his historic appearance as the first Caribbean to play in the Masters with an impressive debut at golf’s top table.

The Cayman Islands teenage closed his participation in the first Major of the year on Friday. Jarvis, 19, scored a 74 (2 over par) and completed the two rounds with 155 strokes (11 over par) at Augusta National Golf. Although not good enough to make the cut (eliminated after two rounds of the four), his second round score was better than the likes of Jordan Spieth, the former world no.1. Jarvis also scored better than Bryson DeChambeau (12 over par). Other world class pros who didn’t make the cut included Spieth, Justin Rose and Brooks Koepka, so he was in good company.

Tiger Woods squeezed through but after sensationally coming back 14 months since a serious car crash and after two year’s absence from competitive golf meant he was never a contender.

It was an unforgettable experience, he said of his second round: "I actually almost made a hole-in-one on the 16th which would have been amazing. I tried to be more patient and have more confidence to make a good score and I did. I just enjoyed being able to play on this golf course."

The University of Nevada Las Vegas freshman added: "These two days have been incredible for me. I was surprised by all of this place, the atmosphere, the people, everything seemed incredible to me. Even more knowing what it means for its history, and having had the opportunity to play here seems incredible to me,"

On the back of winning the Latin America Amateur Championship in January, Jarvis, will also play The Open from July 14-17 at St Andrews, Scotland. Not many teenagers can boast the privilege of playing in two of the most iconic golf courses on the planet.

"Having won the LAAC was a dream come true because I worked so hard for that tournament," he said. “It’s just a special tournament. It means a lot to me and to everyone in that region, obviously. I knew I could win it, I just had to be patient and I managed to come out on top.”

The LAAC has in just seven years energised the competitive golfing populations of big regional countries like Argentina and Mexico, as well as smaller and lesser-known nations like the Cayman Islands. For competitive golfers from this region, the LAAC’s importance is difficult to overstate. Its initial alumni have shown tremendous promise. For instance, Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, who won the 2018 LAAC and now has two PGA Tour wins to his credit, including the 2022 Genesis Invitational.

In addition to his two major championship starts, Jarvis will be exempt into Final Qualifying for the 2022 US Open. His game will grow exponentially from this top level exposure. Already capable of hitting a tee shot 320 yards despite his youth, his potential is huge and if he goes pro, endorsements mean he could be a rich man even before he hits a ball.

Like many kids, he got the golf bug from an older sibling, Andrew, 23. Unlike most of last week’s Masters field, he didn’t take up the game until almost a teenager, introduced into the sport by dad Robin, a Brit who is a mad West Ham United supporter.

But Aaron’s more than made up for the lost time. He grew up just 15 minutes from one of the Cayman Islands’ two golf courses and would go there every day after school for hours. There’s not a big junior golf scene there, but he’s hoping that will change. With his success so far it will undoubtedly inspire many others.

Overall, Jarvis had some priceless experiences Augusta National. He played a practice round with Koepka on Monday and Jon Rahm on Tuesday. Jarvis even had a run-in with Tiger Woods during his Sunday practice round. Jarvis was practicing with the US amateur champ and they saw at the hole ahead Woods.

“I ran up to him and ran through the woods and asked, ‘Mr. Woods, are you playing by yourself, or can we join?’ He answered: ‘I’m just going to play by myself today.’ It was pretty cool seeing him playing in front of me. And after the round I got to talk to him for 10 minutes or so, and it was just incredible.”

Jarvis collected advice tips from every pro he met. He summarises their input succinctly: “Go out with confidence, be yourself and have fun with it.”


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