Freshman Aaron Jarvis from UNLV won the Latin America Amateur Championship by a stroke over a host of others on Sunday at Casa de Campo. And, now, the 1,669th-ranked golfer in the world will play in the Masters this April.
That's the 1,669th-ranked golfer in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Jarvis, a 19-year-old from the Cayman Islands, shot 69 in the finale on Sunday. After seven total rounds of college golf (and no scores better than 72 in the process), he'll tee it up in the same event as Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau three months from now. He'll do it again in the 2022 Open Championship at the Old Course in July.
Jarvis' final round at the LAAC was a roller coaster. He started the round three back of the lead, and after three birdies in his first five holes, went bogey-double bogey to close out an even-par first nine. Then he added three more birdies in his first six holes on the back before what seemed to be a costly water ball on the par-3 16th. But he bombed in a bogey putt (with a PGA Tour-like walk) after it and birdied the last hole to finish off a 7-under 281 for the week just ahead of the leaders.
Después de irse al agua en el primer tiro, Aaron Jarvis se mantiene en la pelea con este increíble putt ⛳️— Latin America Amateur Championship (@LAAC_Golf) January 23, 2022
After hitting the water, Aaron Jarvis keeps himself in contention for the #LAAC2022 title with this huge putt ⛳️ pic.twitter.com/WNHOIpZ2j8
He had to sweat out a handful of players coming home behind him, all of whom came up at least one shy of his 281 total. The reaction to this reality – and everything it meant for his future in the amateur game – was unadulterated joy.
"Honestly, I can't even get the words out," said Jarvis after his win. "I just tried to get myself to have some good birdie looks and they went in. I was in a comfortable position because there wasn't much pressure. I knew all the cameras were going to be with the other groups."
Those other groups certainly included far more accomplished and higher-ranked players. Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira of Argentina, one of four golfer who finished one back of Jarvis, is currently the No. 38 player in the amateur game and the highest-ranked player in the field. The average ranking of the four players just behind Jarvis was about a quarter of his 1,669 spot.
This is a shocking result. Jarvis' last amateur victory came at the end of 2020 at the CIGA Christmas Match Play Invitational in the Cayman Islands. Before that he won the South Florida Junior Open and the 54-Hole Junior Open at Celebration, which featured co-winners. He grew up in a country with 27 holes. Total holes. In the entire country. Now he's 75 days from playing practice rounds with Phil Mickelson at Augusta National.
Jarvis follows Matias Dominguez, Paul Chaplet, Toto Gana, Joaquin Niemann, Alvaro Ortiz and Abel Gallegos as previous winners of this seven-year-old event -- the tournament was canceled in 2021 -- and he's the first player from the Caribbean to take first prize. The Cayman Islands has a population of just over 71,000, or about a third of the size of Augusta, Georgia.
Jarvis also gets into the 2022 U.S. Amateur at Ridgewood Country Club and the 2022 Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.