Justin Burrowes and William Knibbs are set to leave the island today (January 17) to represent Jamaica at the seventh Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) from January 20-23 at the Teeth of the Dog Golf Course at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.
The Jamaican pair were invited by the LAAC executive committee based on their World Amateur Golf Rankings. Burrowes is ranked at 825 while Knibbs is ranked at 3205.
Burrowes will be competing at the championship for the third time while Knibbs will be making his second appearance. There was no championship in 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“I expect to go out there and give it my best shot. I expect to do my best and go through all my pre-shot routines or whatever rituals I have in place. I know that I have prepared well enough. I know that I have the physical and mental aspects of somebody who can win it. Everybody starts at the same and it’s just who can hit the hole the least times,” said Burrowes.
“As it stands right now and as it will stand early Thursday morning, as everybody tee off we will all be at the same, we will all be at even par and everybody has an opportunity from there. I feel prepared mentally and physically and I am just going go out there and do my best to execute,” he added.
Meanwhile, Knibbs is eager to get tee off.
“I am looking forward to the event. It’s such a well put together event, well put on, well run. The golf courses are always in tremendous condition. In terms of my preparation, that’s been going really well,” he said.
“I am swinging the golf club better than I have in a little while, so I am really looking forward to seeing what I have been seeing in practice coming to fruition on the golf course.”
Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) president Jodi Munn-Barrow expressed confidence that both players will do well in the Dominican Republic.
“I am very proud. This is one of the most prestigious championships within the Caribbean and Latin American region and the winner gets an invite to the amateur championship at the Masters. Both William and Justin have been playing well as evidenced by their performances in the recently held Jamaica Open and I am sure that they will go abroad and make Jamaica proud,” she said.
Jamaica has been participating in the championships since it started in 2015 and has sent two representatives. These include Ian Facey, who is now a professional golfer, Sean Morris and Jonathan Newnhan.
Facey produced Jamaica’s best placing at the tournament when he tied for 24th in 2015.
The championships will feature 108 golfers from Latin America and the Caribbean. The hosts will have 10 golfers on the course, as per the tournament rules.
The top 50 at the end of the second day will make the cut.
Seventeen-year-old Abel Gallegos of Argentina won the tournament in 2020.