Just over two months after claiming the 2022 Latin America Amateur Championship at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, Aaron Jarvis took full advantage of his first opportunity to play in the Masters Tournament. Making history as the first player from the Cayman Islands to compete at Augusta National Golf Club, the UNLV freshman enjoyed the full amateur experience at the Masters with as many highlights off the course as on it.
Jarvis struggled through an opening round on Thursday delayed by weather, but managed to birdie the famous par-3 12th in each of the first two rounds. On Friday, he stuffed his tee shot inside two feet in front of thousands of onlookers at Amen Corner, encouraging the crowd on his way to a birdie 2. Four holes later, Jarvis one-upped his shot on No. 12 with another birdie on No. 16, this time nearly a holing his tee shot for an ace as the ball trickled down the slope to within inches of the cup.
“I thought it was [going in] when it hit, it landed, and then the crowd was kind of amping me up,” said Jarvis, whose second-round 74 tied for the low round among amateurs in the field. “If it went in, it would have been -- I don't even know what would have happened.”
His two-round total wasn’t enough to make the cut, but Jarvis still got to enjoy the full amateur experience in his debut at Augusta National. In addition to staying in the Crow’s Nest above the clubhouse and enjoying the Monday night Amateur Dinner with Augusta National Golf Club and Masters Tournament Chairman Fred Ridley, Jarvis had a memorable run-in with a certain five-time Masters champion during a practice round.
“Yeah, I was turning 9 and I saw Tiger Woods hop out in front of me, and it was me and the U.S. Am champion,” Jarvis said. “You know, there's no better "No" from -- or better rejection (than) from Tiger Woods, right? So, I thought I would I give it a shot. I ran up to him and ran through the woods and asked, ‘Mr. Woods, are you playing by yourself, or can we join?’”
Woods politely declined, but Jarvis got the chance to catch up with the 15-time major champion after the round.
“It was pretty cool seeing him playing in front of me,” Jarvis said. “And after the round I got to talk to him and Joe (LaCava) for 10 minutes or so, and it was just incredible.”