Jarryd Dillas makes solid start at Latin America Amateur Championship
Jarryd Dillas is firmly on course to make the cut at the Latin America Amateur Championship in the Dominican Republic.
The reigning Johnnie Walker Classic champion put himself in a strong position to advance to the business end of the 72-hole stroke-play event after carding an even par-72 during the opening round at Casa de Campo yesterday.
Dillas’s impressive round included an eagle, birdie, double bogey and bogey.
He was one under heading to fourteen but dropped a shot to move to even par, where he remained the rest of the way to enter the clubhouse tied for 19th among the field of 102 players.
The top 50 players and ties after 36 holes will make the cut.
Dillas is making his seventh appearance at the event and is feeling good about his game.
“My game is in good shape at the moment,” he said. “I finished 28th in 2020, so I would love to give myself an opportunity to improve on that this week.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to represent Bermuda at every LAAC since the event’s inception back in 2015.
“The tournament was cancelled last year due to Covid, so I know everyone is happy to be back and looking forward to an exciting week ahead.”
There is plenty at stake for the field competing in one of the most prestigious amateur events in the world as the winner receives an invitation to the PGA Tour Masters and Open Championship, as well as the British and US Amateur Championships and any other United States Golf Association event for which they are otherwise qualified apart from the US Open. The winner and runner-up gain entry to final qualifying stage for the US Open.
Also representing Bermuda in the Dominican Republic is Kenny Leseur Jr who found the going tough during yesterday’s opening round.
The high school senior carded a 17-over 89 which included three double bogeys, a quintuple bogey, eight bogeys and two birdies either side of the turn to come in tied for 98th.
It was a baptism of fire for Leseur who is making his debut at the event and like compatriot Dillas felt good about his game going in.
“I’ve been working hard in the lead up to this event and I am happy with my game going into the tournament,” he said. “It is my first time at this venue and I noticed a few holes are similar to home, so placement off the tee will be critical to scoring well this week.
“This event is my first time representing Bermuda internationally at the senior level, after representing Bermuda at junior events I’m excited to be making the next step.”
Dillas and Leseur were both invited to compete in the event.
“The LAAC is part of our strategic development plan, and in the case of Kenny, a former Male Junior Athlete of the year, to represent Bermuda at the senior level whilst still in high school is truly exciting,“ Craig Brown, the Bermuda Golf Association president, commented.
“At the other end of the spectrum, the 2022 event will be Jarryd’s seventh LAAC. It is a testament to his commitment to the amateur game and playing prowess that he continues to be one of the leading amateurs in Bermuda golf.
“I wish to extend congratulations to Jarryd and Kenny on being invited to participate in the 2022 Latin America Amateur Championship. It is truly a great week for the Bermuda Golf Association.
“We look forward to watching them both perform over the course of the week as they compete against the best amateurs in the region.”