Young Hastings in Top 50 at LATAM Championship

Justin Hastings swings away at the Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago, Chile. (Photo courtesy Latin America Amateur Championship)

Cayman Islands teenage golfer Justin Hastings turned heads as he made his debut at the 2018 Latin American Amateur Championship in Chile from 20-23 January. At 14-years-old, he’s the youngest golfer to compete in the history of the tournament and comes home with a Top-50 finish.

Hastings finished with a four-round total of 302 (+18) after rounds of 73, 75, 79 and 75. Throughout the weekend, he hit seven birdies with three of them coming in his opening round. He shot par or better on 49 of the 72 holes he played in the four rounds at Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago.

World #1 amateur, Joaquin Niemann of Chile won the tournament and an invitation to the Masters at Augusta, Georgia in April.

“It’s really cool to play in a tournament with such big stakes,” Hastings, the 2017 Cayman Islands Amateur Champion said, adding that his goal was not to win but to make the cut, which he did.

However, he said he hopes to get a chance to play for the coveted Green Jacket at some point, describing it as a dream for most people who pick up a club and take to the course.

The 14-year-old has his eyes set on making it to the pro ranks and his confidence has been buoyed by the rapid rise of young stars like Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas – both of whom are only 10 years older than him.

“The biggest picture is getting to the PGA Tour. I know that’s a long ways away but the last few years, you’ve seen a lot of young guys surface and almost take over the PGA Tour,” Hastings said.

“Guys like Tiger [Woods] and Phil [Mickelson] are not winning every week like they used to. It is, I’d say, a confidence booster that you can compete at such a high level that young. I mean, for me, that’s only five, six, seven years away. It’s cool to think it might be that close.”

Meantime, Payten Wight, the other golfer to represent the Cayman Islands in Chile, just missed the cut after shooting 75 and 77 in the first two rounds to finish +10. This was Wight’s third time at the tournament.

See Justin’s profile from the Latin American Amateur Championship below:

Meet Justin Hastings, Youngest Player in the Field


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