The official confirmation arrived on January 20, 2018 when the three institutions that organize the championship announced in the Prince of Wales CC that LAAC 2019 would be played again in Teeth of the Dog, Dominican Republic.
Designed by Pete Dye, considered one of the best golf architects in the world, “Teeth of the Dog” (Par 72 of more than 7400 yards) was inaugurated in 1971 and in a short time became a Caribbean gem. It was a pioneering vision of Dye, who believed that he could create something truly extraordinary overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Thus, he molded a masterpiece. In the beginning, the golf course was baptized as “Cajuiles”, in reference to the trees that grew in the mountains. Later, the designer changed it to “Teeth of the Dog” after hearing the natives refer to the coral rock with that name because of its sharp appearance. “The opportunity to build this field from the beginning is an experience that is lived only once in life,” said Dye, who also designed, along with his wife Alicia, Dye Fore and The Links, both golf courses of which Casa de Campo is also proud (the fourth court is called Romana Country Club).
“When I started designing it in 1970, there were not even 100 kilometers of paved roads in the area. Now you can find 3,500 homes in Casa de Campo, an international airport and 50,000 people working. I’m going to be a bit selfish with this, but that field started the whole process of golf that is lived in the country today,” said the famous designer. The course is cataloged as the best in the Caribbean and is located in the Top-50 of the entire planet.
“It gives us great pleasure to welcome to our country and Casa de Campo to the Latin America Amateur Championship. This championship is a truly special event that is helping golf to grow throughout our region and is opening an increasingly larger path for future golf stars in Latin America. We are honored to play a role and share support for this mission as hosts, and we hope to see the most talented amateurs once again live up to the challenges our field offers, “said Andrés Pichardo Rosenberg, President of Casa de Campo Resort & Villas.
Several of the best golfers in the world passed through these paradisiacal fairways and there is not a single player who has not praised the course. In addition to having hosted the Latin America Amateur Championship in 2016, Teeth of the Dog hosted the World Amateur Team Championships (Eisenhower Trophy and Espirito Santo Trophy) in 1974. That edition was won by the United States, a team that had Jerry Pate as members. Curtis Strange, winners of three US Open between both. In fact, Pate was one of the celebrities that came to Casa de Campo to watch the best amateurs of the region play in the second edition of the LAAC. “The course is still in excellent condition, I noticed that the turf has been changed from Bermuda to Paspalum. In my opinion, the best thing is that it’s still a great test of golf, it’s really a challenge for these young people,” said Pate during the championship.
“Teeth of the Dog” also hosted the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica twice, in 2015 where the Mexican Rodolfo Cazaubón won the title and in 2016 the victory went to the American Timothy O’Neal. “It is a course that must be respected, it is not easy to play under par and even less in the days of tournaments with pressure. Undoubtedly winning in a Pete Dye field is something to be proud of,” said the Mexican.
Founded by the Masters Tournament, The R & A and the United States Golf Association (USGA), the LAAC was created to further develop amateur golf throughout the region, and specifically in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Each year, the LAAC champion receives an invitation to compete in the Masters Tournament at Augusta National. In addition, the winner and the player or players who finish in second place enter directly to the final qualifying stages to enter The Open and the U.S. Open Championship. Finally, the champion receives complete exemptions to play The Amateur, the U.S. Amateur Championship and all other amateur championships of the USGA for which he is eligible.
The LAAC returns to one of the most famous resorts in the world and, without a doubt, it will not be the last time that the best amateur players in the region try to discover the most precious treasure in Teeth of The Dog.
Information and pictures courtesy of LAAC