Sports December 10, 2015 | 4:13 pm

Casa de Campo, the Caribbean jewel that will host the 2016 LAAC

La Romana, Dominican Republic.- Thursday, January 15,2015 was a far from ordinary day in the rich history of Casa de Campo, thestunning resort located at La Romana, Dominican Republic. On that day, theFounding Partners of the Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) announced tothe golfing world that the second edition of this prestigious championshipwould be played on January 14-17, 2016 at Teeth of the Dog, one of the fourgolf courses at one of the most important resorts in the Caribbean.

Casa de Campo is ahotel, a resort, a residential community located along 7000 acres on thesoutheast coast of the Dominican Republic. It’s a jewel in the midst of theCaribbean according to the IAGTO (International Association of Golf TourOperators) which considered this resort the number one in the world.

Designed by Pete Dye,who is widely regarded as one of the best golf architects in the world, Teethof the Dog is deemed to be the best golf course in the Caribbean and Top 50amid the best golf courses in the world. “The opportunity to build this golfcourse from the start is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Dye, who,together with his wife Alice, also designed Dye Fore and The Links, golfcourses that are the pride of Casa de Campo as well (the fourth golf course iscalled Romana Country Club).

Amateur golfers willfind a high end golf course surrounded by amazing landscapes with exceptionalviews, especially those holes by the Atlantic Ocean. One of them is the par-3,5th hole, the most photographed hole, and worth mentioning is the tee box ofthe fourth hole, located on a small peninsula.

The greens and teeboxes were seeded with Paspalum, while the fairways have 419 Bermudagrass. Inthis layout, each hole is different and features a unique intimidation factor.Of course you need to take the weather into account, mainly the wind and thehumidity.

All these traits makethis site a very special one, and the playing field should take them intoaccount when preparing for the championship. This will be, without a doubt, areal challenge which will showcase the great level of the futures golf heroes.

Founded by the MastersTournament, The R&A and the USGA, the LAAC was created to help grow thesport in South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Every year, thechampionship offers the winner the opportunity to play in the MastersTournament. In addition, the winner and the runner(s)-up will gain places inThe Open Qualifying Series and in sectional qualifying for the U.S. OpenChampionship.

Finally, the championreceives exemptions into The Amateur Championship, U.S. Amateur Championshipand any other USGA amateur championship for which he is eligible. These benefitshave been enjoyed the Chilean Matias Dominguez (champion of the first editionof the LAAC) and the Argentine Alejandro Tosti (runner-up at the LAAC).

Cazaubon knows how towin at Casa de Campo

To get a feel of whatcould happen during the week of competition at Casa de Campo, a good measure isto review the performances on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica when Mexico’s RodolfoCazaubon won the Dominican Republic Open. The tournament was played at Teeth ofthe Dog and the winning score was 278 strokes (-10), a score that could be abenchmark for the players at the 2016 LAAC. Of course it will all depend on thewind, a key factor when judging the difficulty of a golf course, especially onthe final holes next to the Caribbean Sea.

After his victory inJune, Cazaubon, 25, a University of North Texas graduate, climbed to the top ofthe Order of Merit on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica at what happens to be the lasttournament of the first half of the tour schedule. “You have to respect thatgolf course; it’s not easy to play under par, even more so during tournamentdays with all the pressure. For sure winning at a Pete Dye layout is somethingto be proud of,” said the man from Mexico.

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