14th January 2015
A major new Amateur golf event starts tomorrow at Pilar Golf Club, just outside Buenos Aires in Argentina.
The Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) has been established by The Masters Tournament, The R&A and the Unites States Golf Association. This new competition follows in the footsteps of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, which was first played in 2009.
This investment in the game is not small. With the help of their sponsors – AT&T, Mercedes and Rolex – all player travel, accommodation and caddie costs are being picked up by the organisers. When everything is added up the event must be costing around US$1m to put on.
The organisers expect the competition to stimulate further growth in the game in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. It is great to see the resources of these organisations being used positively to spread the golfing word.
The top 120 male players from the 27 member countries and territories of the International Golf Federation’s Latin America Region have been invited to compete. The leading players from the area, according to the WAGRs, are Chile’s Guillermo Pereira (6), Venezuela’s Jorge García (38) Costa Rica’s Jose Mendez (40) and Argentina’s Alejandro Tosti (64).
The start sheet for the first two rounds can be viewed here – LAAC Rd. 1 and Rd. 2 Draw
72 holes of stroke play will be played between 15th – 18th January, with the field being cut to the top 60 and ties after 36 holes. Pilar, which has 27-holes and has previously held the Argentina Open, is a par 71 (36-35) composite course with a championship length of 7,148 yards.
The rewards for the leading players are impressive. First and foremost the LAAC champion will receive an invitation to compete in the 2015 Masters Tournament. They will also be afforded a full exemption into the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship. Along with the runner-up they will additionally be granted exemptions into both final stage qualifying for the 2015 U.S. Open and International Final Qualifying for the Open Championship.
European Tour Productions have been contracted to broadcast the Championship, with two hours of live coverage per day planned. It is currently unclear if it will be shown on TV in Europe although live streaming will be available for the event website – www.LAACgolf.com.
Good luck to all the competitors !
Copyright © 2015, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.