Major new amateur event launched in South America

Winner to get a place in the Masters and final qualifying for the Open and US Open from 2015

OFFICIALS from the R&A, the Masters Tournament and the USGA came together in Buenos Aires recently to announce the formation of the Latin America Amateur Championship.

The move will see all future winners of the event receive an invitation to compete in the Masters, as well as being exempt into the final stages of qualifying for the Open Championship and US Open.

This is also a clear signal from all of the associations that efforts to grow the game are continuing in areas where amateur golf has potential to increase in popularity, such as South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The formation of the championship follows a similar model to the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, which was started in 2009 to grow the game on the world’s largest continent.

Tianlang Guan, the 14-year-old from China, was the winner of that contest in 2012, and made an instant impact on the big stage by finishing as the low amateur in the Masters last year. The founding partners are hoping an amateur player from Latin America will be able to make a similar impact in the coming years.

As well as receiving exemptions into the Masters, and final qualifying for the Open Championship and US Open, the winner will also get full exemptions into the Amateur Championship, the US Amateur Championship and any other USGA amateur championship for which he is eligible.

“Supporting the game’s continuous growth has been a responsibility taken very seriously throughout the 260-year history of the R&A,” said Peter Dawson, the R&A’s chief executive. “Having been involved in this region of the world for many years, we understand the potential impact a championship of this stature can have on golfers with dreams of competing at the highest level.”

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