Mateo Fernandez Oliveira produced a fourth straight round in the 60s to win the eighth running of the Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) at Grand Reserve Golf Club in Puerto Rico. The senior at the University of Arkansas carded a final round of 67 to finish on an exceptional 72-hole total of 23-under-par, four ahead of Luis Carrera of Mexico. The winner's total score represents a tournament record. He posted a third round of 63 which equalled the lowest round ever in the LAAC. Joaquin Niemann closed with a 63 when he won in Santiago in 2018.
22-year-old Fernandez de Oliveira began his final round strongly with a birdie on his opening hole. He dropped a shot at the 3rd but got it straight back on the 4th. Five further birdies meant the Argentinian was able to hold off the charging Mexican Luis Carrera who closed with 67.
Fernandez de Oliveira was runner-up in the LAAC last year at Casa de Campo and he followed Joaquin Niemann and Alvaro Ortiz by winning the event the year after finishing in second place.
With the victory, Fernandez Oliveira receives an invitation to compete in the 2023 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club and he automatically qualifies for The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool. For the first time in the LAAC, as winner he will also earn a spot in the US Open, held this year at Los Angeles Country Club.
In addition, the Argentinian also receives full exemptions into The 128th Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur Championship and any other USGA amateur championship for which he is eligible.
"I'm in shock, I played good all four days but there were a lot of things going through my head today," he said. "I feel very proud to be called the champion. To play in three of the four Majors in 2023, it's crazy. It's going to be a great year. I'm just so thankful to everyone who put on and organised this event."
Luis Carrera closed with a 67 to finish in second place, four shots back of Fernandez de Oliveira. As runner-up, he will be exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The 151st Open and the 123rd U.S. Open Championship.
21-year-old Vicente Marzilio of Argentina also made a run on Sunday. He carded a closing 68 to finish alone in third place. He still had an outside chance of threatening Fernandez de Oliveira until firing his second shot into the bushes to the right of the 16th green.
It was another day of great scoring at Grand Reserve GC, in fact there were no fewer than 26 rounds under par posted on Sunday.
Jose Islas of Mexico finished in fourth place, with Argentina's Manuel Lozado fifth and Julian Perico of Peru alone in sixth.
Fred Biondi of Brazil finished with a birdie to post a seven-under-par 65. He ended the week on 12-under par in seventh place.
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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