Amateur Golf ChampionshipThursday, January 23, 2014
New tournament for Argentina
The first annual Latin American Amateur Championship will be held in Argentina next year from January 15-18 at the Pilar Golf Club. This was announced yesterday at a press conference by the presidents of the US Masters (Billy Paine), Britain’s Royal & Ancient (Peter Dawson), US Golf Association (Mike Davis) and the Argentine Golf Association (Michael Leeson) who are jointly cooperating in this new venture. This is based on the success by the three US associations in establishing the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship five years ago.
Argentina was chosen as the first host because, Paine, Dawson and Davis said, of its history and successes in the sport which they greatly praised, but they will then look around for suitable courses to play the event in as many countries as possible around the region. This consists of 27 countries in South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
The tournament’s format for 120 players is 72-hole stroke play with a cut down to 60 players for the last two rounds.
The composition would be a maximum 10 players for the host country and a maximum six from other countries with any vacancies to be filled by the next best leading players in the world ranking. Leeson said that Argentina’s places would be filled according to a combination with world and Argentine rankings, taking into account that some Argentine playing abroad (as in US colleges) would not be competing much at home.
The big prize is that winners will gain automatic exemption to compete in the US Masters and also, together with the runner-up, places in the British and US amateur championships as well as other amateur tournaments in the latter country. Both players would also be allowed to play in the final qualifiers of the US and British Opens.