Latin America Amateur Championship Announced
February 19th, 2014 by John Nichols
Inaugural championship will be staged in Buenos Aires in 2015
To inspire an even greater interest in the game of golf throughout South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, The Masters Tournament, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA) recently announced the formation of a new amateur golf event called the Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC). The founding partners – with cooperation from the new event’s 2015 host Argentina Golf Association, will support all aspects of the organization and execution of the event.
“Supporting the game’s continuous growth has been a responsibility taken very seriously throughout the 250-year history of The R&A,” says chief executive Peter Dawson. “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.” Mr. Dawson says inaugural competition will take place January 15-18, 2015 at Pilar Golf, a course opened in 1992 near Argentina’s capital city that has already hosted the Argentina Open among other national championships.
The champion of the inaugural LAAC and all future winners of the event will receive an invitation to compete in the Masters Tournament, beginning in 2015. In addition, the winner and the runner(s)-up will be exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open Championship and U.S. Open Championship. Finally, the champion will receive full exemptions into The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur Championship and any other USGA amateur championship for which he is eligible.
USGA executive director Mike Davis says, “This new championship represents another wonderful opportunity in the partnership that we enjoy with the Masters and The R&A to advance the amateur game around the world. The USGA is committed to the long-term health and sustainability of the game, and by partnering together we believe we can positively impact this region of the world where golf is already growing.”
Invitations for the championship will be sent to the leading players from the 27 IOC-recognized countries and territories from this region that are current members of the International Golf Federation. Each country/territory will be automatically provided two positions, which will be filled by their highest-ranked players from the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) as of November 1, 2014. If there are only one or no players from a given country/territory in the WAGR, the national golf association will nominate one or two players accordingly, for approval by the LAAC Executive Committee. The remainder of the field will be filled by taking the next highest ranked players from the WAGR with the maximum number of players allowed from a country/territory being six. The only exception is for the host country, which will be allowed a total of 10 players.
“We believe this event will be motivating to current and future generations of golfers and, one day, create heroes who will inspire others to give the game a try,” says Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament. “This belief has guided us well through the early successes of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and, with the collective expertise in guiding the game of golf provided by The R&A and the USGA, we are hopeful of achieving equally exciting results.”
For more information about the Latin America Amateur Championship, please visit www.LAACgolf.com.
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