PANAMA CITY, Panama – The fourth Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) will be conducted from January 18-21, 2018, at Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago, Chile. Championship organizers made the announcement today during the 2017 LAAC, which is currently being contested at Club de Golf de Panama.
Founded by the Masters Tournament, The R&A and the United States Golf Association (USGA), the LAAC was established to further develop amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
The LAAC champion receives an invitation to compete in the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. In addition, the winner and the runner(s)-up are exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open Championship. The champion is also awarded full exemptions into The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur Championship and any other USGA amateur championship for which he is eligible.
The 2018 championship will mark the second LAAC conducted in South America and the first in Chile. Prince of Wales Country Club has hosted many national and international championships, including the 1998 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship and the Chile Classic on the Web.com Tour from 2012-2014.
The course was designed in 1930 by club member Alex MacDonald, a British entrepreneur and golf course designer. The par-72, 6,892-yard course features narrow fairways and bentgrass greens known for their subtle slopes, offering a challenge to players from all over the world who have visited Prince of Wales Country Club.
“We are proud to be chosen as the host for next year’s Latin America Amateur Championship and to support the important strides this event is making for golf in our region,” said Carlos Ruiz de Gamboa, a board member of both Prince of Wales Country Club and the Chilean Golf Federation. “The LAAC has quickly become a world-class championship. Our course’s unique features and challenges make it an exceptional venue to stage this event and showcase the future of golf in Latin America.”
Felipe Bertin, chairman of the Chilean Golf Federation said, “Chile has seen the impact the Latin America Amateur Championship can have on these players after Matias Dominguez became the first LAAC champion. We hope to continue that momentum with the 2018 LAAC as the best and brightest amateur golfers of Latin America gather in Chile to contend for the many opportunities this event presents.”
The inaugural LAAC was played in 2015 at Pilar Golf in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Dominguez won the title and became the first Chilean to compete in the Masters in more than 50 years. Paul Chaplet triumphed in the LAAC’s second edition on the Teeth of the Dog course at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. At the 2016 Masters, Chaplet became the second-youngest player in the tournament’s history and the first player from Central America.
This week’s LAAC at Club de Golf de Panama features a 108-strong field of the leading male amateurs in Latin America. Television coverage includes two hours of live broadcast across 140 countries on all four days of play. Spectators are admitted free at Club de Golf de Panama.