The fourth edition of the Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC), the region’s premier amateur golf tournament, will be held January 20-23, 2018, at the Prince of Wales Country Club. The event will bring together a field of the top 108 amateur players from 29 countries in the region for a chance to compete in the 2018 Masters Tournament, as well as Final Qualifying for The Open and U.S. Open.
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. Soon, the LAAC will join the club’s proud history that dates back to its founding in 1925.
The golf course was designed in 1930 by club member Alex MacDonald, a British businessman and a golf course architect. It is a par 72, 6,892-yard layout with narrow fairways and bentgrass greens known for subtle slopes that present a challenge for golfers from all parts of the world. Despite being relatively short, the course is very demanding and requires great accuracy from its players from start to finish.
“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 will help showcase the future of golf in Latin America.”
Founded by the Masters Tournament, The R&A and the USGA, the LAAC was established to further develop amateur golf throughout the region, specifically in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The first Latin America Amateur Championship was played in 2015 at Pilar Golf (Buenos Aires, Argentina), where Chilean Matias Dominguez emerged as the champion. In 2016, Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet won the second edition of the LAAC at Casa de Campo’s Teeth of the Dog course (La Romana, Dominican Republic). And in 2017, Chile’s Gana hoisted the trophy at Club de Golf de Panama (Panama City, Panama).
The LAAC champion receives an invitation to compete in the Masters Tournament 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 LAAC returns to South America for the first time since 2015 in Argentina, notably to the country that has delivered two previous champions, including defending champion Toto Gana.
When making the announcement last year that Chile would welcome the LAAC in 2018, Felipe Bertin, chairman of the Chilean Golf Federation reflected on the impact of the tournament in Chile after Dominguez triumphed in 2015. “Chile has seen the impact the Latin America Amateur Championship can have on these players after Matias Dominguez became the first LAAC champion,” Bertin said. “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.”
Work to perfect the golf course at Prince of Wales Country Club in preparation for the tournament has already started. The players will undoubtedly enjoy a first class layout under pristine conditions at the LAAC’s highly anticipated fourth edition.