The second Latin America Amateur Champion from Argentina, Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira earned his place in the 2023 Masters in historic fashion.
In January, at Grand Reserve Golf Club in Puerto Rico, Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira made history when he won the 2023 Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) and secured his invite to the 87th Masters Tournament.
The 23-year-old, who celebrated his birthday the day after his LAAC victory, finished 23-under 265. One year after placing T-2 in the event, he broke the 72-hole Championship record of 273 set by Joaquin Niemann in 2018.
“Having that experience, the previous year, going into this year's final round, it was definitely something that I used in my favor,” said Fernandez de Oliveira during his pre-Tournament press conference. “Finishing runner-up last year, it hurt. But also it taught me a very good lesson. Going into this year's final round, I just did what I needed to do to get it done.”
While he played a few practice rounds in the leadup to the 2023 Masters Tournament, nothing prepared Fernandez de Oliveira for a trip down Magnolia Lane during Masters week.
“I'm very impressed about everything out here,” said Fernandez de Oliveira. “As soon as I drove in Magnolia Lane, it just makes it way more special and how perfect everything is out here. It just makes it super special.”
On the bag at Augusta National for Fernandez de Oliveira was Brad McMakin, who looped for fellow Argentine Angel Cabrera when he won his Green Jacket in 2009.
“It's special to have him this week,” said Fernandez de Oliveira. “He won here. He's got the experience to give me some good advice out there.”
While Fernandez de Oliveira ultimately missed the cut, he did enjoy several highlights, including a birdie at the newly-lengthened 13th hole and birdies at the par-5 second on back-to-back days.
“It’s been a dream. Now I know how it feels,” said Fernandez de Oliveira. “Hopefully moving forward it will help me to grow as a player. There’s a lot of things I learned that I [will] take away with me this week.”
Fernandez de Oliveira also earned exemptions into the U.S. Open at The Los Angeles Country Club and The Open at Royal Liverpool.