Casa de Campo’s Teeth of the Dog in the Dominican Republic has been chosen as the host venue for the 2016 Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC), organizers announced on the first day of the inaugural championship being conducted at Pilar Golf Club. The 2016 LAAC will be contested Jan. 14-17.
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.
Each year, the LAAC champion will receive an invitation to compete in the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. In addition, the winner and the runner(s)-up will be exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and U.S. Open Championship. Finally, the champion will receive full exemptions into the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur, and other USGA amateur championship for which he is eligible.
The 2016 LAAC will bring the region’s best players to one of the region’s most highly regarded venues. Designed by Pete Dye and built in the early 1970s, Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo features seven holes along the Atlantic Ocean and is routinely ranked as one of the best courses throughout all of Latin America.
"It is a great honor for us to have been selected to host this prestigious championship,” said Rafael Torres, President of Casa de Campo. “We are fortunate that the selection committee has seen fit to bring the LAAC to what we believe is the finest golf resort in this region.
“The event will be played at the legendary Teeth of The Dog, the masterpiece of golf course architect Pete Dye. The employees and the residents of Casa de Campo will be proud to be a part of Latin America’s premier amateur golf competition.”
This week’s LAAC features 109 players from the 28 countries throughout Latin America. Television coverage on ESPN2 (ESPNews on Saturday) in the United States includes two hours of live broadcast each of the four competition days. More than 150 countries are broadcasting the event.
The LAAC follows a model established by the Masters and The R&A when, in 2009, the organizations created the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) to advance the sport in that part of the world and to create heroes other aspiring golfers could emulate. The event in the Asia-Pacific has been an astonishing success with the likes of Hideki Matsuyama and Tianlang Guan winning the championship and going on to make an impact in the Masters Tournament and on the PGA Tour. Matsuyama won the 2014 Memorial Tournament.
Australia’s Antonio Murdaca won the 2014 championship at Royal Melbourne and will have an opportunity to make his mark this year.