Four Players Shoot 68 to Share First-Round Lead at LAAC January 14, 2015 | Buenos Aires, Argentina By Ron Driscoll, USGA

Alvaro Ortiz, of Mexico, was one of four players to card a 4-under 68 to share the first-round lead at the LAAC. (Enrique Berardi/LAAC)

Four players, including Gaston Bertinotti of host country Argentina, carded 4-under 68s on Thursday to share the lead after the first round of the inaugural Latin America Amateur Championship on the 7,233-yard, par-72 Pilar Golf course.

Bertinotti, 19, who registered six birdies against two bogeys, matched scores with Juan Alvarez, 21, of Uruguay; Alvaro Ortiz, 19, of Mexico; and Ian Facey, 20, of Jamaica. All four played in the afternoon wave and were one stroke better than a group of seven players at 3-under 69, which included three more Argentines: Alejandro Tosti, Joaquin Bonjour and Jaime Lopez Rivarola. Two players from Colombia, Santiago Gomez and Juan Sebastian Munoz, and one each from Mexico (Jose Narro) and Chile (Lucas Rosso) completed the group at 69. Andre Tourinho, of Brazil, was alone in 12th place at 2-under-par 70.

The winner of the inaugural Latin America Amateur Championship will earn a berth in the 2015 Masters Tournament, as well as spots in the 2015 British and U.S. Amateur championships and entry into final-stage qualifying for the 2015 U.S. and British Opens.

With four of the top 11 scores coming from Argentine players, local knowledge would seem to have been a factor on Thursday, particularly since wet weather early in the week limited players to one practice round. But it helped only to a point.

“I’ve played this golf course quite often,” said Bonjour, 21, one of 10 players from the host nation. “The only difference I noticed is that we have not played this course so wet in a very long time.”

Tosti, 18, the top Argentine in the field in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ (WAGR) at No. 64, agreed with Bonjour. “We play in a lot of different weather here. I played a professional tournament here three years ago, and it was difficult to stop the ball on the green.”

The players with the best standing in the WAGR, Guillermo Pereira (No. 6), of Chile, and Jorge Garcia (No. 38), of Venezuela, were among a group of 10 players who opened with rounds of 1-under 71, in a tie for 13th place.

Benjamin Davis, of the Bahamas, withdrew from the championship after the first round, citing a back injury, leaving 108 players in the field.

The field played to a 75.95 stroke average, nearly four strokes over par, with the inward nine playing slightly more difficult (38.20 to 37.75). The 464-yard, par-4 fifth hole played as the most difficult with a 4.51 stroke average.

The second round will begin from the first and 10th tees at 7:30 a.m. on Friday. The final starting time of the day is 1:39 p.m. off No. 10. The field will be cut to the low 60 players and ties after Round 2 of the 72-hole event.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Scores from the first round of the inaugural Latin America Amateur Championship at the 7,233-yard, par-72 Pilar Golf course:

Alvaro Ortiz, MEX 34-34--68
Gaston Bertinotti, ARG 33-35--68
Ian Facey, JAM 35-33--68
Juan Alvarez, URU 34-34--68
Alejandro Tosti, ARG 34-35--69
Jaime Lopez Rivarola, ARG 34-35--69
Joaquin Bonjour, ARG 33-36--69
José Narro, MEX 35-34--69
Juan Sebastian Muñoz, COL 37-32--69
Lucas Rosso, CHI 36-33--69
Santiago Gomez, COL 34-35--69
Andre Tourinho, BRA 35-35--70
Alvaro E. Ortiz, CRC 37-34--71
Dorian Delmas, PAR 37-34--71
Guillermo Pereira, CHI 34-37--71
Jeronimo Esteve, PUR 36-35--71
Jesus Dario Montenegro, ARG 36-35--71
Jorge Garcia, VEN 34-37--71
Jose Luis Montaño, BOL 34-37--71
Juan Ignacio Garmendia, ARG 34-37--71
Kevin O'Connell, ISV 36-35--71
Rodrigo Rivas Muñoz, CHI 37-34--71
Daniel Kenji Ishii, BRA 37-35--72
Edward Figueroa, PUR 36-36--72
George Scanlon, BOL 36-36--72
Luis Gerardo Garza, MEX 39-33--72
Marcelo Wilde, BOL 34-38--72
Matias Dominguez, CHI 36-36--72
Nicolas Echavarria, COL 34-38--72
Paul Chaplet, CRC 35-37--72
Pedro Junqueira, BRA 37-35--72
Robi Calvesbert, PUR 35-37--72
Santiago Bauni, ARG 36-36--72
Sebastian Barnoya, GUA 37-35--72
Aaron Terrazas, MEX 36-37--73
Esteban Restrepo, COL 36-37--73
Jonathan Newnham, JAM 36-37--73
Jose Mendez, CRC 35-38--73
José O. Rodriguez, PUR 37-36--73
José Pablo Rolz, GUA 38-35--73
Juan Miguel Heredia, ECU 36-37--73
Kevin Ferris, ISV 35-38--73
Matias Simaski, ARG 36-37--73
Michael Wight, CAY 37-36--73
Sachin Kumar, TTO 40-33--73
Jarryd Dillas, BER 36-38--74
Luiz Antonio Braga Jacintho, BRA 37-37--74
Matthew Marquez, TTO 36-38--74
Talin Rajendranath, TTO 35-39--74
Andres Gallegos, ARG 38-37--75
Devaughn Robinson, BAH 38-37--75
George Trujillo, VEN 38-37--75
Joaquín Niemann, CHI 38-37--75
Jose Andres Miranda, ECU 36-39--75
Juan Jose Guerra, DOM 37-38--75
Juan Moncayo, ECU 38-37--75
Alejandro Perazzo, VEN 40-36--76
Federico Levinsky, URU 36-40--76
Herik Machado, BRA 38-38--76
Inaki Lopez, URU 35-41--76
Kevin Muriel, BOL 36-40--76
Nicholas Teuten, URU 35-41--76
Santiago Mejia, COL 39-37--76
Sergio Roman, ECU 39-37--76
Alonso Palma, PER 39-38--77
Erick Juan Morales, PUR 39-38--77
Esteban Missura, ECU 37-40--77
Fraser Hunt, BER 38-39--77
Gustavo Silva, CHI 38-39--77
Jose Xavier Perez, ECU 40-37--77
Juan de la Cruz, ARG 34-43--77
Mark Phillips, BER 35-42--77
Payten Wight, CAY 40-37--77
Roberto Ruiz, MEX 38-39--77
Tomaz Pimenta Pinheiro, BRA 35-42--77
Wolfgang Pedal, PER 36-41--77
Daniel Gurtner, GUA 37-41--78
Enrique Grau, PER 39-39--78
Ivan Camilo Ramirez, COL 40-38--78
James Johnson, BAR 38-40--78
Jose Hernandez, DOM 42-36--78
Pedro Oviedo, VEN 40-38--78
Roland Cuculiza, NCA 40-38--78
Johann Voss, BOL 40-39--79
José Chagin, VEN 42-37--79
José L. Cardona, PUR 39-40--79
Patrick Sanchez, MEX 42-37--79
Will Shoreman, TCA 40-39--79
Agustin Acosta, URU 39-41--80
Alejandro Valenzuela, BOL 38-42--80
Andres Rodas, GUA 42-38--80
Facundo Alvarez, URU 42-38--80
Miguel Ordonez, PAN 38-42--80
Dinesh Jackree, TTO 41-40--81
Eithel McGowen, PER 40-41--81
Ernesto Marin, NCA 42-39--81
Christian Graf, PER 40-42--82
Adrian Delmas, PAR 39-44--83
Julian Jordan, BAR 39-44--83
Rafael Barnoya, GUA 39-44--83
Romanus Inglis, LCA 39-44--83
Scott Stollmeyer, BAR 45-39--84
William Fookes, VEN 38-46--84
Juan Pablo Ortiz, GUA 41-45--86
Ricardo Arias, ESA 44-42--86
Canice Louis, LCA 44-45--89
Sebastian Bettaglio, ESA 54-53--107
Gerald Mathias, HAI 51-57--108
Benjamin Davis, BAH WD

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