LATIN AMERICA AMATEUR
Notable Groupings as Starting Times for LAAC Announced
January 9, 2017 | Panama City, Panama
By Ron Driscoll, USGA
José Guillermo Lewis of host country Panama will be the first player to strike a tee shot in the 3rd Latin America Amateur Championship when it begins on Thursday at 7:15 a.m. ET at Club de Golf de Panama. Twenty-seven countries and territories from throughout Central America, South America and the Caribbean will be represented in the 72-hole championship, which will crown its third champion on Sunday.
The Latin America Amateur was played for the first time in January 2015 in Argentina, when Matias Dominguez of Chile prevailed at Pilar Golf outside Buenos Aires. In 2016, Paul Chaplet of Costa Rica captured the second LAAC on the Teeth of the Dog course at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.
The winner of the championship will earn entry into the 2017 Masters Tournament as well as The Amateur Championship (conducted by The R&A) and the U.S. Amateur Championship. The winner and runners-up will also be exempt into final qualifying for both The Open and the U.S. Open.
Chaplet will open the defense of his championship on Thursday at 7:48 a.m. off the 10th tee, in a grouping with 2016 runner-up Jorge Garcia, of Venezuela, and Claudio Correa, of Chile. Dominguez, who tied for 30th in the defense of his title at Casa de Campo, will tee off on Thursday at 11:56 a.m. off the first tee, in a grouping with Herik Machado of Brazil and Luis Fernando Barco of Peru, who tied for third last year.
Joaquin Niemann of Chile, who at No. 5 is the top player in the field in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™, will start his first round at 12:18 p.m. off the first tee in a grouping with Alejandro Tosti of Argentina and Ivan Camilo Ramirez of Colombia. Tosti was runner-up to Dominguez in the inaugural LAAC in his home country, and he joined Barco and Niemann in tying for third last year.
The championship will received two hours of television coverage each day, which will be broadcast in 140 countries, including the United States. For complete tee times and television listings, click here.
Ron Driscoll is the manager of editorial services for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.