Buenos Aires, Argentina – Entering the day six strokes off the lead, Arkansas men’s golf freshman Alvaro Ortiz nearly pulled off the comeback on Sunday at the inaugural Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) at Pilar Golf Club with a final round five under-par 67 to finish in a tie for third.
Representing his home country of Mexico, Ortiz’s 67 was the low round of the day, but came up just two strokes short of winner Matias Dominguez (-11) of Chile and one shot back of Alejandro Tosti (-10) of Argentina for second place.
Ortiz’s comeback started on the back nine of Saturday’s third round where he shot a three-under 33 to move back into the top 10 at four-under for the tournament. That momentum carried over into Sunday, as Ortiz birdied four of his first seven holes before rain suspended play for four hours.
The delay didn’t slow Ortiz down though, as he returned to the course with back-to-back birdies on No. 12 and No. 13 to move to 10-under. Unfortunately, Ortiz’s streak of 29 consecutive bogey-free holes came to an end on the 18th green when he made his first bogey since Friday and third all week on the back nine.
“I stepped on the tee and I felt like I was going to make birdie. But I miss-hit my iron and left my first putt short from 30 feet. I know I was a little bit nervous. Maybe it was not the time for me, but I gave myself a chance to at least dream about the Masters.”
Dominguez will play the 2015 Masters, U.S. Amateur and the Amateur Championship. Dominguez and Tosti will be exempt to play the final qualifying of the 2015 Open and U.S. Open.
Representing Colombia, junior Nicolas Echavarria gave the Razorbacks two players in the top 20 with his 19th place finish. Echavarria provided the highlight of the week with a hole-in-one on the par 3 8th hole during Friday’s second round and went on to shoot 72-71-74-73/290 (+2).
The LAAC is developed by the three most important organizations in the golfing world: The Masters Tournament, the R&A and the United States Golf Association. The goal with which it was created was to promote the growth of and to inspire future youngsters to play the game in the region. This event will provide a unique opportunity since the winner will play the 2015 Masters, U.S. Amateur and the Amateur Championship. Likewise, the champion and runner-up(s) will be exempt to play the final qualifying of the 2015 Open and U.S. Open.
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