Prince of Wales country club will host 2018 LAAC

PANAMA CITY, Panama, Jan 12, 2017: The fourth Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) will be conducted from January 18-21, 2018, at Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago, Chile. Championship organisers made the announcement today during the 2017 LAAC, which is currently being contested at Club de Golf de Panama.

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.

The LAAC champion receives an invitation to compete in the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. In addition, the winner and the runner(s)-up are exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and the U.S. Open Championship. The champion is also awarded full exemptions into The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur Championship and any other USGA amateur championship for which he is eligible.

The 2018 championship will mark the second LAAC conducted in South America and the first in Chile. Prince of Wales Country Club has hosted many national and international championships, including the 1998 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship and the Chile Classic on the Tour from 2012-2014.

The course was designed in 1930 by club member Alex MacDonald, a British entrepreneur and golf course designer. The par-72, 6,892-yard course features narrow fairways and bentgrass greens known for their subtle slopes, offering a challenge to players from all over the world who have visited Prince of Wales Country Club.

“We are proud to be chosen as the host for next year’s Latin America Amateur Championship and to support the important strides this event is making for golf in our region,” said Carlos Ruiz de Gamboa, a board member of both Prince of Wales Country Club and the Chilean Golf Federation. “The LAAC has quickly become a world-class championship. Our course’s unique features and challenges make it an exceptional venue to stage this event and showcase the future of golf in Latin America.”

Felipe Bertin, chairman of the Chilean Golf Federation said, “Chile has seen the impact the Latin America Amateur Championship can have on these players after Matias Dominguez became the first LAAC champion. We hope to continue that momentum with the 2018 LAAC as the best and brightest amateur golfers of Latin America gather in Chile to contend for the many opportunities this event presents.”

The inaugural LAAC was played in 2015 at Pilar Golf in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Dominguez won the title and became the first Chilean to compete in the Masters in more than 50 years. Paul Chaplet triumphed in the LAAC’s second edition on the Teeth of the Dog course at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. At the 2016 Masters, Chaplet became the second-youngest player in the tournament’s history and the first player from Central America.

This week’s LAAC at Club de Golf de Panama features a 108-strong field of the leading male amateurs in Latin America. Television coverage includes two hours of live broadcast across 140 countries on all four days of play. Spectators are admitted free at Club de Golf de Panama.

About the Masters Tournament
Inspired by its founders Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, the Masters Tournament has embraced its obligation and seized opportunities to promote the game since the Tournament’s inception in 1934. The efforts of the Masters on behalf of the game of golf are aimed to preserve its integrity, celebrate sportsmanship, applaud champions, positively affect people in need through philanthropy, and give all that is possible back to the game. The Masters is focused on providing stewardship for the game, especially for amateur players and youth around the world.
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About The R&A
Based in St Andrews, The R&A runs The Open, elite amateur events, international matches and rankings. Together The R&A and the USGA govern the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions but sharing a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards. The R&A, through R&A Rules Ltd, governs worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, with the consent of 152 organisations from amateur and professional golf and on behalf of over 30 million golfers in 140 countries.

The R&A is committed to working for golf and supports the growth of the sport internationally and the development and management of sustainable golf facilities.

About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches, attracting players and fans from more than 160 countries. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s reach is global with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico, serving more than 25 million golfers and actively engaging 150 golf associations.

The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries. —- R&A Media

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