Matías Domínguez and Alejandro Tosti, champion and runner-up, respectively, of the first edition of the LAAC, can give testimony of what this championship means to a player. “The first time I held a golf club in my hands, I dreamt of playing in the Masters. I never thought I would achieve it so soon,” said Dominguez, the 22-year-old Chilean who is still shaken after driving down Magnolia Lane and into the fabulous world of Augusta National earlier this year.
And that´s what the LAAC is all about: very important prizes, deep emotions and excellent organization that is true to the style of the Masters, The R&A and USGA, the three partners that created a championship that became a turning point for golf in Latin America. That is how the players that were in the field of the maiden event at Pilar Golf, Buenos Aires, Argentina, felt it and experienced it.
“Without a doubt, the LAAC changed my life,” said Domínguez, a college player at Texas Tech University, in a special show broadcast by Golf Channel Latin America. In addition toplaying in the Masters, where he didn´t make the cut even though he played two very good rounds of golf, the Chilean played the final qualifying of the U.S. Open and The Open, and he was in the field of The Amateur Championship.
Furthermore, Domínguez played his first Web.Com Tour tournament, the second tour in the United States and the road to the PGA TOUR. At the Chile Classic, he made the cut and finished in 30th place (-10) with four rounds under par.
On the other hand, Tosti still has bittersweet memories of the final holes at the 2015 LAAC, when he held the victory in his hands. “Two words sum up that moment: pride and disappointment,” recalls the 19-year-old Argentinean from Club Mitre de Pérez in Rosario, Argentina. But you learn a lot from this difficult experiences, and Alejandro is the first to admit that. “Life experiences make you stronger and define you as a golf player. It will be very important in the future,” said the boy from Rosario.
After a week filled with emotions, where he was the local favorite, Tosti, a student athlete at the University of Florida, had some health issues that kept him away from golf for a several weeks. But upon his return, he was able to shine again with rounds of 72-71 at The Amateur Championship, which allowed him to make it to the match play stage. He lost in the quarter-finals to Frenchman Robin Sciot-Siegrist.
That is the Latin America Amateur Championship: a championship filled with emotions, chances and where dreams come true. Or let Dominguez and Tosti tell you about it, two heroes of the future who are realising their potential.
Follow us on:
Facebook - facebook.com/LAACgolf
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.
For more information, visit www.masters.com.
About The R&A
Based in St Andrews, The R&A organizes The Open, major amateur events and international matches. Together with the United States Golf Association, The R&A governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The R&A´s working jurisdiction is global, excluding the United States and Mexico.
The R&A is committed to working for golf and supports the growth of the game internationally and the development and management of sustainable golf facilities. The R&A operates with the consent of 152 organizations from the amateur and professional game and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in 138 countries.
For more information, visit www.randa.org.
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.
For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.