Dominguez of Chile leads at Latin American Amateur
BUENOS AIRES — Matias Dominguez of Chile birdied his last three holes Saturday for a 3-under 69, giving him a one-shot lead in the inaugural Latin American Amateur and leaving him one round away from a chance to play in the Masters.
Dominguez, a senior at Texas Tech, finished at 10-under 206 at Pilar Golf Cub and was one stroke ahead of 18-year-old Alejandro Tosti of Argentina, who shot 68.
The winner of the Latin American Amateur gets a spot at Augusta National in April, along with the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur. He also is exempt into the final stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open and British Open.
Chile has not had a player in the Masters in more than 50 years. Enrique Orellana missed the cut in 1964.
Juan Sebastian Munoz of Colombia (71) and Joaquin Bonjour of Argentina (73) were four shots behind at 210. Andre Tourinho of Brazil, the 36-hole leader, took a triple bogey on the par-4 15th hole and shot 75. He was five strokes behind.
"It’s been a while since I’ve led a tournament," Dominguez said. "I’m used to coming from the back. I will just try to stay in the present and go shot-by-shot."
The stakes are high on Sunday with a Masters bid on the line. The Latin America Amateur is patterned after the Asia-Pacific Amateur, which began five years ago and produced a two-time winner in Hideki Matsuyama, who made the cut both times at Augusta as an amateur.
Tosti plans to enroll at Florida later this month. He thought his 68 could have been better except for missing three short putts. But he’s in good shape for Sunday and knows Pilar better than most. He trains at the Argentine Golf Association’s performance center at Pilar.
"I know I’m playing really well, and it’s a really good position," Tosti said. "With all my experience playing here, I think I have an advantage."