Matias Dominguez earns Masters spot, wins Latin American Amateur
Matias Dominguez made a short bogey putt that came with a big perk. He closed with a 1-under-par 71 on Sunday to win the inaugural Latin American Amateur Championship, giving the 22-year-old from Chile a spot in the Masters this year.
"On that short putt, I couldn’t feel anything," Dominguez said.
He made four birdies in a seven-hole stretch on the front nine at Pilar Golf Club to seize control, but it was tight at the end of the rain-delayed final round. Dominguez won by one shot over Alejandro Tosti of Argentina, who also shot a 71.
Alvaro Ortiz, the brother of PGA Tour player Carlos Ortiz of Mexico, bogeyed the 18th for a 67 and finished two shots behind.
Dominguez, a senior at Texas Tech, finished at 11-under 277. Along with going to Augusta National in April, he is exempt into the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur, and the final stages of qualifying for the U.S. Open and British Open.
He will be the first player from Chile at the Masters in more than 50 years. Enrique Orellana missed the cut in 1964.
The pivotal moment came at the par-3 17th hole, right after Tosti had picked up two strokes on two holes to get to within one shot. Tosti had a 20-foot birdie putt to tie for the lead, but he ran it 4 feet by the hole and three-putted for a bogey.
"I never thought about the prize, because the tournament finishes on the 18th hole," Tosti said. "My putter didn’t work well today. I had 16 chances to make birdie and I only made three."
It will be the second trip to Augusta National for Dominguez. He played the home of the Masters a year ago with his Texas Tech teammates.
"Right now I don’t have any expectations," Dominguez said. "It’s my last semester at Texas Tech and I want to help my team and enjoy that time at Augusta with my family and friends."