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Sofia Garcia and Juan Alvarez victorious at South American Amateur Championship

Sofia Garcia of Paraguay
Sofia Garcia of Paraguay
Sofia Garcia of Paraguay and Juan Alvarez of Uruguay captured the women’s and men’s titles at the 11th staging of the South American Amateur Championship at Lima Golf Club in Lima, Peru.

Defending champion Garcia successfully retained her title after finishing with a seven-under-par total score of 281, a single shot clear of Argentina’s Magdalena Simmermacher, local favourite Lucia Gutierrez and English Women’s Amateur champion Bronte Law.

Garcia, a member of the Texas Tech women’s golf team, arrived at the par-4 18th on Sunday tied with playing partners Law and Gutierrez, but managed a crucial birdie putt to lift the trophy for the second year in succession. She becomes the first women’s competitor to successfully defend the title, joining Argentina’s Tomas Cocha, winner of the men’s title in 2009 and 2010.

Juan Alvarez of Uruguay
Juan Alvarez of Uruguay

Alvarez, who was the field’s highest ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™, earned a single stroke victory over defending champion Scott Harvey of the United States and Argentina’s Matias Simaski, who shared runner-up honours.

The new champion started strong on Sunday with three straight birdies on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th holes but stumbled with a double-bogey on the 17th that brought the chasing players back into contention. Harvey, the world’s top-ranked Mid-Amateur, delivered the lowest round of the tournament with a superb 66, but it wasn’t enough to catch Alvarez who finished on ten-under-par with a total score of 278.

First played in 2006, the 2016 edition of the South American Amateur featured competitors from 23 nations. Thirty players from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Finland, Portugal and, for the first time, New Zealand took part in the event with the support of The R&A.

The event was organized by the Peruvian Golf Federation and was supported by The R&A, the South American Golf Federation and Lima Golf Club.

For more information visit www.saamateur.org.

Round 3 Wrap

Alvarez and Garcia in the lead after three rounds at South American Amateur

Juan Alvarez of Uruguay and defending champion Sofia Garcia of Paraguay finished the third round at the top of the leaderboard in the men’s and women’s competitions at the South American Amateur at Lima Golf Club in Lima, Peru.

Alvarez, the field’s top-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™, battled with Welshman David Boote throughout the day, carding four birdies against a single bogey to finish with a 69 and move to eight-under-par overall.  Boote carded a one-under-par 71 on Saturday with a steady performance that featured 17 pars and a single birdie to sit one shot off the pace heading into the final round.

On the women’s side, Garcia started strong with back-to-back birdies before giving shots back on the 3rd and 5th holes. She built momentum with a further five birdies to gain a three shot lead by the time she reached the 18th tee, before a bogey on the final hole and a birdie from home hope Lucia Gutierrez narrowed the gap. A superb 67 from England’s Bronte Law saw her finish the third round tied for second place alongside Gutierrez on five-under-par, a shot behind Garcia.

2016 marks the 11th staging of the South American Amateur and features players from over 20 nations. The event is organized by the Peruvian Golf Federation and is supported by The R&A, the South American Golf Federation and the Lima Golf Club.

For more information visit www.saamateur.org.

Round 2 Wrap

Gutierrez earns share of the lead at halfway mark of the South American Amateur

Local favourite Lucia Gutierrez birdied her way to a share of the lead in the women’s competition at the South American Amateur on Friday at Lima Golf Club in Lima, Peru.

The 2014 champion carded a three-under-par 69 in the second round to move to the top of the leaderboard alongside New Zealand’s Chantelle Cassidy, who also added a 69 to an opening 72 to sit on three-under-par at the halfway point of the championship.

The pair are a single shot clear of defending champion Sofia Garcia  of Paraguay, and two ahead of 2014 US Women’s Mid-Amateur Champion Margaret Shirley, Luiza Altmann of Brazil, Magdalena Simmermacher of Argentina, Maria Salinas of Peru and Meghan MacLaren of England.

On the men’s side, Welshman David Boote started strong with an eagle three on the 2nd hole before carding three birdies and a single bogey on the back nine to finish with a 70. The Stanford University men’s golf team member sits on six-under-par overall, a shot ahead of first round leader Matias Simaski of Argentina, Juan Alvarez of Uruguay and defending champion Scott Harvey of the United States.

For more information and full leaderboards visit www.saamateur.org.

Round 1 Wrap

Matias Simaski and Margaret Shirley take early lead at South American Amateur

MatiasSimaskiRnd1

Argentina’s Matias Simaski and Margaret Shirley of the United States took the early lead in the men’s and women’s competitions at the South American Amateur at Lima Golf Club in Lima, Peru.

Simaski, who beat 59 professionals to win the Copa Diners Club Mitad del Mundo in December 2015, finished the first round on five-under-par 67 after turning in a bogey-free scorecard. The 25-year-old is a single shot ahead of Ecuador’s Andres Arango, Colin Fairweather of Ireland, David Boote of Wales and Uruguay’s Martin de Leon and Juan Alvarez.

MargaretShirleyRnd1

On the women’s side, Shirley also managed to make her way around the course without dropping a shot, turning in a four-under-par 68 with birdies on the 2nd, 7th, 10th and 17th holes. The 29-year-old from Georgia, who won the 2014 US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, sits two shots ahead of the field.

Competitors from over 23 nations are taking part in the 11th staging of the South American Amateur Championships this week. Thirty players from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Finland, Portugal and, for the first time, New Zealand are taking part in the event with the support of The R&A.

For more information and full leaderboards visit www.saamateur.org.