Chile and Peru triumph at Copa los Andes

The 2010 Copa los Andes concluded at Los Leones Golf Club in Santiago, Chile, last weekend, with the home nation taking the women’s prize and Peru claiming victory in the men’s event.

The five-man Peruvian team of Patricio Alzamora, Rafael Claux, Eithel McGowen, Jean Pierre Peglau and Patricio Salem registered their first success since 1968 after defeating Uruguay 8-4 on the final day.

In the women’s competition, meanwhile, Chile tied with Colombia and Argentina on 14 points at the top of the table, but the team, comprising Paz Echeverria, Macarena Silva, Maria Jose Hurtado, Maria Jose Vial and Daniela Vial, prevailed after a play-off.

Nine of the ten golf-playing nations in South America; Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Bolivia, Venezuela and Paraguay contested the annual event, which consists of a combination of foursomes and singles match play, and represents the pinnacle of international team competition in the region.

The R&A have supported the championships since they were held in Brazil in 2002, and, with this year’s grant of £28,000, the total contribution to the running of the event over the last eight years has reached £240,000.

“The Copa los Andes is a tremendously competitive and enjoyable event for players, officials and spectators, and one which we’re proud to support, said The R&A’s Director of Golf Development, Duncan Weir. “The standard of golf amongst the smaller golfing nations continues to improve, and now there is more of a challenge posed to the traditionally dominant countries than ever before.”

The 2002 competition proved to be the catalyst for further R&A involvement on the continent, and now each and all of the South American Golf Federation’s championships receive financial backing. Every country has also benefited from coaching initiatives and equipment provision, and public facilities at San Bartolo in Peru and Japeri in Brazil receive assistance with maintenance bills.