The annual South American Team Championships (Copa Los Andes) were recently held at Club de Golf de Uruguay in Montevideo, supported by The R&A with a grant of £30,000.
Played since 1944, the Copa Los Andes is the most eagerly-awaited team event for South American amateurs thanks to its unique match play format which consistently produces a high standard of golf.
Contested by nine teams over four days of competition – match play foursomes in the morning and singles in the afternoon for both men and women – this year’s event was no exception.
Glory for Brazil and Paraguay
Over the Alister MacKenzie-designed course, a superb layout along the embankment of the River Plate, it was Brazil who took the Men’s trophy and Paraguay the Women’s honours.
Brazil were led to the winning line by captain Daniel Ishii, with the victorious Paraguay line-up skippered by Anahi Belen Servin Pacua.
The R&A has supported the Copa Los Andes since 2002 when it was played in Brazil. Notably, Smith Galves Chaves who represented Peru, is a product of San Bartolo, an R&A supported public facility south of Lima.
Wonderful team event
Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development and Amateur Events at The R&A, said: “The South American Team Championships (Copa Los Andes) is a wonderful team competition and we were delighted to again support the event this year.
“On the eve of both the South American Amateur Championships and the Latin America Amateur Championship, the event is an important fixture in the amateur calendar and provides a great opportunity for leading players to come together in a team environment.”
Trophies were presented to the winning teams, as well as silver and bronze medals for those finishing second and third. Any nation returning from the event with a medal is significant in raising their profile within the Olympic movement.
The Copa Los Andes has provided many exciting moments over the years, with past competitors including PGA Tour players Carlos Franco, Camilo Villegas and Jhonatan Vegas, and more recently young Tour stars Emilio Grillo and Joaquin Niemann.
Amongst the women, notable players have included Silvia Bertolaccini, Jenny Lidback, Alicia Dibos, Marisa Baena, Candy Hanemann, Mariajo Uribe, Nicole Perrot, Victoria Tanco, who all reached the LPGA Tour.