Thirty amateur golfers will travel to Chile to compete in an international championship supported by The R&A.
The South American Amateur Championships get underway in January with a strong contingent of players from across Europe, including two members of the 2018 Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup team, making the trip to Los Leones in Santiago.
First played in 2006, the event is open to both men and women and was won last year by Canada’s Chris Crisologo (men) and Paraguay’s Milagros Cháves (women).
Crisologo will defend his title and is one of four Canadians competing in the championships helped by The R&A. His compatriots Ellie Szeryk, Celeste Dao and Brendan MacDougall will join him in Santiago.
Strong contingent of GB&I players
Scotland’s Shannon McWilliam and Ireland’s Paula Grant will be hoping to get 2019 off to a flying start in Chile. The pair represented Great Britain and Ireland at the 40th Curtis Cup Match in June. First reserve for the match at Quaker Ridge, Annabel Wilson, will also compete.
McWilliam, Grant and Wilson, as well as Scotland’s Connie Jaffrey and Wales’ Bethan Morris, all played in this year’s Espirito Santo Trophy at Carton House in August.
The Walker Cup will be played at Royal Liverpool in September 2019 and several players hoping to make the team will get the chance to impress in Chile. Scotland’s Euan Walker and England’s Billy McKenzie recently took part in a practice session at Hoylake and the pair will now travel to South America in January.
R&A Foundation Scholars champion Ronan Mullarney won a spot in the Arnold Palmer Cup International Team as a result of his win in St Andrews in April. He will now tee it up at Los Leones as he looks to continue his form into the new year.
Players from across the globe
Portugal’s Pedro Lencart has shone in R&A amateur events in recent years, winning the Junior Open at Kilmarnock (Barassie) on the eve of The 145th Open at Royal Troon in 2016 and claiming the Boys Amateur Championship title at Nairn the following year.
Lencart competed in last year’s championship at Martindale near Buenos Aires in Argentina where he finished in a three-way tie for 12th place.
New Zealand will send a talented group Kerry Mountcastle, who was part of the Eisenhower Trophy team that impressed in Ireland. Luke Brown, Brittney Dryland and Monika Kobori make up the rest of the contingent.
The R&A will also support Daniela Barrett and Emilia Tukiainen from Finland, and Andrea Bergsdottin and Ingvar Andri Magnusson from Iceland.
The 2019 South American Amateur Championships will be played from Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 January and will be the first international amateur event of its type played under the new Rules of Golf. You can follow updates from the event at randa.org
The full list of players supported by The R&A competing are:
Ingvar Andri Magnusson