The eighth edition of the Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) will be contested at the Grand Reserve Golf Club from 12-15 January 2023, marking the first edition of the LAAC to be hosted in Puerto Rico.
Championship organisers made the announcement today during the 2022 LAAC currently underway at Casa de Campo’s Teeth of the Dog in La Romana, Dominican Republic.
For the first time, Grand Reserve Golf Club will host the championship. Designed by Tom Kite, Grand Reserve Golf Club sits on the island’s northeast coast and overlooks El Yunque National Forest and various lagoons.
The course has hosted the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open annually since 2008 and will host the 2022 US Women's Amateur Four-Ball in April, marking the first time a USGA championship has been held outside the mainland United States.
Puerto Rico showcase
“We are incredibly excited to collaborate with The R&A, the Masters Tournament and the USGA as host of the 2023 Latin America Amateur Championship,” said Rafael Rovira, General Manager of Grand Reserve Golf Club. “Grand Reserve Golf Club will be a challenging test, and we are eager to showcase our world-class venue to the best amateurs across Latin America.”
The 2023 LAAC champion will receive an invitation to the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club and an exemption into The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool. The winner also receives full exemptions into The Amateur Championship, US Amateur Championship and any other USGA amateur championship for which he is eligible and is exempt into the final stage of qualifying for the 123rd US Open Championship at Los Angeles Country Club.
Runner(s)-up will be exempt into the final stages of qualifying for The 151st Open and the 123rd US Open Championship.
“We are thrilled to welcome the top Latin American amateurs to Puerto Rico,” said Sidney Wolf, president of the Puerto Rico Golf Association. “The talent in our region continues to grow, and we are excited to inspire the next generation of Puerto Rican golfers through the Latin America Amateur Championship.”
Founded by the Masters Tournament, The R&A and the USGA, the LAAC was established to further develop amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The event annually moves to top courses throughout Latin America and showcases the sport’s rising talent in the region. Notable past competitors include 2018 LAAC champion Joaquin Niemann of Chile and Sebastian Muñoz of Colombia, who have each gone on to earn PGA Tour victories.
In 2015, Matias Dominguez of Chile won the inaugural championship by one stroke at Pilar Golf in Argentina. Paul Chaplet of Costa Rica captured the 2016 championship at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.
In 2017, Toto Gana triumphed in the LAAC’s first playoff at Club de Golf de Panama, marking the championship’s second winner from Chile. The next year Joaquin Niemann, then the world’s No. 1-ranked amateur, continued Chile’s dominance at the LAAC when he won in his hometown of Santiago at Prince of Wales Country Club.
Alvaro Ortiz became Mexico’s first LAAC champion in his fifth and final appearance in 2019 when the event returned to Casa de Campo for the second time, while Abel Gallegos of Argentina captured the 2020 title in his championship debut at Mayakoba’s El Camaleón in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
The 2021 championship was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic before returning to Casa de Campo in 2022.