Gutiérrez in the Women’s category and Harvey in Men’s are leaders at the Lima Golf Club
This championship has become very important after the R&A announced that winners will be invited to play in the European Amateur Championship in 2015 (all expenses paid).
Andrés Cáceres’ performance is worth mentioning. He comes from the San Bartolo Junior Golf Program of the Peruvian Golf Federation’s Golf for Everyone. He scored 76 strokes (+4).
Upon completing the initial round of the 10th South American Amateur Golf Tournament, US golf player Scott Harvey in the Men’s category is the only leader with a total of 66 strokes (-6). Argentinean Marcos Montenegro and Uruguayan Juan Álvarez are a stroke away. In the Women’s category, Peruvian Lucía Gutiérrez (title holder) is the only leader with a total of 71 strokes (-1) followed by Mexican golfer María Fassi at only one stroke away. On the other hand, the best positioned Peruvian player is Patricio Alzamora who ranks in the 13th position with 72 strokes (Par).
“The truth is today I played very well with the putt, I had lots of opportunities and I was able to hole the balls. I did not do any bogey and that is always good. Also, I made very good shots and was able to finish a great round. I am very happy and hope to continue like this”, said Scott Harvey, winner of the U.S. Mid-Amateur last year, which gave him the opportunity to get into the 2015 Masters. “I am still very excited for having fulfilled this great dream of playing in Augusta. Some days I cannot sleep thinking about it. I was practicing there in November and I will surely go back again,” said the 36-year-old player from North Carolina.
Uruguayan Juan Álvarez felt quite at ease in his game. “It was a very good round, and I have felt quite at ease playing these last few weeks. The key for me today was the putter and if I keep on like this, I know I can win. The flags were somewhat complicated and the wind was too, but I like to play under difficult conditions”, he said. The Uruguayan has improved his playing very much since the arrival of the Argentinean coach Rubén Llanes to the Uruguayan Golf Association School.
“I am very happy with my round. I played quite well from the tee and I scored many putts. Starting with the birdie gave me confidence. The golf course and the greens were in very good conditions and luckily I was able to take advantage of this”, Marcos Montenegro from Argentina told us.
The weather was sunny in Peru but the players had to work a lot due to the demands of the golf course, especially the complicated flag positions at many of the holes and the fast greens. The wind also played an important role. Anyway, the Lima Golf Club course was spectacular and in excellent conditions.
“Today was a very good day taking into account that I have not played for a couple of weeks because the university golf season ended in the States. I want to focus on maintaining a good pace and in playing leisurely. I think managing this will be a factor this week,” said local title holder Lucía Gutiérrez, who also mentioned the first time participation of the USGA team and the third year participation of players from the R&A. “It is wonderful that other countries come to take part and get to know Peru. It is also great having winners from the women’s Mid-Amateur and from Europe. Sizing up with them helps us become aware we can compete at the same level,” added the 18-year-old girl who plays at the University of California.
“I have been playing very well. A couple of weeks ago I won the Amateur Mexican Open and am I very confident. Today, I stayed during the entire round; the course was difficult, especially with the wind changing directions. But I made good shots and I am OK with this,” highlighted Mexican player María Fassi, who will be playing the U.S. Women´s Amateur this year.
Andrés Cáceres: “I am very happy with the round I played. This has been my best score up to now throughout my career and in this course. I have been in the San Bartolo Junior Golf Program for two years and taking part in this tournament is very important to me. I want to continue like this, having fun and focusing on my routine,” pointed out the 15-year-old that is part of the Peruvian Golf Federation’s Golf for Everyone program. Andrés stood out with a 76 stroke round (+4). Therefore, the young Peruvian is now in the 39th position out of a total of 70 players.
HIGHLIGHT: An unprecedented golf prize in the region
Yesterday during the Opening Ceremony, Donald Turner, Chairman Development Committee R&A, made an important announcement about the prize the winners of this championship will receive. The winners of the 10th South American Amateur tournament will be invited to play in the European Amateur Championship with all expenses paid, corresponding to each category in 2015. This is very good news for the region regarding a championship of this type. Thanks to the support and investment made by the R&A in all of Latin America, many young people now have the chance of taking up golf. An example of this is the San Bartolo Junior Golf Program, which is being represented by two 15-year-old boys in this competition. This prize is another step towards the objective the oldest golf organization has set itself so future players in this region can one day play in the Open Championship, thanks to the hard work the R&A is carrying out in its golf development program.