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Sofia Garcia and Juan Álvarez are the champions of the South America Amateur Open 2016

Sofia Garcia and Juan Álvarez are the champions of the South America Amateur Open 2016

Juan Álvarez, from Uruguay, and Sofía García, from Paraguay, became the champions of the XI South American Amateur Golf Championship, in the competition that took place in the Lima Golf Club for second straight year and with the participation of players from 23 different countries.

Both Álvarez and Garcia, who had started the final round in the top spot of the leaderboard, managed to withstand the pressure in the final day in the Peruvian capital, each reaching a significant achievement in their respective golf careers.

Defending champion Garcia successfully retained her title after finishing with a total score of 281 (-7), a shot ahead of Argentina’s Magdalena Simmermacher, local favourite Lucia Gutierrez and English Bronte Law.

Alvarez earned a single stroke victory over defending champion Scott Harvey of the United States and Argentina’s Matias Simaski, who shared runner-up honours. The new champion started strong on Sunday with three straight birdies on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th holes but stumbled with a double-bogey on the 17th that brought the chasing players back into contention.

Harvey, the defending champion, delivered the lowest round of the tournament with a superb 66, but it wasn’t enough to catch Alvarez who finished with score of 278 (-10). “I made ‘birdies’ at 2, 3 and 4, that gave me a lot of confidence. I wanted to close the round then so I forced it, I throw it into the bunker and make ‘bogey’ at 9 and then ‘birdie’ at 10 and ‘bogey’ at 11, with another at 14”, said Álvarez

Garcia arrived at the par-4 18th on Sunday tied with playing partners Law and Gutierrez, but managed a crucial birdie putt to lift the trophy for the second year in succession. She becomes the first women’s competitor to successfully defend the title, joining Argentina’s Tomas Cocha, winner of the men’s title in 2009 and 2010.

“I’m very happy. The end was very difficult day, the putter that had previously helped me today was not that good. We all fought until the last hole”, said García.

Garcia became the first player to successfully defend the title of this competition, joining Argentina’s Tomás Cocha, winner in the 2009 and 2010 editions. Simmermacher (69), Law and Gutiérrez (the last two closing in 71) shared the second place with 282.