The 2019 Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC), contested at Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic, from Jan. 17-20, features more than 100 of the best golfers in Latin America. This marks the fifth playing of the LAAC, which was founded in 2015 by the USGA, The R&A and the Masters Tournament to foster the growth of golf and inspire new interest in the game in the region.
The winner will receive an invitation to the Masters and will be exempt into the final stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open and the Open Championship, conducted by The R&A. Additionally, he will receive an exemption into the U.S. Amateur, the Amateur Championship, conducted by The R&A, and any USGA championship for which he is eligible.
Although still in its infancy, the championship has succeeded in providing opportunities for its winners and the nations they represent. The four champions – Matias Dominguez, Paul Chaplet, Toto Gana and Joaquin Niemann – have represented some of the most competitive college golf programs, and have played on the PGA Tour and competed in the Masters.
The visibility of this championship, along with the continued success of its winners, has inspired players across the region – golf participation has increased since 2015 and more Latin Americans are taking up golf careers.
A U.S. Open sectional qualifying flag signed by Niemann, the 2018 LAAC champion, along with pins representing some of the participating Latin American countries are currently on display at the USGA Golf Museum in Liberty Corner, N.J.
Kylie Garabed is the collections assistant for the USGA Golf Museum. Email her at email@example.com.