By Craig Horan, Golfweek
Three major golf organizations continue to expand golf to all corners of the globe.
On Wednesday, the Masters, U.S. Golf Association and R&A announced the creation of the Latin America Amateur Championship. The inaugural event will be held next year in Buenos Aires – Jan. 15-18 at Pilar Golf, near Argentina’s capital. Pilar was the host course for the 2006 and ’11 Argentina Opens.
The tournament begins one year before the return of golf to the Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro.
There are some pretty cool perks for the winner – notably, a spot in the Masters. In addition, the winner and runner(s)-up will be exempt into final stages of qualifying for the Open Championship and U.S. Open. The champion also will earn an exemption into the British Amateur and U.S. Amateur and any other USGA amateur championship for which he is eligible.
This announcement follows on the heels of the successful Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, which began in 2009. Tianlang Guan, who won the 2012 Asia-Pacific Amateur, finished 58th at last year’s Masters. South Korea’s Chang-woo Lee won the 2013 event and will play at Augusta National this spring.