The top three on the podium were Chaves, garces (L) and Grant (R)
(South American Amateur photo)
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (January 17, 2018) - In a wild finish, Milagros Chaves of Paraguay captured the South American Women's Amateur at Martindale Country Club, edging Silvia Garces of Colombia by one shot.
Garces had a one-shot lead over Chaves after 54 holes, and built the lead to three shots with six holes to go. Both players stumbled on the par-4 13th, with Chaves making bogey but still picking up a shot to get within two.
Chaves trimmed the lead to just one with a birdie on 16, but an eagle on the par-5 17th looked to be the winning moment for Garces, giving her a two-shot lead going to the 72nd tee.
But the Colombian found the greenside bunker on the final hole, left her blast shot short of the green, then watched as Chaves chipped in for an unlikely birdie three after hitting her approach through the green.
Suddenly Garces needed to get up-and-down just to force a playoff, but she was unable to convert her 15-foot bogey putt after a poor chip, and Chaves became the surprise champion.
Chaves recorded a final-round score of 69 for a 6-under total of 282, while Garces posted 71.
Ireland's Paula Grant finished third at four under par, two shots behind Chaves. Maria Serrano of Colombia was fourth at two under, and Hannah McCook was the only other player under par at one under.
Two-time U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champion Julia Potter (Indiana) and reigning champion Kelsey Chugg (Utah) represented the United States in the tournament, with Potter finishing 19th at 7-over 295, and Chugg 26th at 12-over 300.
ABOUT THE South American Women's Amateur
A 72-hole stroke play championship, the South
American Championship was started in 2006 and is
organized annually by the Executive Secretary and
governing body of the country in which the
is conducted. The schedule provides that the seat
should be rotated in all South American countries.
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