BOCA RATON, Fla. – Lynn University's men's golf team is one month away from starting its spring season but before the national title defense can begin, the Fighting Knights will watch five of their own take part in the 2019 Latin American Amateur Championship (LAAC). This will be the largest Blue and White contingent at the LAAC in program history, surpassing the total from 2017 when Toto Gana won the preeminent Latin American tournament.
The 2019 Latin American Championship is Jan. 17-20, at the Teeth of the Dog in Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic, also the site of the 2016 LAAC. The winner of the LAAC automatically qualifies for the 2019 Masters Tournament. Current members of Lynn's men's golf team, Gana, Carlos Bustos, Jorge Villar and Agustin Errazuriz as well as alum Manuel Torres will all be participating.
Gana and Torres are each making their fourth career appearances. The duo both played at the Teeth of the Dog in 2016 with Torres tying for 13th and Gana, who was not a Lynn student-athlete at the time, missing the cut. Alums Jose Andres Miranda (T-16th), Martin Cancino (MC) and Mateo Gomez (MC) also participated.
In 2017, Gana took top honors with alum Gomez tying for 14th, Torres earning a tie for 16th and Miranda placing 47th in his final LAAC.
While not earning a win in 2018, the Fighting Knights posted their most successful LAAC as three golfers finished within the top-13. Gana and Torres tied for seventh while Bustos tied for 13th in his LAAC debut.
The 72-hole, stroke play tournament will cut its field of 108 male players to the top-50 players, plus ties, after 36 holes. In the event of a tie, the winner is decided by sudden-death playoff. The only playoff to occur came in 2017 as Gana edged out Joaquin Niemann (2018 winner) and Alvaro Ortiz (runner-up in 2017 & 2018) on the second playoff hole.
In addition to the invitation to compete at the 2019 Masters Tournament, the winner also receives an exemption into The Amateur Championship, conducted by The R&A, an exemption into the U.S. Amateur Championship, an exemption in The Open Qualifying Series – final qualifying, with an opportunity to earn a place in The 148th Open at Royal Portrush, and an exemption into sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, with an opportunity to earn a place in the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
The fifth Latin America Amateur Championship will broadcast coverage airing across five continents. European Tour Productions will produce the high-definition broadcast, including two hours of live coverage on each of the four competition days. The schedule times for each rounds live broadcast are as follows:
- First Round: Thursday, Jan. 17: 3-5 pm ET
- Second Round: Friday, Jan. 18: 3-5 pm ET
- Third Round: Saturday, Jan. 19: 12-2 pm ET
- Final Round: Sunday, Jan. 20: 12-2 pm ET
Live coverage can also be watched at LAACgolf.com.