Andre Tourinho of Brazil leads the Latin America Amateur Championship by a single shot from Chile’s Matias Dominguez and Joaquin Bonjour of Argentina after two rounds at Pilar Golf in Buenos Aires.

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Andre Tourinho of Brazil leads the Latin America Amateur Championship by a single shot from Chile’s Matias Dominguez and Joaquin Bonjour of Argentina after two rounds at Pilar Golf in Buenos Aires.

One of the morning starters, Tourinho set the early pace. The 24-year-old graduate of the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma fired a six-under-par 66 that featured eight birdies and two bogeys.

“It’s a huge opportunity – very few people get this opportunity,” said Tourinho, who won the Brazilian Amateur title in 2013 and 2014. “Having been the Brazilian champion for a couple of years now, I had to be here.”

Fergus Bisset on what he’s learned so far in Buenos Aires

Tourinho’s round was the best of the tournament, but that didn’t remain the case for too long. Chile’s Matias Dominguez got to eight-under-par for his round with a birdie at his 17th hole, Pilar’s short par-3 8th (measuring just 85 yards today.) He needed a par at the last to set a new course record but, unfortunately, he bogeyed it to post a 65. That score tied the Pilar Golf record, held by Angel Cabrera.

Joaquin Bonjour was on course to beat Dominguez’s 65; eight-under for his round with two holes to play. At that stage he was 11-under-par and three ahead at the top of the leaderboard. But the Argentinian’s round came unstuck on the par-3 17th. His tee shot drifted right on the breeze and kicked off the sloping edge to the green into a water hazard. He then dropped and played a poor third that found the water short of the green. His fifth shot made the putting surface and he two-putted for a quadruple-bogey seven. He parred the last to finish on seven-under-par for 36-holes.

“It was a mistake, I played the wrong shot on the 17th and then the second effort just wasn’t strong enough,” Bonjour said. “But I’ll learn from that and just focus on tomorrow.”

From the four first-round leaders, Juan Alvarez of Uruguay fared the best in round two. Despite a bogey at his final hole, he posted a solid 70 to finish 36-holes on six-under-par. Of the others, Alvaro Ortiz of Mexico is three-under, while Ian Facey of Jamaica and Argentina’s Gaston Bertinotti faded to one-over and two-over-par respectively.

The top-60 and ties make the cut at Pilar and will go on to contest the final two rounds over the weekend. With a handful of players still to finish at the time of writing, the cut looks like being seven-over-par but could drift to plus eight or even plus nine.

56-year-old Gerald Mathis from Haiti, on his first ever trip off his home island was looking to better his first round score of 108. He was on course to do that but, unfortunately, an 8, 7, 7, 9, 3, 7 (note the par-3 – his second par of the tournament) saw him post a disappointing 115.

Nicolas Echavarria of Colombia finished on one-under par, but he’ll always remember his second round here as he scored a hole-in-one at the short 8th hole. With the tee moved up, and the hole measuring only 85 yards, Echavarria played a 58-degree wedge, pitched it past the hole and spun it back into the cup for an ace.

The winner of this tournament will receive an invitation to the 2015 U.S. Masters. He will also, together with the runner-up or runners-up, earn a place in Final Stage Qualifying for the Open Championship and an exemption to the Amateur Championship. With the involvement of the USGA in the LAAC, the winner of this event will also gain an exemption into the U.S. Amateur Championship and he (and runner(s) up) will be given a place in Sectional Qualifying for the U.S. Open.

Latin America Amateur Championship – Round 2 Scores
Pilar Golf, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Par 72, 7,255 yards

1    Andre Tourinho (Bra)        70    66    136
T2    Matias Dominguez (Chi)        72    65    137
T2    Joaquin Bonjour (Arg)        69    68    137
4    Juan Alvarez (Uru)        68    70    138
T5    Alejandro Tosti (Arg)        69    70    139
T5    Juan Sebastian Munoz (Col)    69    70    139
7    Santiago Bauni (Arg)        72    68    140
T8    Guillermo Pereira (Chi)        71    70    141
T8    Alvaro Ortiz (Mex)            68    73    141
T8    Lucas Rosso (Chi)            69    72    141
T8    Jose Mendez (CRC)        73    68    141

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