The 2020 Latin America Amateur Championship is underway as Peru is announced as host country for next year’s tournament.

The 2020 Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) is underway at the El Camaleon course in Mayakoba, Mexico.

In a press conference held on Thursday morning, Martin Slumbers of The R&A, Fred Ridley of the Masters Tournament and Mike Davis of the USGA announced that the 2021 Latin America Championship will be held at Lima Golf Club in Peru.

Home player Luis Gerardo Garza began proceedings in this year’s championship, striking the first tee shot at 7.45 on Thursday morning.

This is the sixth running of the LAAC and the event has developed significantly since it was first held in Buenos Aires in 2015.

The standard of play in the championship has improved greatly and a number of LAAC graduates have gone on to enjoy success in the professional ranks.

2018 champion Joaquin Niemann of Chile has won on the PGA Tour – the 2019 Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, as has Sebastian Munoz of Colombia who participated in the inaugural LAAC – He triumphed at the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship.

2021 LAAC will head to Peru

It was announced on Thursday by the founding partners of the LAAC that the 2021 LAAC will be held in Peru.

The seventh instalment of the championship will take place at Lima Golf Club in Lima, Peru.

It will be the third time the event has been held on the continent of South America, following the 2015 tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the 2018 championship in Santiago, Chile.

Numbers from the LAAC

12 – Players have competed in all six instalments of the Latin America Amateur Championship: James Johnson of Barbados, Jarryd Dillas of Bermuda, Daniel Ishii of Brazil, Lucas Rosso of Chile, Matias Dominguez of Chile, Ivan Ramirez of Colombia, Paul Chaplet of Costa Rica, Esteban Missura of Ecuador, Daniel Gurtner of Guatemala, Luis Gerardo Garza of Mexico, Ernesto Martin of Nicaragua and Miguel Ordonez of Panama.

15 – The youngest player in this year’s championship is 15-year-old Pablo Lacayo of Nicaragua.

61 – Desinor Pierre of Haiti is the oldest player in this year’s field. The 61-year-old is a tennis coach back home.

63 – Lowest 18-hole score in LAAC history by Joaquin Niemann on the final day in 2018.

115 – Highest 18-hole score in LAAC history, by Gerald Mathias of Haiti in 2015.

1 – Hole-in-one in the history of the LAAC, by Nicolas Echavarria during the second round in 2015.

16 – Shots improvement from round one to round two by Walker Campbell of Bermuda last year at Casa de Campo. He fired 84 followed by 68.

28 – Countries represented in this LAAC.

50 – Players plus ties will make the cut in this year’s LAAC

Nice story on Rory

In a press conference yesterday 2017 LAAC winner Toto Gana told a great story about Rory McIlroy. Toto met him at Augusta two weeks before the 2017 Masters when both were playing a practice round.

The pair got talking and they arranged to play a practice round together on Tuesday of the tournament at 8am.

But Toto didn’t take his number and there was no confirmation by message or email, he wondered if it would come to pass.

But come that Tuesday Toto headed to the course at 7am just in case.

There was Rory on the practice ground hitting drivers – Toto thought “Oh, he’s finishing up, he must have forgotten.”

But no, Rory saw him and shouted over – “Hey Toto. See you on No. 1.”

They played a practice together and Toto described it as his fondest memory from that Masters.