Razorback wins Latin American Amateur, receives Masters invitation

Arkansas golfer Mateo Fernandez De Oliveira watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during an NCAA golf tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Johnson. (AP Photo/Michael Woods).

FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas golfer Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira fired a final-round 5-under 67 to smash more tournament records en route to winning the Latin American Amateur Championship on Sunday at Grand Reserve Golf Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Fernandez de Oliveira, who tied the tournament record with a blistering 63 to take the lead Saturday, beat Mexico’s Luis Carrera by four strokes with a championship record score of 23-under 265. 

The previous record had been a 13-under 273 in 2018, and the previous low in relation to par had been 14-under by former Razorback Alvaro Ortiz in 2019.

The perks of winning the title are huge for Fernandez de Oliveira, who was the runner-up in last year’s championship in the Dominican Republic. He will receive invitations to play in this year’s Masters, the British Open, the U.S. Open, the Amateur Championship and the U.S. Amateur.

Carrera, trailing by four shots entering the final round, drew within two shots, but Fernandez de Oliveira carded birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 to push back ahead by four, then closed his round with six consecutive pars.

Fernandez de Oliveira also claimed the tournament’s 54-hole record at 18-under in dominating this year’s event.

He led a strong contingent of four Razorbacks who all finished in the top 15. After his victory, the native of Buenos Aires was doused with bottled water by his Argentinian teammates, including Manuel Lozada and Segundo Oliva Pinto, his teammates at Arkansas.

Lozada carded a second-consecutive 68 on Sunday to finish in fifth place at 14-under 274. 

Arkansas fifth-year senior Julian Perico of Peru, who had a 66 on Friday, closed with a par 72 and took sixth place, one shot behind Lozada.

Oliva Pinto, who was tied for 42nd place through 36 holes, shot back-to-back 68s the final two rounds and finished at 6-under 282 and tied for 15th place.

Fernandez de Oliveira is the second Argentinian to win the LAAC, following 2020 winner Abel Gallego. He is the third play to take the title after finishing runner-up the year before, after Joaquin Neimann of Chile in 2018 and Ortiz of Mexico in 2019.