RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – Argentina’s Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira had a record-breaking day at the Grand Reserve to build a four-shot lead at the Latin American Amateur Championship on Saturday, one round away from the Masters and the US Open.
Fernandez de Oliveira, who missed the final by 1 shot last year in the Dominican Republic, shot a tournament record 9-under 63.
He broke the 54-hole championship record set in 2015 by 8 strokes, the highest in Arkansas at 18 under. He also set the record with nine birdies.
Mexico’s Luis Carrera, who was the 36-hole leader, was 4 shots back with a 68. Argentina’s Vicente Marzillio (66) and Peru’s Julian Perico (67) were another shot behind. Marsilio was also 2nd last year.
Fernandez de Oliveira couldn’t get off a pair of par 5s on the front nine and didn’t press. And then he lit it up, starting with four straight birdies on the 12th hole and posting a 30 on the back nine to build a big lead.
“I’m feeling great,” Fernandez de Oliveira said. “It’s been a really good three rounds. I think I’ve put myself where I want to be going into the final round. I’ve done some good things in these first three days, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
The winner will play at the Masters in April and the US Open at Los Angeles Country Club in June, earning a place in the final round of qualifying for the British Open.
Cayman Islands defending champion Aaron Jarvis shot 72, 16 shots behind to become the first Latin American amateur champion to win twice.