RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico (AP)Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira of Argentina had a record day at Grand Reserve to build a four-shot lead Saturday in the Latin America Amateur Championship, leaving him one round away from a spot in the Masters and U.S. Open.
Fernandez de Oliveira, who missed a playoff by one shot last year in the Dominican Republic, tied the tournament record with a 9-under 63.
The senior at Arkansas was at 18-under, breaking by eight shots the 54-hole record in the championship, which began in 2015. He also tied a record with nine birdies.
Luis Carrera of Mexico, who had the 36-hole lead, had a 68 and was four shots back. Vicente Marzilio of Argentina (66) and Juan Perico of Peru (67) were another shot behind. Marzilio also was a runner-up last year.
Fernandez de Oliveira failed to birdie a pair of par 5s on the front nine and didn’t press it. And then he turned it on, making four straight birdies starting on the 12th hole and posting a 30 on the back nine to build his big lead.
”I’m feeling very good. It’s been a great three rounds,” Fernandez de Oliveira said. ”I think I put myself in the spot that I like to be going into the final round. I made some good stuff out there during these first three days, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
The winner earns a spot in the Masters in April and the U.S. Open in June at Los Angeles Country Club, along with a spot in final qualifying for the British Open.
Defending champion Aaron Jarvis of the Cayman Islands had a 72 and fell 16 shots behind in his bid to become the first Latin America Amateur champion to win twice.
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