It’s safe to say Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira doesn’t want to leave any doubt.
Last year, the senior at Arkansas finished runner-up at the Latin America Amateur Championship. He barely missed out on an invitation to two majors, including the Masters.
This year, the Argentinian has taken command with 18 holes to play. Fernandez de Oliveira went low on moving day, sparked by a stretch of five birdies in as many holes on the back nine to shoot 9-under 63 and take a four-shot advantage to Sunday’s final round at Grand Reserve Golf Club in Puerto Rico. He sits at 18 under for the tournament, leading second-round leader Luis Carrera, who hails from Mexico and is a fifth-year senior at UCF.
Fernandez de Oliveira’s 18-under total is a 54-hole LAAC record. Additionally, his 9-under mark in the third round ties the tournament record set by Joaquin Niemann.
Fellow Razorback teammate Julian Perico is tied for third at 13 under. Perico fired a 5-under 67 during the third round. He’s tied with Vicente Marzillo, who shot 6 under on Saturday.
Fernandez de Oliveira had the best round of the day by two shots, but the highlight came when he birdied Nos. 11-15 to pull into the lead. He finished on a high note, too, birdieing the par-4 18th to cap his bogey-free round.
The winner will receive numerous exemptions, including to the 2023 Masters, the Open Championship and the U.S. Open for the first time. In addition, they will also be fully exempt into the 128th Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur Championship and any other USGA amateur championship for which he is eligible.
The runner(s)-up is exempt into the final stages of qualifying for the U.S. Open and Open Championship.