Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira turns 23 on Monday but received a few early gifts Sunday.
The Arkansas senior set the 72-hole scoring record with his win at the 2023 Latin America Amateur Championship, which comes with more than just a trophy. Fernandez de Oliveira, the second Argentinian to win the LAAC following Abel Gallegos in 2020, earned an invitation to the 2023 Masters, as well as an exemption to the U.S. Open at the Los Angeles Country Club and an exemption for the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
“I’m still very shocked. I think my life has changed,” said Fernandez de Oliveira. “I’m looking forward to a great year. I’m going to take advantage of the three opportunities that I’ve been given for winning this event. So I’m very happy and I just want to enjoy every second of it.”
“Going back where Roberto (De Vicenzo) won in 1967, it’s very special,” he added. “I went (to Royal Liverpool) in 2016, and the minute I walked into the clubhouse, they asked me where I was from and I said ‘Argentina’, and they told me, ‘Okay, come with me.’ They took me to the lunch room where they have portraits and everything about where when he won. I felt very proud.”
Fernandez de Oliveira shot a 5-under 67 in Sunday’s final round to reach 23-under 265, which broke the previous mark of 273 set by Joaquin Niemann (2018). Luis Carrera finished runner-up four shots back and earned a spot in the final stages of qualifying for both the U.S. Open and Open Championship.
“I think the week has been fantastic,” said Carrera. “I am not sad at all. I just wish I could have won, but it was a great experience. I proved myself that I can play great golf, be up there, and win big tournaments. It is satisfying.”
Vicente Marzillo, last year’s runner up at Casa de Campo, finished third at 17 under, with Jose Islas fourth at 15 under and Manuel Lozada in fifth at 14 under. Defending champion Aaron Jarvis finished T-17 at 4 under.
The 2024 Latin America Amateur Championship will be played at Santa Maria Golf Club in Panama City, Panama, Jan. 18-21.