Alvaro Ortiz finally breaks through for Latin America Am win, earns Masters spot

Alvaro Ortiz finally breaks through for Latin America Am win, earns Masters spot

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Alvaro Ortiz finally breaks through for Latin America Am win, earns Masters spot

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Alvaro Ortiz finally has his Masters invite.

The 23-year-old Mexican player got a big fight from Luis Gagne on Sunday but finished birdie-birdie for a closing 6-under 66, a 14-under total and a two-shot victory at the Latin America Amateur Championship.

This week’s winner earned a spot in the 2019 Masters, so Ortiz is now in the field at Augusta.

With the win, he also gets full exemptions into the U.S. Amateur, British Amateur and any other USGA amateur championship for which he is eligible. Ortiz and Gagne (because he finished runner-up) will also be exempt into the final stages of qualifying for the U.S. Open and British Open.

Ortiz earns this win after finishing runner-up at this event each of the last two years, including a playoff loss in 2017.

He began the final round at Casa de Campo’s Teeth of the Dog in the Dominican Republic with a one-shot lead and was 4 under on his round through 13 with the help of an eagle-birdie run at Nos. 12 and 13, but he was only tied for the lead with Gagne late in the proceedings at 12 under.

Gagne, though, would finish bogey-birdie to fire his own 66 and get in at 12 under. Ortiz’s finishing kick earned him the title.

Ortiz had an exemplary career at Arkansas, one that included an All-SEC senior campaign in 2017-18. That season saw him ranked 47th by the Golfweek/Sagarin college rankings. He won twice at the college level.

Luis Fernando Barco finished in solo third at 9 under. Toto Gana, the 2017 champion, placed fourth at 8 under.

Paul Chaplet, the 2016 winner, placed T-47 at 12 over. Gwk

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