It’s safe to say that Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira doesn’t want to leave any doubt.
Last year, the Arkansas senior finished runner-up at the Latin American Amateur Championship. He barely missed an invitation to two majors, including the Masters.
This year, the Argentine has taken command with 18 holes to play. Fernandez de Oliveira went down on the day, fueled by a stretch of five birdies on as many holes on the back nine to shoot a 9-under 63 and take a four-shot advantage into Sunday’s final round at the Grand Reserve Golf Club in Puerto Rico. He sits at 18 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-hole total is a 54-hole LAAC record. Additionally, his 9-under par in the third round tied the tournament record set by Joaquin Niemann.
Fellow Razorback teammate Julian Perico is tied for third at 13 under. Perico shot a 5-under 67 during the third round. He is 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 went 11-15 to take the lead. He finished on a high note, too, carding the par-4 18th to finish his round without a bogey.
for what day @MateofdeoMateo! 😮💨
A (-17) player from Argentina.
– Latin American Amateur Championship (@LAAC_Golf) January 14, 2023
The winner will receive multiple exemptions, including the 2023 Masters, the Open Championship and the US Open for the first time. In addition, they will also be completely disqualified from the 128th Amateur Championship, the US Amateur Championship and any other USGA Amateur Championship for which he is eligible.
The second runners-up are eliminated in the final stages of qualifying for the Open and the US Open.