LA ROMANA, Dominican Republic (AP) — Alvaro Ortiz of Mexico made birdie on the par-5 18th on Saturday for a 2-under 70, giving him a one-shot lead and a third opportunity to capture the Latin American Amateur Championship.
Ortiz lost in a three-man playoff in 2017 and was runner-up last year to Joaquin Niemann.
A victory would earn the 23-year-old Mexican a spot in the Masters, along with an exemption into the final stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open and British Open.
Ortiz was at 8-under 208, one shot ahead of Luis Fernando Barco of Peru (71) and Augustin Errazuriz of Chile (69). Chilean players have won four times in the five years of the Latin American Amateur.
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Juan Cayro Delgado, who had the 36-hole lead before a home crowd at Casa de Campo’s Teeth of the Dog course, had a 77 and fell six shots behind.
Ortiz now has held the lead after six rounds in his five appearances in this event.
“I think hopefully you’ll see me tomorrow lifting the trophy,” said Ortiz, whose older brother Carlos is on the PGA Tour. “That’s the plan. I’m just going to try to be patient. I’ve been here before. I know what it takes. I think last year I did a great job but Joaquin did a better job than I did. I’m going to trust my process, be patient and have the best attitude I can have.”