PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) — Ivan Camilo Ramirez of Colombia handled the gusting conditions at Mayakoba for a 3-under 68 to build a two-shot lead after the opening round of the Latin American Amateur Championship.
The wind was so strong at El Camaleón Golf Club that only three players broke par from the 108-man field.
The course also hosts the Mayakoba Classic on the PGA Tour, and accuracy is key because of so much trouble lining the fairways.
Ramirez, who played college golf at Texas Tech, got his mistakes out of the way early. He opened with two bogeys in three holes, and then strung together four birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn. Equally important, he kept bogeys off his card the rest of the way.
Lukas Roessler of Chile didn’t make a bogey until the 12th hole in his round of 70. He was tied for second with Gabriel Morgan Birke, also of Chile, who had two birdies over his last three holes.
The tournament, organized by Augusta National, the Royal & Ancient and the USGA, is in its sixth year. The winner earns a spot in the Masters and the British Open, and is exempt into the final stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open.
Alvaro Ortiz of Mexico won last year. He competed for low amateur honors at the Masters, losing out to Viktor Hovland, and then turned pro.