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Colombia’s Ivan Camilo Ramirez took the Day 1 lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship with a first-round 68 at El Camaleón Golf Club in Mexico.
The former Texas Tech Red Raider started with two early bogeys but rebounded with five birdies in a seven-hole stretch, from Nos. 5-11, and came home with seven consecutive pars.
The winner this week at Mayakoba will earn invitations to both the Masters and The Open Championship.
“I think the prizes have to stay out of our mind,” Ramirez said. “I just need to play golf. I need to play 54 more holes with the plan that I have.”
He leads by two over a pair of Chileans in Lukas Roessler and Gabriel Morgan Birke, who each posted 1-under 70. Birke is the highest-ranked player in the field, at 54th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Chileans have won the LAAC three times in its five-year history, with PGA Tour winner and International Presidents Cup team member Joaquin Niemann most recently taking the title in 2018.
Aaron Terrezas led the way for the host country with a 1-over 72. He sits tied for fourth, four back.
As for the three past champions in the field, Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet (2016) opened with 76, and Chile’s Matias Dominguez (2015) and Toto Gana (2017) each signed for 77.