Coastal Carolina senior Afredo Ruiz will be representing his native Mexico while playing in the 2017 Latin America Amateur Championship through Sunday at the Club de Golf de Panama in Panama City, Panama.
Augusta National Golf Club, the United States Golf Association and the R&A created the event to promote golf throughout Latin America, and the winner is rewarded with an invitation to play in this year’s Masters Tournament. There are 108 players in this year’s field.
Ruiz had a strong start to his senior season, finishing second and first in CCU’s first two fall events with scores of 8-under par 208 and 6-under 138. CCU interim head coach Chad Wilson said participating in the Latin America Amateur was one of Ruiz’s goals this season.
The tournament will be broadcast on ESPN2 from 3-5 p.m. Friday, on ESPNews from 1-3 p.m. Saturday and on ESPN from 1-3 p.m. Sunday. Live coverage is also available at LAACgolf.com.
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Thompson wins opener
BAHAMAS University of South Carolina alumnus Kyle Thompson earned his fifth career Web.com Tour title on Wednesday at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay with his third consecutive round of 2-under 70.
Thompson finished at 2-under 286, the only player under par in a tournament that was played in windy conditions throughout and featured the tour’s first ever Sunday-Wednesday format.
Myrtle Beach resident Roberto Diaz tied for 13th at 7-over 295, dropping out of a tie for 10th after three rounds with a final-round 75.
Thompson, 37, edged out Andrew Yun and Nicholas Thompson by two shots. The tournament’s 11-over 155 cutline was the highest in Web.com Tour history, and Thompson battled back from being 6-over-par through his first six holes of the first round, which featured winds up to 40 mph.
“[The first round] was just brutal. I can’t even describe how hard it was,” Thompson said. “Even today it was so hard. I felt like I was the guy in Caddyshack who is having the round of his life walking straight into the breeze. I never gave up. I didn’t quit even though I had a rough start. Turned it around. That was definitely one of the top three hardest rounds of my life, and I shot a score that kept me in the ball game. I just kept grinding and grinding.”