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Masters Creates Latin America Amateur Event Beginning Next Year

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The Masters Tournament and golf’s two world governing bodies will host an amateur event in Argentina with the winner earning a spot in the Masters each year.

The first Latin America Amateur Championship will be played in 2015 at Pilar Golf course in Buenos Aires from Jan. 15-18. The 120-player field will be composed of the top amateur golfers in Latin America.

The event is similar to the five-year-old Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, which was created in 2009 by officials at Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters, as a way to help grow the game throughout Asia.

“We believe this event will be motivating to current and future generations of golfers and, one day, create heroes that will inspire others to give the game a try,” Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National and the Masters Tournament, said in a statement.

Along with earning a spot in the Masters, the winner and runner-up in the Latin America event will be exempt into the final rounds of qualifying for U.S. and British Opens, officials with the U.S. Golf Association and Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews said. The winner will also receive exemptions into the U.S. and British Amateur Championships and any other U.S. Golf Association amateur event for which he is eligible.

The 2014 Masters takes place April 10-13 in Augusta, Georgia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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