Gallegos wins Latin American Amateur, earns spot in 2 majors

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PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP)Argentine teenager Abel Gallegos rallied from a two-shot deficit with a 4-under 67 at Mayakoba and won the Latin American Amateur Championship on Sunday to earn trips to the Masters and British Open.

Gallegos, a 17-year-old from a small town outside Buenos Aires, caught Jose Vega of Colombia with a birdie on the third hole and took the lead for good with a birdie on the par-5 seventh hole at El Camaleon Golf Club.

He finished with a birdie to win by four shots over Aaron Terrazas of Mexico, who also shot 67.

Vega, the 26-year-old regional sales director for Trackman, made only two birdies in the final round and closed with a 74 to finish alone in third.

Gallegos finished at 4-under 280, the only player in the field to finish under par.

He becomes the first Argentine to win the Latin American Amateur, which is organized by Augusta National, the R&A and the USGA. The previous five champions came from Chile three times, Mexico and Costa Rica.

The victory gives Gallegos a spot in the Masters in April and in the British Open at Royal St. George’s in July. He also is exempt into the final stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open, and is exempt for all USGA amateur events for which he is eligible.

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