PANAMA CITY (AP) — UCLA junior Omar Morales of Mexico opened with a 1-under 69 on Thursday and shared the lead with Santiago de la Fuente of Mexico and Jose Arzu of Guatemala after one round of the Latin America Amateur.
Morales hit the opening tee shot in the U.S. Open last year at Los Angeles Country Club and played the first round as though he wanted to get back.
The winner of the Latin America Amateur earns a spot in the U.S. Open, the Masters and the British Open.
Morales had two birdies over this last four holes in the wind of Santa Maria Golf Club. At No. 72 in the world amateur ranking, he is the highest-ranked player in the field.
De la Fuente made birdie on the closing hole to join his fellow Mexican in a share of the lead. Arzu started strong with three straight birdies before settling for a 69.
Eight countries and territories were represented among the top 10.
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