It is safe to say that Mateo Fernández de Oliveira does not want to leave any doubt.
Last year, the senior from Arkansas finished runner-up in the Latin American Amateur Championship. He barely missed an invite to two majors, including the Masters.
This year, the Argentine has taken command with 18 holes to play. Fernández de Oliveira went under on moving day, sparked by a five-birdie streak over as many holes over the back nine to shoot a 9-under 63 and carry a four-shot lead into the final round of the Sunday at Grand Reserve Golf Club in Puerto Rico. He is 18 under par for the tournament, leading second-round leader Luis Carrera, who is a native of Mexico and a fifth-year student at UCF.
Fernández de Oliveira’s 18-under total is a 54-hole LAAC record. In addition, his mark of nine under par in the third round ties the tournament record set by Joaquin Niemann.
Razorback teammate Julian Perico is tied for third at 13-under. Perico shot a 5-under 67 during the third round. He is tied with Vicente Marzillo, who shot 6-under on Saturday.
Fernández de Oliveira had the best round of the day by two shots, but the highlight came when he birdied numbers 11-15 to take the lead. He too finished on a high note, birdieing the par-4 18th to cap his bogey-free round.
The winner will receive numerous exemptions, including for the 2023 Masters, the Open Championship and the US Open for the first time. In addition, they will also be fully exempt from the 128th Amateur Championship, the US Amateur Championship, and any other USGA Amateur Championships for which they are eligible.
The runner-up is exempt from participating in the final qualifying stages for the US Open and the Open Championship.
The story originally appeared on GolfWeek