Peruvian Julián Périco surged into a three-stroke lead after the second round of the 2022 Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) at Casa de Campo’s Teeth of the Dog course.

In his fifth appearance at the LAAC, being staged for the seventh time and the third at Casa de Campo, Périco’s nine-under-par score of 135 broke the previous 36-hole record of Brazilian André Tourinho at the inaugural 2015 edition by one stroke and gave him a three-stroke advantage over Argentina’s Segundo Oliva Pinto (-6).

“I felt great today. I had the same game plan as yesterday to stay in the moment and it worked. I feel I am doing things right, particularly with my attitude and staying positive on the course,” said Périco, who has two previous top-six finishes in the LAAC.

The LAAC champion will receive an automatic invitation to the Masters Tournament and an exemption for The Open as well as a place in the final stages of qualifying for the U.S. Open.

The chasing pack was led by two other Argentines at five under: defending champion Abel Gallegos and Vicente Marzilio. On the same mark are Aaron Jarvis from the Cayman Islands, Mexican Santiago De la Fuente and Puerto Rican Roberto Nieves, who was the co-leader after the first round.

Périco made his move on the back nine, notching four successive birdies from the 11th and adding another at the par-5 closing hole. “I birdied 11, 12, 13, 14. Whenever I had a chance to attack the pin, I went for it. But it was a very clean round, I never forced anything”, said Périco.

He was joined in the top 10 by University of Arkansas teammates Mateo Fernández de Oliveira and Oliva Pinto.

“Julián did a great job. He played really well,” said Oliva Pinto, who had a slow start to his second round. “I guess I was not feeling that good with my game in the morning. But I was able to keep being aggressive and make a couple of birdies on the back nine. We have two tough days ahead of us. I am sure we are going to enjoy them and see who the best of the field is.”