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  • Del Val wins rain shortened Argentina Classic

    The final round of the tournament presented by NEC could not be played due to bad weather

  • With his win in Lujan, Del Val secured his seventh top-10 this season in Latin America. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
    With his win in Lujan, Del Val secured his seventh top-10 this season in Latin America. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
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  • LUJAN, Argentina – The par-saving 18-footer he made on the 54th hole on Saturday afternoon turned out to be the title clincher for Samuel Del Val at the Argentina Classic presented by NEC.

    The 29-year old Bilbao, Spain native was declared the winner of the 16th tournament of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season when thunderstorms moved into the Club Campos de Golf Las Praderas de Lujan to force the cancellation of the final round on Sunday.

    After postponing the start of the final round several times throughout the day, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica officials found the course saturated by rain that made it unplayable. The final round was canceled at 12:50 p.m.

    Del Val, who posted rounds of 69-66-68, secured the title with a score of 13-under 203. He won by one over Augusto Núñez of Tucuman, Argentina and Derek Gillespie of Ontario, Canada.

    “This is a long-awaited victory. I've been seeking this win for four years and it's finally here,” said the champion who had had two runner-up finishes in 58 previous starts through four seasons in Latin America.

    “When stuff like this happens (it’s) hard to control the emotions. You really don’t know if you are going to play or not, but I kept telling myself that we were going to play and that is was going to be a long day, a good battle with several good players near the top. You know we didn’t play and I guess it was enough to claim the win, so I’m very happy for the way things turned out.”

    Although it was the result of a rain-shortened event, this seemed to be a very deserving win for Del Val. He became the first European champion on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica while being one of the most consistent players this season with seven top-10s in 16 starts.

    “I had been working very hard for a result like this. I knew the win was there, but we know how hard this Tour is getting every year, the competition is getting so much stronger, so winning is really hard. I had been close a few times and I wasn’t able to win until this week and now things are looking a lot better. Hopefully I would be able to stay inside the top-5,” said the Berry College graduate who charged inside the fourth spot of the Order of Merit.

    Results wise, Argentina had not been that kind to Del Val in the past, but a tie for the eighth spot at the Abierto OSDE del Centro last April in Cordoba and today’s win in Lujan have changed that. He will enter next week’s 111th VISA Open de Argentina presented by OSDE as the leader of the Zurich Argentina Swing, a competition within the competition that covers the three PGA TOUR Latinoamérica events on this country.

    Although he was unable to challenge Del Val on this final day, a share of the second spot proved a positive outcome for Augusto Núñez. This week’s pay raised his season earnings to $101,554 to turn him into the new Order of Merit No. 1 with only two events left to play.

    Finishing the week one stroke behind Núñez to tie for the fourth spot, Guillermo Pereira of Santiago, Chile remains second on the Order of Merit. The 21-year old has also surpassed the $100,000 mark in season earnings and trails the Argentine by only $401 in the race for the much-coveted first spot.

    Samuel Del Val interview after winning the Argentina Classic
    • Interviews

      Samuel Del Val interview after winning the Argentina Classic

    NOTES:

    Weather shortened events on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. Only four out of 76 official tournaments sanctioned by PGA TOUR Latinoamérica have been shortened to 54 holes. The following are those events and their winners:

    2013 Puerto Rico Classic – Ryan Sullivan, USA
    2014 Argentina Classic – Fabián Gómez, Argentina
    2015 Guatemala Stella Artois Open – Danny Balin, USA
    2016 Argentina Classic – Samuel Del Val, Spain

    Zurich Argentina Swing Top-5. After two of three events on the 2016 Zurich Argentina Swing, Samuel Del Val has taken the lead. The following are the leading five players and their earnings with one event to play this coming week in Buenos Aires:

    1. Samuel Del Val, Spain $36,400 (Argentina Classic presented NEC champion)
    2. Anthony Paolucci, USA $31,500 (Abierto OSDE del Centro champion)
    3. Augusto Núñez, Argentina $16,231
    4. Derek Gillespie, Canada $15,400
    5. Eric Steger, USA $12,964

    Next Sunday, the player earning the most official money thru this trio of events will be the Zurich Argentina Swing winner and will receive a bonus prize of $ 10,000 dollars courtesy of Zurich.

    Los Cinco. With Augusto Núñez moving into the top spot and Nate Lashley slipping down to third because of a missed cut, the following are the Order of Merit’s top-5 players thru 16 of 18 official events:

    1. Augusto Núñez, Tucuman, Argentina $101,554
    2. Guillermo Pereira, Santiago, Chile $101,153
    3. Nathan Lashley, Scottsdale, Arizona $93,997
    4. Samuel Del Val, Bilbao, Spain $79,476
    5. Puma Domínguez, San Luis, Argentina $76,451

    Leading Latin Americans. The following are the Latin American players who finished this week’s event inside the top-10:

    T2. Augusto Núñez, Argentina 68-67-69--204 (-12)
    T4. Willy Pumarol, Dominican Republic 68-71-66--205 (-11)
    T4. Guillermo Pereira, Chile 71-67-67--205 (-11)
    T6. Matías Simaski, Argentina 71-66-69--206 (-10)
    T10. Thomas Baik, Argentina 69-71-67--207 (-9)
    T10. Francisco Ojeda, Argentina 71-68-68--207 (-9)
    T10. Clodomiro Carranza, Argentina 71-67-69--207 (-9)

    Low scores by round:
    R1: 64 (-8) Sergio Rohlmann *OHL Round of the Week winner
    R2: 65 (-7) Patrick Newcomb
    R3: 66 (-6) Willy Pumarol, Eric Sugimoto, Kelvin Day, Ricardo Celia.

    Rounds under par:
    R1: 47
    R2: 56
    R3: 28

    Bogey free rounds:
    R1: None
    R2: Patrick Newcomb (65), James Vargas (66), Franco Romero (66), Francisco Bidé (66), Leandro Marelli (69), Otto Black (69), Martin Tainer (70), Gustavo Acosta (70)
    R3: Eric Sugimoto (66), Kelvin Day (66), Taylor Moore (67).

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