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  • ZURICH ARGENTINA SWING

    Ledesma holds on to win by three in Cordoba

    His victory at the 86th Abierto OSDE del Centro turned him into the new leader of the Order of Merit and the Zurich Argentina Swing

  • Nelson Ledesma became the 13th Argentina player to win on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
    Nelson Ledesma became the 13th Argentina player to win on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
  • In This Article
  • CORDOBA, Argentina – Making his 78th career start on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica this past week at the 86th playing of the Abierto OSDE del Centro presented by FiberCorp, Nelson Ledesma was finally able to collect his breakthrough win on the region’s top stage.

    The 26-year old from Tucuman, Argentina birdied two of the last three holes to card an even-par 71 on the final day for a resounding three-stroke victory. Ledesma finished the week at 9-under 275 and the win secured him the top spot in both the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit and the Zurich Argentina Swing standings.

    He felt especially proud about winning at the Cordoba Golf Club, one of the toughest courses in his home country and across the Tour that features 19 events in 15 countries.

    “It feels great to win here in Cordoba because of the atmosphere surrounding this event, the way people enjoys golf here and the club’s history and tradition,” said the champion who was one of only two players to card four rounds of par or better.

    A narrow 6,878-yard par-71 that has hosted this event since 1927, the Cordoba GC has consistently been a top test. “Here you have to strike the ball really well. You have no chance to get distracted, not even for a second, you must stay fully focused. Every shot makes you think, especially on the weekend with the greens playing firmer and the wind being a factor. I knew it all depended on me to have a shot at lifting the trophy.”

    Holding the overnight lead by two shots, Ledesma saw his lead disappear a couple of times, but none of the other contenders could move past him. His countryman Paulo Pinto, the man who held the lead after the opening round on Thursday, reemerged with three consecutive birdies off No. 10 to card a 69. Pinto ended up sharing the second spot with Hank Lebioda of Winter Springs, Florida, who shot 69 as well to make it back-to-back runner-up finishes on Tour.

    After bogeying 14 and 15 to drop to 7-under, Ledesma ran into a tie with Pinto, who birdied the par-five No. 16 playing a group ahead. “I knew I needed to make a good shot there (on 16) and I probably made my best shot of the final round,” Ledesma said about a 42-yard third shot he hit into the green. “I hit the pin and it spun back about 20-feet. I knew I had a good chance to sink it because I had an uphill putt and I did.”

    Making the birdie putt on 16 to get to 8-under and with Pinto bogeying 17, the eventual champion reached the final hole leading by two. “After I hit my tee shot on 18 my caddie told me that the second place was at 6-under, so I felt very comfortable and that’s probably why I made birdie there,” he said about the closing ten-footer he made for a 3 at the par-four No. 18.

    Córdoba Golf Club

    Ledesma reacts after making his final birdie at the 72nd hole. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)

    Collecting his third consecutive top-12 finish, Ledesma improved his season earnings to $40,075 dollars to claim the lead on the race to move up to the Web.com Tour in 2018. “That top spot is what all of us are pursuing all the time. I know I’m working better than ever. I’m surrounded by a great team and I believe they have a lot to do with this,” he said.

    Enriching this special occasion, Ledesma was grateful to have his family watching from outside the ropes. His parents David and Olga, his younger brother Leonardo, his wife Eliana, and his 20-month old son Lorenzo, made the 310-mile car ride from Tucuman early in the day.

    “I think they left at 5 a.m. and it took them about six or seven hours to get here. Two weeks ago, my father told me that he would make the trip if I was in contention entering the weekend and his timing couldn’t be better. They arrived ten minutes before I teed off and that filled me with joy,” he added with a huge smile.

    Following this thrilling week at the fifth event of the season, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will take a week off before heading to Costa Rica for the inaugural Essential Costa Rica Classic. This new event will be played at Reserva Conchal in the province of Guanacaste, May 1-7.

    ABOUT THE CHAMPION:

    Born on July 25, 1990 Ledesma collected this victory at the age of 26 years, 8 months, 29 days.

    Nelson Ledesma recorded one eagle, 17 birdies and ten birdies to win this event.

    He was making his 78th official start PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, a Tour he joined for the inaugural season in 2012.

    The victory in Cordoba was his 13th top-10 on Tour. His record includes three runner-up finishes and a solo third.

    This was his sixth career title as a professional. Previous five wins in Argentina include the Dev Series’ 2014 Abierto del Sur in Mar del Plata.

    He became the 13th Argentine player to win on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. Those players combine for 23 wins in 82 official events.

    The following are the Argentine winners on Tour (number of wins): Julián Etulain (3), Tommy Cocha (3), Fabián Gómez (3), Jorge Fernández Valdés (3), Ariel Cañete (2), Ángel Cabrera (2), Matías O’Curry (1), Clodomiro Carranza (1), Alan Wagner (1), Sebastián Fernández (1), Emiliano Grillo (1), Augusto Núñez (1) and Nelson Ledesma (1).