Fraustro back on his feet after playoff win in his home country
The 35-year old Mexican edged out Carlos Sainz, Jr. and Brad Hopfinger in a playoff for the San Luis Championship title
September 10, 2017
By Gregory Villalobos, PGATOURLA.COM
- With his win at the 2017 San Luis Championship, Oscar Fraustro charged into the 14th spot in the Order of Merit. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
SAN LUIS POTOSÍ, Mexico - Although he moved all the way to the PGA TOUR in 2015, Oscar Fraustro entered the San Luis Championship without status on any international Tour. He joined last week’s field at the San Luis Championship, thanks to a sponsor exemption that proved extremely valuable.
One of four opening-round co-leaders, Fraustro stayed in contention throughout the entire week and gave himself a shot at the title with birdies on three of the last five holes in regulation. His closing birdie on No. 18, a 25-footer with a lot of break, got him into a three-way tie for first and into a playoff he would eventually win.
“I had a putt that was pretty much impossible to make,” he said of the one he needed to make at the 72nd hole. “I felt confident it was going to drop, and I sank a spectacular putt.”
Enorme putt para birdie de @oscarfraustro en el hoyo 72 para llegar a 9-bajo par y asegurar su sitio en el playoff en el que eventualmente se proclamaría campeón del #SanLuisChamp. #tirodeldia #shotoftheday A huge birdie putt to secure a piece of the lead and a spot in a playoff he went on to win this Sunday afternoon in #SanLuisPotosi. Welcome back to the #pgatourla winners' circle Oscar Fraustro!
With his final round, 2-under 70, to finish at 9-under 279, Fraustro joined Carlos Sainz, Jr., who shot 69 playing by his side, and Brad Hopfinger, who carded a low of the day 5-under 67, in a tie for first—and a sudden-death playoff.
With Hopfinger hitting his tee shot into the water on the first playoff hole, that left Fraustro and Sainz to card pars to remain tied after playing the par-5 18th 18 twice. The third playoff hole was on No. 10, a 415-yard par-4 that proved decisive.
“I had two good chances to win it on the first two playoff holes, but I got to No. 10, where I didn’t hit a good shot in all four rounds, and finally hit a perfect wedge. I left it very close to the hole, and that was enough,” Fraustro said about the 104-yard second shot that landed within two feet.
After watching Sainz miss a 10-footer for birdie, the 35-year-old made the title clincher and rose his fist in the air to a big roar from the local fans.
“The last two years have been very difficult. I lost my status on all Tours—even airline status,” Fraustro joked. “I dropped to the bottom of the bottom. Two hard years for me and my family, working very hard and constantly hitting into a wall. Winning here, in my home country, on a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica event is truly satisfying and fills me with hope toward the future.” The victory put Fraustro back into the winners’ circle in a Tour where he won the DR Open on his way to finishing second in the Order of Merit in 2012.
The first-place check for $31,500 helped Fraustro charge into the 14th spot in the Order of Merit. He will no longer need to rely on sponsor exemptions as he is now fully exempt for the rest of the season.
His original plan entering the week was to play first stage of Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament in about a month, but now he can skip that and focus on moving farther up the Latinoamérica Order of Merit.The first-place check for $31,500 helped Fraustro charge into the 14th spot in the Order of Merit.
“I want to be on the Web.com Tour next year, either through this Tour’s top spots or through Q-School. That is now my focus, and I will plan the rest of the year well in order to achieve that goal,” he said.
While Sainz and Hopfinger shared runner-up honors, Jimmy Beck III, who entered the final round leading by one, joined José de Jesús “El Camarón” Rodríguez, who led for most of the week, in a tie for fourth, at 8-under 280. With pars at the last to finish one shot outside the playoff, Beck carded a 74 and Rodríguez a 73.
For Rodríguez, who dropped off the lead after making a double bogey on No. 14, this was his fourth consecutive top-four on Tour. With his earnings, he extended his lead on the Order of Merit from $25,847 to $32,672 over Argentina’s Nelson Ledesma.
After its only event of the year in Mexico, the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica goes into a four-week break before sanctioning three consecutive events in South America next month. The Tour’s next stop will be in Brazil, where the 64th Aberto do Brasil is scheduled to start on October 12. That last of four events featured on the Bupa Challenge will be played for at the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro for the second consecutive year.
With the course still wet during another day of overcast skies and sporadic rain, for the fourth consecutive day players were allowed to lift, clean and replace the ball throughout the green.
Born in Mexico City on June 14, 1982, he claimed this victory at age 35 years, 2 months, 27 days.
This was his second career win on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, where his claimed the 2012 DR Open in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
This was the 12th PGA TOUR Latinoamérica win by a Mexican player: José de Jesús Rodríguez (four), Rodolfo Cazaubón (three), Sebastián Vázquez (two), Oscar Fraustro (two), Armando Favela (one).
He became the 20th player with at least two career wins on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
Fraustro, now 14th on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit, entered the week ranked 158th, with only $1,183 earned in one start.
He turned pro in 2006. Fraustro finished the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica inaugural season ranked second in 2012 to move to the Web.Tour. He played at that next level in 2013 and 2014 before moving on to the PGA TOUR. During that one season in 2014-15, Fraustro enjoyed one top-10 in 21 TOUR starts.
He lives in Florida, with his wife, Nilufer, and their children, Lucas, 5, and Laila, 2.