ZURICH ARGENTINA SWING
Julián Etulain wins the NEC Argentina Classic
Argentinian picks up his fourth victory on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica
November 12, 2017
By Communications, PGATOURLA.COM
- November 12, 2017
- Julián Etulain climbed to 20th place in the Order of Merit, a ranking that Rodríguez still leads. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
LUJAN, Argentina – Argentina’s Julián Etulain took control of the NEC Argentina Classic on the weekend and cruised to victory. Etualian finished at 19-under at the Golf Club Las Praderas de Lujan, shooting a 69 on the final day to defeat Americans Jared Wolfe and Colin Featherstone by a stroke. Mexico’s Rodolfo Cazaubón, Uruguayan Juan Álvarez and Argentines Sebastián Saavedra and Julio Zapata shared fourth, at 17-under 271.
Etulain's victory allowed him to join Cazaubón and José de Jesús Rodríguez as the only players to win four PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournaments. Additionally, the check for $31,500 pushed Etulain to the top of the Zurich Argentina Swing, a competition that will see its end next week at the 112th VISA Open in Argentina presented by Macro.
“I feel very happy with my first victory in my country. I hit the first 12 holes very well, and then it got complicated by some nerves and by the great level of the rivals. The Tour has been key in my career because here began the dream of playing with the best. I will definitely arrive with great confidence for next week’s Open,” said Etulain, who climbed to 20th place in the Order of Merit, a ranking that Rodríguez still leads despite not playing this week.
The last 18 holes of the tournament were full of suspense that included a great start by Wolfe. The Louisville, Kentucky, native recorded seven birdies and no bogeys on his first 10 holes, contrasted by Etulain, who played that stretch in 2-under (four birdies and two bogeys).
Despite this, Etulain, the 2014 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Player of the Year, made a key birdie on No. 14, that Wolfe matched and the duo remained tied. Etulain parred his final four holes, while the turning point came at No. 16, when Wolfe bogeyed. That was the final margin.
On the 18th hole, an errant drive caused Etulain some problems. But after missing the green in regulation, he was able to get up and down for par. “I made two big shots that were enough to give me the victory,” said Etulain.
Wolfe just missed snaring his second title of the season. As a consolation, he climbed to second place in the Order of Merit, with $83,699. The graduate of Murray State University added his fourth top-10 in 15 appearances this season. Additionally, he is third in the Zurich Argentina Classic, after two-second places and a top-15.
The Zurich Argentina Swing will see its final next week with the 112th VISA Open of Argentina presented by Macro. The tournament is at the famed Jockey Club. The competition, which brings together the four events of the Tour in Argentina, will reward the player with the best performance with $10,000. Additionally, Zurich Argentina will donate 600 Argentine pesos to the Fundación Integrar for each birdie or eagle that is made on the 18th hole during each of the competition rounds.