PILAR, Argentina—In thrilling fashion, on a hot, wind-swept Pilará Golf Club, Cristóbal Del Solar won the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Argentina Qualifying Tournament on Friday. He rolled in a birdie putt on the first playoff hole with Colin Monagle that Monagle couldn’t match after the two players finished regulation tied at 11-under. The victory gave the Chilean a full exemption for the entire 2018 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season. Monagle and nine other players will have full status for the season’s first half of the schedule.
Daniel Barbetti, one of the 54-hole leaders, looked poised to grab the top spot. He was tied for the lead with one hole to play. A birdie by Barbetti there ultimately would have given him a win, and a par would have sent him to the playoff, but he made a double bogey on the final hole to tumble into a tie for fifth. Ultimately, it was Del Solar who seized the day. Even though Monagle was on the par-5 playoff hole in two shots and Del Solar was over the green with his second shot, he managed to get up and down, draining his four-footer for birdie while Monagle three-putted for par. “It’s obviously good to finish inside the top 11, but I really wanted to win the event,” Del Solar said.
It was also a disappointing finish to the tournament for 18-year-old Ignacio Sosa, the youngest player in the field. He walked to the 16th tee leading the tournament, at 13-under. But at No. 16, Sosa made a double bogey. He then bogeyed the 18th hole to drop to 10-under, a stroke out of the Del Solar-Monagle one-hole playoff.
The 11 players who emerged with cards this week come from five countries, with Argentina and the U.S., both with four players, leading the way.
Full Membership for 2018
Cristobal Del Solar (Chile)
Full Membership for the First Half of 2018
Colin Monagle (U.S.)
Josh Lee (U.S.)
Ignacio Sosa (Argentina)
(A) Andrés Gallegos (Argentina)
Daniel Barbetti (Argentina)
Rafael Echenique (Argentina)
Brandon Robinson-Thompson (England)
Skyler Finnell (U.S.)
Jonathan DiIanni (U.S.)
Ally Tidcombe (Canada)
Conditional Membership for the First Half of 2018
Daniel List (Australia)
Spencer Mellon (U.S.)
Matthew Campbell (U.S.)
Sean Walsh (U.S.)
Tomas Beitía (Argentina)
Tyler Sluman (U.S.)
Nick Sherwood (U.S.)
Victor Wiggins (U.S.)
David Cooke (U.S.)
Derek Tolan (U.S.)
Daniel Vancsik (Argentina)
Cole Willcox (U.S.)
Santiago Bauni (Argentina)
Puma Domínguez (Argentina)
Justin Jennings (U.S.)
Robert Mize (U.S.)
Jordan Gumberg (U.S.)
Corey Pereira (U.S.)
Brett Beazant (England)
(A) Charlie Stubbs (U.S.)
Gustavo Teodoro (Brazil)
Thomas Baik (Argentina)
Kristian Caparros (U.S.)
Bradford Curren (Canada)
Casey Fernandez (U.S.)
(A) Jaime López Rivarola (Argentina)
Thirty-seven players earned either full or conditional status on the Tour this week, with 12 of those players coming from Latin America. Argentina led the way, with 10 players (4 of them inside the top-11)
At 7-under with just the final hole to play, Kristian Caparros hit water three times on No. 18 on his way to a 12 at the par-5. He entered the day only one shot off the lead and dropped to a tie for 30th at even-par to get conditional status. He hit his first two tee shots in the water, made drops and hit into the water again. He then hit it into a greenside bunker, knocked his next shot over the green, chipped to six feet and missed the putt for his 12.
One hole where winner Cristóbal Del Solar really succeeded this week was at the par-5 seventh. He made three birdies and a par there this week.
The low round of the day was a 66 by Tyler Sluman, nephew of six-time PGA TOUR champion Jeff Sluman. Tyler entered the final round tied for 41st and moved all the way into a tie for 17th to earn conditional status this season. The younger Sluman was 3-under on his final four holes, going eagle-birdie-bogey-birdie.
The scoring average of 73.2 Friday was the second highest of the four rounds played this week and only slightly higher than Thursday’s third round (73.4).
The bogey-free rounds Friday came courtesy of Joshua Lee and Pedro Nagayama. They both finished with 67s. Lee qualified for the 2018 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, while Nagayama tied for 50th in the tournament, falling short of his membership goal.
“No. 18 is brutal, a spectacular hole. When Colin hit the green in two, I just tried to chip it close to have a birdie chance. It was not an easy chip, but I managed to hit it well.” –Cristóbal Del Solar
“I’ll set my goals for the year over the next few weeks. But for now I can tell you that one of my goals is to win on this Tour.” –Cristóbal Del Solar
“Today I ran unto a course that was playing tougher than the past three days, the wind was blowing a lot more, and it was a gusty wind, not blowing in just one direction, so it made it more difficult.” – Cristóbal Del Solar
“It’s nice to make my return to the Tour and be able to play the first half. I look forward to having a good season.” – Daniel Barbetti
Final-Round Weather Report
Sunny and hot, with a high of 93. Wind variable at 10-15 mph, gusting to 20 mph.