Puerto Plata DR Open all-set to return
Scenic Playa Dorada Golf Course is the host site
April 10, 2018
By Communications, PGATOURLA.COM
- April 10, 2018
- Julio Santos will be one of the top local players to watch. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
PUERTO PLATA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will once again play an official tournament in the Dominican Republic, with the second edition of the Puerto Plata DR Open set for May 17-20 at the scenic Playa Dorada Golf Course. The Puerto Plata DR Open will be the seventh tournament of the 2018 season. A year ago, in the first Tour visit to Puerto Plata, American Tee-K Kelly was completely dominant, shooting a 61 in the first round and cruising to a seven-shot win over Australian Ryan Ruffels.
“It’s with great pleasure that we return to the Dominican Republic for seventh consecutive season. We have played in this country in each of our first six years of existence, and we know the success we’ve experienced as a Tour comes because of the countries we visit,” said Jack Warfield, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica President. “The Dominican Republic is one of those places, and we always look forward to returning because of the caliber of the golf course and the warm welcome the players receive once they’re here.”
The Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed Playa Dorada Golf Course opened in 1978 and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The par-72 course surrounds the Playa Dorada resort complex, located on the North coast of the country. Playa Dorada is dotted with sloping hillsides, wide fairways, coconut palms and mahogany trees and large bunkers while offering unparalleled views of Mount Isabel de Torres and the Caribbean Sea.
In the previous six tournaments, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica has visited the Dominican Republic, with Cana Bay Golf Club (2012 and 2013) and the Teeth of the Dog (2014-2016) also hosting tournaments.
Kelly left little doubt who was the best player in the 2017 edition of the tournament when he shot the opening-round 61 then began his second round with an eagle at the par-5 first hole, something he duplicated the following day. Kelly went on to finish seventh on the 2017 Order of Merit and is scheduled to return to defend his title in May. That victory also propelled him to victory in the Bupa Challenge, a competition that comprises four PGA TOUR Latinoamérica events, with players’ earnings at those four tournaments totaled, the player with the most winnings at the conclusion of the Challenge taking home U.S. $10,000 as the top prize. The four Bupa Challenge tournaments are the Guatemala Open, Ecuador’s Quito Open, the Puerto Plata DR Open and Brazil.
“It’s a pleasure for us to host one of the four Bupa Challenge events in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, thanks to our partnership with PGA TOUR Latinoamérica,” said Moses Dodo, General Manager of Bupa Global Latin America. “The Bupa Challenge is part of an important regional initiative, Círculo de Bienestar®, a unique platform that provides access to a series of exclusive events—including paddle boarding, regattas and equestrian events. In addition to being a leading provider of international health insurance for individuals, micro businesses and corporate businesses around the world, our continued support and dedication within Latin America and other regions of the world, is part of Bupa's ongoing commitment to helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.”
“The Puerto Plata DR Open is always an important week on our schedule as players battle for Order of Merit position. But with the tournament the second leg of the Bupa Challenge, it takes on added importance, and it will be fun to watch as this storyline unfolds through the season,” Warfield continued.
“The PGA TOUR and its affiliated Tours continue to grow the game of golf in Latin America, and it’s so rewarding to see players from all over the world playing on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and furthering their careers,” Warfield added. “Already this season, the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour have played tournaments in Latin America, and we have a constant presence here. Giving players a first-class Tour to play and identifying top players from this part of the world is very gratifying.”