×
  • The First Look: 2018 San Luis Championship

    Played in San Luis Potosi for the third consecutive year, this will be the 12th event of the 2018 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season

  • The golf course at La Loma Club de Golf is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course that opened in 2008. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
    The golf course at La Loma Club de Golf is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course that opened in 2008. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
  • In This Article
  • SAN LUIS POTOSI, México – With only six events left to play in the race to move up to the Web.com Tour in 2019, this week PGA TOUR Latinoamérica lands in the central north region of Mexico for the third playing of the San Luis Championship. This tournament has had an electrifying finish the past couple of years and given the demands of the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at La Loma Club de Golf, fans can expect another tight race for the title.

    DATES: October 1-7, 2018
    OFFICIAL NAME: San Luis Championship
    HASHTAG: #SanLuisChamp
    SCHEDULE: 12th of 17 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica events in 2018
    VENUE: La Loma Club de Golf – San Luis Potosi, Mexico
    PAR/YARDS: 72 (36-36) / 7,595
    DEFENDING CHAMPION: Oscar Fraustro, Mexico
    ORDER OF MERIT: Winner earns $31,500 from a $175,000 purse
    FIELD: 110 players from 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, Finland, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Spain, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela)
    CUT: Top-55 and ties

    THE TOURNAMENT: PGA TOUR Latinoamérica launched the San Luis Championship in 2016, with the inaugural title going to Nate Lashley. The Nebraska native, who went on to become the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Player of the Year that season, secured the win with a birdie on the second hole of a four-man playoff. In 2017 the tournament went into extra holes, too, with Mexico’s Oscar Fraustro claiming the win with a birdie on the third hole of a three-man playoff.

    FIELD WATCH:

    This week’s field includes all the players currently inside the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit top-10.

    ORDER OF MERIT TOP-10

    Pos.

    Player (Country)

    Earnings US$

    1.

    Marcelo Rozo (Colombia)

    $68,703

    2.

    Tyson Alexander (U.S.)

    $63,229

    3.

    Austin Smotherman (U.S.)

    $58,164

    4.

    Matt Gilchrest (U.S.)

    $57,674

    5.

    Andrés Gallegos (Argentina)

    $55,558

    6.

    Nicolás Echavarría (Colombia)

    $53,016

    7.

    Chris Killmer (U.S.)

    $49,073

    8.

    Ben Polland (U.S.)

    $47,519

    9.

    MJ Maguire (U.S.)

    $47,014

    10.

    Eric Steger (U.S.)

    $46,488

    Including the players mentioned above, there are 25 others currently inside the Order of Merit top 30 set to compete at La Loma Golf.

    This will be Marcelo Rozo’s first event of the season as the No. 1 player on the Order of Merit. The 28-year old Bogota, Colombia, native is coming off a victory at the 65th JHSF Brazil Open on September 23. Being the Tour’s top player is nothing new to Rozo, who held that position for seven weeks during the2014 season on his way to a second-place Order of Merit finish. A Lynn University graduate in the U.S., Rozo is having a stellar year. During the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica summer break he collected two top-20s on the Web.com Tour, two wins on the Colombian Tour–including the Colombian Open—and he also secured the gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla.

    Fazenda Boa Vista
    Marcelo Rozo holding the Brazil Open trophy for a win that propelled him to the top of the Order of Merit. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)

    Rozo is one of 11 tournament winners this season, and all of them will be at La Loma Golf this week. By appearance on the Order of Merit the other winners are Tyson Alexander (Costa Rica Classic), Austin Smotherman (Mexico Open), Andrés Gallegos (Puerto Plata DR Open), Nicolás Echavarría (Sao Paulo Golf Club Championship), Ben Polland (Guatemala Stella Artois Open), Horacio León (Quito Open), Michael Buttacavoli (BMW Jamaica Classic), Cristóbal Del Solar (Abierto OSDE del Centro), Toni Hakula (Bupa Match Play) and Thomas Baik (Molino Cañuelas Championship).

    Mexico’s Oscar Fraustro will be defending his 2017 title this week. Fraustro played on the 2018 Web.com Tour, earning two top-10s and making the cut in eight of 17 starts. He finished the season ranked 85th on the money list to secure conditional status for the 2019 season and a berth into the final stage of the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament. The 36-year old from Chihuaha has won twice on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and was a PGA TOUR member in 2014.

    Coming off a successful season on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada, Americans Corey Pereira and Sam Fidone will be making PGA TOUR Latinoamérica starts this week. Pereira, who won the ATB Financial Classic in August, finished the Canadian season ranked fourth to secure conditional Web.com Tour status, while Fidone, who won the Bayview Place DC Bank Open in June, finished sixth to earn an exemption into final stage of the Web.com Tour Q-School. While Pereira will be making his first career PGA TOUR Latinoamérica start, Fidone will be making his 35th. Fidone is a past champion in Latinoamérica, with a win at the 2016 Honduras Open.

    THE GOLF COURSE: La Loma Club de Golf, 7,595 yards, par-72 (36-36)

    La Loma Golf

    Located in a hilly area in San Luis Potosi, at 6,000 feet above sea level, La Loma Club de Golf is a narrow, tight Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course where constant elevation changes play a big factor. The course with bentgrass fairways opened in 2008. La Loma Golf was the third-most-difficult PGA TOUR Latinoamérica course during the 2016 season and the sixth-most-difficult in 2017. The following are the numbers this layout provided during the past two years:

    San Luis Championship Numbers

    Year

    Avg. Score

    Avg. O/U Par

    Tour Rank

    Cut

    Winning Score

    2016

    74.136

    +2.136

    3rd of 18

    147 (+3)

    281 (-7) Playoff

    2017

    73.389

    +1.389

    6th of 17

    145 (+1)

    279 (-9) Playoff

    18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Alejandro Villasana (first round, Mexico’s Banorte Tour, 2018)

    72-HOLE RECORD: 279, Oscar Fraustro, Carlos Sainz Jr., Brad Hopfinger (2018)

    The course’s current 18-hole record was set just five months ago by Alejandro Villasana. The young Mexican player carded an 11-under 61—recording an eagle, 10 birdies and one bogey—during the opening round of the fourth event of the 2018-19 Banorte Tour season, the Mexican Professional Tour.

    STORYLINES:

    Mexico’s José de Jesús “El Camarón” Rodríguez, the man who tied for fourth at this event last year, went on to finish the 2017 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season as No. 1 on the Order of Merit to secure full status on the Web.com Tour. At that next level he went on to win this year and finished the season among the players who secured PGA TOUR cards for the 2018-19 season. Coincidentally, his long-awaited dream of joining the PGA TOUR begins this week at the season-opening Safeway Open in Napa, California. Rodríguez is one of four Mexican players who are TOUR members this season, an all-time record for players from that country.

    Rodriguez_The25

    Santiago Gaviño is the only PGA TOUR Latinoamérica member who hails from San Luis Potosí and he is a member at La Loma Golf. Ten years ago, at the Canadian Tour event that served to open the golf course, he tied for 39th, competing as a 16-year old amateur. He enters the San Luis Championship week ranked 58th on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit, one top-10 (Quito Open), another top-25 (Puerto Plata DR Open) and six cuts made in 11 starts.

    This will Mexico’s third PGA TOUR Latinoamérica event of the 2018 season. The previous two were the Mexico Open, in Tijuana in March, and the Bupa Match Play, at Riviera Maya in June. Overall, this will be the 19th PGA TOUR Latinoamérica event in Mexico. The following are the events played in Mexico since the Tour’s inception:

    2012 Mundo Maya Open (Mérida) Tommy Cocha, Argentina
    2012 TransAmerican PP Open (Monterrey) Ariel Cañete, Argentina
    2013 Abierto Mexicano (México D.F.) Ted Purdy, U.S.
    2013 TransAmerican PP Open (Guadalajara) Manuel Villegas, Colombia
    2013 Mundo Maya Open (Mérida) Jorge Fernández Valdés, Argentina
    2014 TransAmerican PP Open (Guadalajara) Marcelo Rozo, Colombia
    2014 Mundo Maya Open (Mérida) Daniel Mazziotta, U.S.
    2014 Mazatlán Open (Mazatlán) Tyler McCumber, U.S.
    2014 Abierto Mexicano (México D.F.) Oscar Álvarez, Colombia
    2015 Mazatlán Open (Mazatlán) Tommy Cocha, Argentina
    2015 Abierto Mexicano (Aguascalientes) Justin Hueber, U.S.
    2015 Mundo Maya Open (Mérida) Nicholas Lindheim, U.S.
    2016 Abierto Mexicano (Aguascalientes) Sebastián Vázquez, Mexico
    2016 Mazatlán Open (Mazatlán) Martin Trainer, U.S.
    2016 San Luis Championship (San Luis Potosí) Nate Lashley, U.S.
    2017 San Luis Championship (San Luis Potosí) Oscar Fraustro, Mexico
    2018 Abierto Mexicano (Tijuana) Austin Smotherman, U.S.
    2018 Bupa Match Play (Riviera Maya) Toni Hakula, Finland