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  • The First Look: 2019 Qualifying Tournament Mexico

  • MAZATLAN, MEXICO - MAY 25:  A course scenic view of the 16th hole during practice for the PGA TOUR Latinoam rica Mazatlan Open, at Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach, on May 25, 2016 in Mazatlan, Mexico. (Photo by Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
    MAZATLAN, MEXICO - MAY 25: A course scenic view of the 16th hole during practice for the PGA TOUR LatinoamŽrica Mazatlan Open, at Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach, on May 25, 2016 in Mazatlan, Mexico. (Photo by Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
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  • MAZATLAN, Mexico – This week, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica returns to the Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach here for the second of four Qualifying Tournaments scheduled to determine membership for the 2019 season. The field is set at 99 players.

    The first Qualifying Tournament took place a week ago in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., at Mission Inn Resort and Club, a tournament won by Neal Ajubita. Following this week’s Qualifying Tournament, the Tour will hold simultaneous Qualifying Tournaments in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    DATES: January 22-25, 2019
    OFFICIAL NAME: Qualifying Tournament Mexico
    SCHEDULE: Second of four 4 official PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Qualifying Tournaments
    VENUE: Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach, Mazatlán, México
    PAR: 36-36—72
    PURSE: None
    2018 CHAMPION: Eric Onesi (U.S.)
    CUT: This is a four-round event with no cut

    THE TOURNAMENT:
    This will be the fourth consecutive year PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will hold one of its Qualifying Tournaments at Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach.

    Here are the previous results:

    Year

    Winner (Country)

    Score

    2016

    David Rose (Canada)

    273 (-15)

    2017

    Blake Olson (U.S.)

    274 (-14)

    2018

    Eric Onesi (U.S.)

    265 (-23)

    THE GOLF COURSE: The par-72 Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., opened toward the end of 1996. Located in the Mexican Pacific, the course is characterized by wide fairways and small, Bermudagrass greens. This year, the course’s opening hole has a new set of tees, while No. 9 has a new green that will greet players on the short par-4.

    Between 2014 and 2016, Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach hosted official PGA TOUR Latinoamérica events. In 2014, Tyler McCumber, the 2018 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Player of the Year and current Web.com Tour member, won the tournament, while the 2015 honors went to went to Argentina’s Tommy Cocha. In 2016, the champion was the current PGA TOUR member Martin Trainer.

    PLAYERS SEEKING MEMBERSHIP STATUS:

    Here is the breakdown of what players can earn this week with high finishes:

    Positions

    STATUS

    No. 1

    Fully exempt on 2019 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica

    Nos. 2-11

    Fully exempt for first half of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season

    Nos. 12-35 (plus ties)

    Conditionally exempt for first half of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season

    NOTES ON THE FIELD

    Here is the breakdown of players, by country: United States (73), Mexico (11), Canada (7), Australia (1), Guatemala (1), Ireland (1), Norway (1), Sweden (1) and Russia (1).

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    José Toledo
    The Guatemalan will be one of the 12 Latin Americans who will play this week. In 2018, Toledo was a Web.com Tour member. After 22 tournaments, Toledo finished No. 122 on the 2018 money list. Toledo made nine cuts, including three top-25s. Toledo moved to the Web.com Tour after finishing among the ‘Los Cinco’ on the 2017 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. He is the only former Tour champion (won the 2017 Costa Rica Classic) in the field of this week.

    Matt Ryan
    The American played on the 2018 Web.com Tour and saw action in 23 tournaments. He made eight cuts after finishing well at the 2017 Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament. Ryan’s best 2018 result was a tie for the 13th at the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay. In 2014 and 2017, Ryan was a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica member—his best performances ties for the second at the 2014 TransAmerican Power Products CRV Open and the 2017 VISA Open de Argentina.

    Jared Du Toit
    The Canadian finished fourth at the 2018 Mazatlan Qualifying Tournament. In his first season on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, he played six events and picked up a pair of top-25s. The last two seasons he has also been a member of the Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada. In 2018 he finished 32nd on the Order of Merit, thanks to eight made cuts in 10, including two top-10s.

    Pablo Rincon
    The Mexican is looking to play his third full season on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. A year ago, he played in eight of the 17 official events, making three cuts. A 66 gave him the first-round lead at the Quito Open. In 2018, he made his Web.com Tour, at the Bosque México Championship. He didn’t make the cut.

    Tyler Torano
    Two years ago, he finished second in the Mazatlan Qualifying Tournament, just one stroke behind medalist Blake Olson. The 23-year-old American has played 24 Tour tournaments between 2016 and 2017, his best performance a tie for 18th place at the 2016 Guatemala Stella Artois Open.

    ADDITIONAL NOTES

    A year ago, Mexico’s Isidro Benítez tied for 12th in Mazatlan. In his first season as a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica member, he won the 113th VISA Open de Argentina, becoming the youngest player to win an official Tour event (19 years). Additionally, he earned an invitation to the 2019 Open Championship set for Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland in July.

    Martin Trainer, former Mazatlan Open champion, was another who played a year ago in this same qualifying event. A tie for the sixth place gave him an exemption for the 2018 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season. However, his plans changed drastically after an unexpected victory at the Web.com Tour’s El Bosque Mexico Championship after he earned a spot in the field through Monday qualifying. Trainer picked up another win, at the Price Cutter Charity Championship. Those two results secured his PGA TOUR card for 2018-19.

    Past Mexico Qualifying Tournament Medalists’ Season Performances

    Season

    Player

    Earnings

    OOM Position

    2016

    David Rose (Canada)

    $1,072

    190

    2017

    Blake Olson (U.S.)

    $16,176

    58

    2018

    Eric Onesi (U.S.)

    $5,856

    106