Pumarol thrills crowd as he takes 54-hole lead in the DR
May 04, 2019
By Laury Livsey, PGATOURLA.COM
- May 04, 2019
- Willy Pumarol of the Dominican Republic during the third round of the 2019 Puerto Plata Open this Saturday afternoon at Playa Dorada Golf Course. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
PUERTO PLATA, Dominican Republic—Scott Wolfes started the third round of the Puerto Plata Open quickly, with birdies on four of his first five holes, grabbing the lead from 36-hole leader Cristóbal Del Solar. Lurking all day, though, was crowd favorite Willy Pumarol, who shot a 4-under 32 on the front nine. After five consecutive pars on his back nine, Pumarol, a Dominican Republic native, made his move, with birdies on Nos. 15, 16 and 18 to finish the day with a 7-under 64 and a 13-under overall total. At the same time, Wolfes was closing his day bogey-bogey-par, allowing Pumarol to jump into the lead with 18 holes remaining. Chile’s Cristóbal Del Solar is second, a stroke back, with Wolfes still right in the thick of things, at 11-under and two behind.
It was the par-4 16th hole that changed the tenor of the round for the three players at the top of the scoreboard, with Pumarol and Del Solar both making birdie there, while Wolfes was bogeying. It sets up for a tightly bunched leaderboard featuring Pumarol, the local favorite, Del Solar, a winner on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica a year ago, and Wolfes, with almost no experience on this Tour. If one of them doesn’t emerge as the champion Sunday, the trio of Jason Thresher, Blake Cannon and Alex Rocha, all tied for fourth and five shots behind Pumarol, are hoping to have a say in things.
Pumarol’s 64 was the low round of the day and only the second 64 this week. He joins Thresher, who fashioned a 7-under 64 in the second round. Helping things was a chip-in birdie at the par-4 ninth, the third 3 he put on his front-nine scorecard.
Pumarol has played 87 previous PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournaments, a minimum of eight tournaments every year since the Tour’s inception, in 2012. He has never won, and in his career he has recorded three top-10s—ties for fourth at this tournament in 2015 and at the weather-shortened Argentina Classic, in 2016, and a tie for fifth at the 2015 Ecuador Open.View this post on Instagram
Birdie al 18 para Ronda 3 de 64 y liderato absoluto para @willypumarol 🇩🇴 en el #PuertoPlataOpen del #BupaChallenge. You have to please the crowd! 👏🏼 Willy Pumarol 🇩🇴 birdied 18 to shoot 64 and secure a one-shot lead heading into Sunday at the @puertoplata.open. • • #Volvo #Hilton #GoVacaciones
Did you know Scott Wolfes was a four-time All-Sun Belt Conference player and a two-time conference Golfer of the Year during his college days at Georgia Southern University?
Cristóbal Del Solar got off to an extremely slow start Saturday, with bogeys at Nos. 1 and 4 and pars at 2, 3 and 5. It was considerably different to how he played those holes in the first round. On Thursday, he went eagle-par-birdie-par-eagle. In Friday’s second round, he had two birdies and three pars, making him 7-under on those holes in the first two days and 2-over Saturday.
After that second bogey, at No. 4, Cristóbal Del Solar had a clean scorecard, with nine pars and four birdies—coming at Nos. 6, 11, 14 and 16.
The biggest mover of the day was Luis Fernando Barco, who recently turned pro. The native of Peru shot a 2-over 73 in the second round and was tied for 53rd when the day began. After a third-round, 4-under 67, Barco moved up 35 positions, into a tie for 18th, with seven others.
First-round leader Juan José Guerra was the only amateur to make the cut this week. After his opening 63, Guerra, a senior at Florida’s Nova Southeastern University, shot rounds of 75-73. He is at 2-under for the tournament, tied for 29th. Guerra and Willy Pumarol are the only Dominicans to make the cut.
Order of Merit leader Tom Whitney followed his 3-under 68 in the second round with a 69 Saturday. He enters Sunday tied for 29th, at 2-under.
This is the second event of the Bupa Challenge, a multi-tournament competition that includes the season-opening Buenaventura Classic and events in Brazil. Currently, Jared Wolfe is the leader, holding a U.S. $18,433 lead over Ryan Ruffels, Mito Pereira and Mitchell Meissner. Cristobal Del Solar is currently 12th. Wolfe missed the cut this week. The winner of the Bupa Challenge earns a bonus of U.S. $10,000.
“I hit the ball well today, and I was fully committed to the moment.” –Willy Pumarol
“I enjoyed having the crowd from here in the Dominican Republic supporting me. I always cherish that. That’s something I value.” –Willy Pumarol
“It’s awesome to have the support here from the locals. That was the icing on the cake. I hit a really good putt and I started it where I wanted it to start and it ended up in the hole.” --Willy Pumarol on his 18-foot birdie putt on the closing hole
“I was able to take advantage of 15 and 16, which are short par-4s. Then on 17 I made a really good par on the long par-3 and on 18 I hit three quality shots and made the putt.” –Willy Pumarol on his four-hole finish
“I’m super happy with the results so far.” –Willy Pumarol
“I’ve been rolling the putts really well the whole week, and I’m super happy with that.” –Willy Pumarol
“Since it’s so windy, you get a lot of flyers sometimes. It was hard to leave it close to the hole, so I ended up making a couple of birdies from long range.” –Willy Pumarol
“I need to control the only thing I can control, which is me.” –Willy Pumarol
Third-Round Weather Report
Mostly cloudy, warm and humid, with a high of 84. Wind E at 17 mph.