The First Look: Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational
For the first time in history, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica arrives in Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina for an official tournament.
October 29, 2019
By Communications, PGATOURLA.COM
- October 29, 2019
- Termas de Río Hondo Golf Club measures 7,471 yards and was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
TERMAS DE RIO HONDO, Argentina - PGA TOUR Latinoamérica undertakes a three-week trip through Argentina, starting with the Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational. This first-year event is the 13th of the 2019 season and is the 126th event since the Tour’s creation in 2012. Additionally, the tournament is part of the Zurich Argentina Swing, an alternate competition that rewards the player who plays the best in all the Tour’s Argentina’s events with a bonus check of U.S. $10,000.
DATES: October 28-November 3
OFFICIAL NAME: Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational
HASHTAGS: #TRHInv #ZurichArgentinaSwing #PGATOURLA
SCHEDULE: 13th of 16 official events on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica this season
VENUE: Termas de Rio Hondo Golf Club – Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina
PAR/YARDS: 72 (36-36) 7,471 yards
FIELD: 131 players from 18 countries
ORDER OF MERIT: Winner earns $31,500 from a $175,000 purse
FORMAT: 72-hole, stroke play
CUT: Top-55 players and ties
THE TOURNAMENT: Before becoming part of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica official schedule, the Termas de Rio Hondo Golf Club twice hosted the Abierto de Termas de Rio Hondo, a co-sanctioned Tour of Argentine Professionals/Dev Series tournament. In 2018, the course playing as a par-73, Uruguayan Juan Álvarez shot a 19-under 273 to win, defeating Argentine Leandro Marelli by four shots. Marelli recently won the Diners Club Peru Open and is currently No. 5 on the Order of Merit.
This year, two-time PGA TOUR Latinoamérica winner Clodomiro Carranza of Argentina won the tournament. The 37-year-old beat his countryman Ignacio Sosa Quiroga by one shot. Also in the top five were Argentine current Tour members, Paulo Pinto, Jorge Fernández-Valdés and César Costilla, in respective order.
THE CITY: Located in northern Argentina, in the province of Santiago del Estero, Termas de Rio Hondo has a population of approximately 35,500 inhabitants. In this inaugural version, the event has broad support from the local government, headed by Governor Gerardo Zamora, the Chief of Cabinet Ministers, Elías Suárez, and Sports Secretary Carlos Dapello.
Via a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica event, the organization and local government seeks to empower Termas de Rio Hondo as one of the tourism capitals in the province. Due to the nature of its hot springs and the hotel infrastructure (more than 170 establishments), the city has become an ideal place for organizing meetings, conventions and congresses. One of its most important festivities is Retiree Day on September 20.
ZURICH ARGENTINA SWING: With the Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational, the race for the Zurich Argentina Swing is ready for its push to the finish. After the first two legs of 2019, the Molino Cañuelas Championship and the 88th Abierto OSDE del Centro presented by FiberCorp-Telecom, American Tom Whitney holds the top spot in the standings.
The 30-year-old Whitney secured his first victory on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in Cordoba, and that was more than enough to give him the Zurich Argentina Swing lead. With a total of $34,883, Whitney leads Molino Cañuelas Championship winner Andrés Echavarría by $ 3,383. Echavarría is not in the field this week.
2019 Zurich Argentina Swing Standings
Through two of five events
Tom Whitney (U.S.)
Andrés Echavarría (Colombia)
Ryan Ruffels (Australia)
Nicolo Galletti (U.S.)
Andreas Halvorsen (Norway)
Zurich Argentina will continue in Termas de Rio Hondo with its ‘Hole 18’ program, which raises funds for the Foundation Futuros Profesionales Integrar. This entity has a scholarship program, money awarded to young Argentine university students with limited resources. For each birdie or eagle players make on the 18th hole during the tournament, Zurich Argentina will make a donation of 1,000 Argentine pesos to the foundation.
After the first two stops of the Zurich Argentina Swing, 262,000 Argentine pesos have been collected. Even with three events still left to play, the global collection is expected to exceed the 335,200 Argentine pesos obtained in 2018.
THE GOLF COURSE: Termas de Rio Hondo Golf Club measures 7,471 yards and is a par-72 (36-36). This course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., opened in mid-2018 and became the first public, world-class golf course in the country. One of the main characteristics of the golf course is the inspiration it has in the cultural heritage of Argentina. Due to the tropical climate of the province, especially during the summer season, and due to the salinity of the water, which makes it unfit for irrigation, the development of this property tested Jones, especially in the preservation of green areas.
The design also sought similarities to Chambers Bay, site of the 2015 U.S. Open. Its fairways are wide, which allows attacking from the tee. An element to consider is the wind. Its direction and speed will likely be a key factor in the scores this week.
72-HOLE COURSE RECORD: 264, Clodomiro Carranza, Argentina (2019)
18-HOLE COURSE RECORD: 62, Clodomiro Carranza, Ignacio Sosa Quiroga, Argentina (2019)
PREMIER PARTNERS:As PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Premier Partners, Volvo Car Latin America, Hiltonand Go Vacacionesare joining the event for the first time. In this exclusive category, these three partners are integrated into the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica messaging while telling the stories of its players, graduates, tournaments and its participation in the communities where the competitions take place.
NOTES ON THE LIST OF COMPETITORS: Players by country: United States (50), Argentina (46), Mexico (7), Canada (5), Colombia (4), Chile (3), Brazil (2), South Africa (2), Sweden (2), Australia (1), Bolivia (1), England (1), Spain (1), France (1), Netherlands(1), Norway (1), Peru (1) and Venezuela (1).
Argentina’s Augusto Núñez will play his fourth event as leader of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s Order of Merit. In addition to his victory at the Banco del Pacífico Open presented by Alcadia de Quito, the 26-year-old has achieved seven top-10s in 2019, earning $103,694. During his Tour career, Núñez has played in 80 tournaments, beginning in 2012. He is the all-time Tour money leader, with a total of $336,854. He surpassed Mexico’s José de Jesús Rodríguez ($299,608).
Núñez will look at Termas de Rio Hondo, a city that is only 80 kilometers away from his native Tucumán, to expand his lead on the Order of Merit as he tries to secure the No. 1 position and a full exemption on the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour, a circuit where he played in 2017 and 2018. In 40 starts, Núñez’s best result was a second-place finish at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship.
Entering this week, Augusto Núñez also ranks first on the following stats:
Most Top-10s: 8
Scoring Average: 68.34
Most Sub-Par Rounds: 45
Most Rounds in the 60s: 32
Birdie to Bogey Ratio: 1.70
Lowest Bogey Average: 1.73
Par-4 Performance: 41-under
Par-5 Performance: 104-under
Lowest Round of the Season: 61 (tied with three other players)
YTD Consecutive Cuts: 11 (tied with Mito Pereira)
Second in the Order of Merit is Evan Harmeling,who will fight in this final stretch for the Roberto De Vicenzo Award that goes to the Player of the Year and Order of Merit winner. The 31-year-old arrives in here with three top-10s in his last four starts. His highlight of the season came in Montego Bay when he won the BMW Jamaica Classic title. Harmeling’s only missed cuts came at the season-opening Buenaventura Classic and at the Mexican Open in Tijuana.
John Somers’ first season on Tour has been more than positive. The American is not only third in the Order of Merit ($62,713), he also knows how to win. At the Abierto de Chile presented by Volvo, Somers showed his credentials and put himself in position to earn Korn Ferry Tour status. In addition to his victory in Santiago, Somers, one of the longest hitters on Tour and a graduate of Elon University, has had three top-10s, the most-recent a week ago at the Diners Club Peru Open presented by Volvo.
After 98 tournament appearances on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Leandro Marelli’s long-awaited victory finally arrived, when he won in Lima and climbed to fifth on the Order of Merit. He also ensured himself a place in the final stage of Q-School for the next Korn Ferry Tour season. In 2019, Marelli has played in eight tournaments, made six cuts and posted three top-10s. The 28-year-old has experience at Termas de Rio Hondo Golf Club. Last year, Marelli finished second in the competition the year the golf course was inaugurated.
A week ago, at Los Inkas Golf Club, Justin Suh gave fans plenty to talk about when he held the 54-hole lead. The 22-year-old, former No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, will play his second PGA TOUR Latinoamérica event. A good run in these last tournaments of 2019 will go a long way in determining Suh’s status for 2020.
Order of Merit Standings
2019 Season Notes
Augusto Núñez (Argentina)
Banco del Pacífico Open winner
Evan Harmeling (U.S.)
BMW Jamaica Classic winner
John Somers (U.S.)
Abierto de Chile winner
Tom Whitney (U.S.)
Abierto OSDE del Centro winner
Leandro Marelli (Argentina)
Diners Club Peru Open winner
Shad Tuten (U.S.)
JHSF Aberto do Brasil winner
Patrick Flavin (U.S.)
Bupa Match Play winner
Jared Wolfe (U.S.)
Buenaventura Classic winner
Mito Pereira (Chile)
Ryan Ruffels (Australia)
Of the 47 Argentines scheduled to play the Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational, highlighting the group is Andrés Romero. The Tucumán native has membership on the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour, but in the meantime he will seek the title while at the same time keeping his game sharp. Romero’s only other appearance was at the Molino Cañuelas Championship, where he missed the cut.