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  • The First Look: 114th VISA Open de Argentina

    This is the last full field event of the 2019 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season

  • The Alister Mackenzie designed Jockey Club welcomes this event for the 17th time. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
    The Alister Mackenzie designed Jockey Club welcomes this event for the 17th time. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
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  • BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – As the last full-field event of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season, this week’s 114th VISA Open de Argentina presented by Macro will play a decisive role. For the fourth consecutive year, the winner will receive an exemption for The Open Championship, which will be played at Royal St. George’s GC next July. Players in this field will also be looking to win the Zurich Argentina Swing and to position themselves in the Order of Merit, seeking to make the top-60 that will qualify for the season-ending Shell Championship.

    DATES: November 14-17, 2019
    OFFICIAL NAME: 114º VISA Open de Argentina presented by Macro
    HASHTAGS: #VISAopenbyMacro #ZurichArgentinaSwing
    SCHEDULE: 15th of 16 events on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica schedule
    ZURICH ARGENTINA SWING: Fifth and final event on this competition
    GOLF COURSE: Jockey Club – Buenos Aires, Argentina
    PAR/YARDS: 70 (34-36) 6,866
    DESIGNER: Alister Mackenzie
    DEFENDING CHAMPION: Isidro Benítez
    ORDER OF MERIT: Winner earns U.S. $31,500 from a $175,000 purse.
    THE OPEN: Winner will play The 149th Open Championship at Royal St. George’s GC
    CUT: Top-55 and ties

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    THE TOURNAMENT:

    Established in 1905 and played every year since – except for 1945 – this prestigious championship is the pride of the Argentina Golf Association (AAG), which is partnering with PGA TOUR Latinoamérica for the eight consecutive year. Behind The Open Championship, the India Open, the U.S. Open, the Australian Open, the South African Open and the Canadian Open, the VISA Open de Argentina is the seventh oldest National Open currently played in the world. With Roberto De Vicenzo holding a record of nine career wins at this event (1944, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1958, 1965, 1967, 1970 and 1974), the illustrious list of champions includes players such as Mungo Park (1905), Jimmy Demaret (1941), Tom Weiskopf (1979), Eduardo Romero (1989), Craig Stadler (1992), Mark Calcavecchia (1993 and 1995), Mark O'Meara (1994), Jim Furyk (1997), Angel Cabrera (2001, 2002 and 2012) and Jhonattan Vegas (2010). The following are its winners during the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica era:

    2012-2018 WINNERS

    Year

    Winner

    Venue

    Scores

    2012

    Ángel Cabrera (Argentina)

    Nordelta

    65-70-71-64—270 (-17)

    2013

    Marcelo Rozo (Colombia)

    Nordelta

    73-64-69-72—278 (-10)

    2014

    Emiliano Grillo (Argentina)

    Martindale CC

    66-68-65-67—266 (-18)

    2015

    Kent Bulle (U.S.)

    Jockey Club

    66-67-67-69—269 (-11)

    2016

    Kent Bulle (U.S.)

    Olivos Golf Club

    71-68-65-71—275 (-9)*

    2017

    Brady Schnell (U.S.)

    Jockey Club

    69-65-66-72—272 (-8)*

    2018

    Isidro Benítez (México)

    Pilará

    67-66-67-70—270 (-18)

    FIELD WATCH:  

    This week’s field features 156 players from 21 countries.

    Players in this field come from Argentina (51), Australia (1), Bolivia (1), Brazil (3), Canada (6), Chile (4), Colombia (4), England (2), Finland (1), France (1), Guatemala (1), Holland (1), Mexico (8), Norway (1), Paraguay (1), Peru (2), South Africa (2), Spain (2), Sweden (2), the United States (60) and Venezuela (2).

    There are 18 players ranked inside the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit top 20 scheduled to compete. The following are their details an highlights:

    Pos.

    Player

    Earnings

    2019 Highlights

    1

    Augusto Núñez (Argentina)

    $111,591

    Banco del Pacífico Open winner, 9 top 10s

    2

    Tom Whitney (U.S.)

    $82,604

    Abierto OSDE del Centro winner

    3

    Evan Harmeling (U.S.)

    $67,727

    BMW Jamaica Classic winner

    4

    John Somers (U.S.)

    $66,888

    Abierto de Chile winner

    5

    Shad Tuten (U.S.)

    $59,958

    JHSF Aberto do Brasil winner

    6

    Leandro Marelli (Argentina)

    $56,874

    Diners Club Peru Open winner

    7

    Patrick Flavin (U.S.)

    $55,535

    Bupa Match Play winner

    8

    Mito Pereira (Chile)

    $53,776

    Six top 10s

    9

    Jared Wolfe (U.S.)

    $52,450

    Buenaventura Classic winner

    10

    Ryan Ruffels (Australia)

    $52,315

    Twice a runner-up

    11

    Andreas Halvorsen (Norway)

    $49,534

    Four top 10s, Nine top 25s

    12

    Clodomiro Carranza (Argentina)

    $42,886

    Eight top 25, runner-up in Ecuador

    13

    Cristóbal Del Solar (Chile)

    $42,001

    Puerto Plata Open winner

    15

    Alejandro Tosti (Argentina)

    $40,349

    Termas de Río Hondo Invitational winner

    17

    Alexandre Rocha (Brazil)

    $38,040

    Four top 10s

    18

    Jorge Fernández Valdés (Argentina)

    $37,166

    Three top 10s

    19

    Andrés Echavarría (Colombia)

    $35,326

    Molino Cañuelas Championship winner

    20

    Matt Ryan (U.S.)

    $34,559

    Four top 10s

    ZURICH ARGENTINA SWING:

    This will be the fifth and final leg in the race for the Zurich Argentina Swing, a competition that provides a unified brand around the Tour’s Argentine events. Closing its fifth year supporting the local events, the Zurich Argentina Swing rewards the player who performs the best in the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica events played here every season.

    With his runner-up finish last Sunday in Neuquén, Tom Whitney earned $18,900 to increase his lead in the Zurich Argentina Swing. Whitney enters the VISA Open de Argentina leading Alejandro Tosti by $17,186. Whitney takes a commanding lead into this final event, and he remains the favorite to walk away with the $10,000 bonus from Zurich. Only four players—Tosti, Puma Domínguez, Andrés Echavarría and Ryan Ruffels—can mathematically catch Whitney.

    Besides the cash prize that goes to the player who earns the most money in the five Zurich Argentina Swing tournaments, Zurich donates to charity for every birdie and eagle made on the 18th hole at each of these events. Since 2015, the money raised through this charitable component has gone to Fundación Integrar, an organization focused on providing scholarships to Argentinian college students. Thru four events, a total of 532 birdies and 29 eagles have been recorded.

    Birdies and eagles for education

    Tournament

    Birdies

    Eagles

    Total

    Molino Cañuelas Championship

    185

    13

    198

    Abierto OSDE del Centro

    64

    0

    64

    Termas de Río Hondo

    209

    16

    225

    Neuquén Argentina Classic

    74

    0

    74

    TOTALS

    532

    29

    561

    GOLF COURSE: Jockey Club – Par-70 (34-36) 6,866 yards

    There are two 18-hole golf courses at the Jockey Club and both, the Red Course (Cancha Colorada) and the Blue Course (Cancha Azul) were designed by legendary architect Alister Mackenzie in 1930. The Red one, a 6,866-yard layout, is the premier course at this property and it first welcomed the VISA Open de Argentina in 1931. This year the tournament returns for the 17th time, having hosted 10 of the last 26 editions. The Jockey Club was also the home of the 1970 World Cup of Golf, an event won by Australia that had Roberto De Vicenzo claiming top individual honors. The following numbers show how the course played during the last two visits by PGA TOUR Latinoamérica:

    Year

    Avg. Score

    Avg. O/U Par

    Tour Rank

    Cut

    Winning Score

    2015

    71.768

    +1.768

    7th hardest

    142 (+2)

    269 (-11)

    2017

    72.154

    +2.154

    1st

    143 (+3)

    272 (-8)*Playoff

    OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP EXEMPTION:

    For the fourth consecutive year, The R&A will award the VISA Open de Argentina champion an exemption for The Open Championship. The 149th playing of that prestigious major championship will be played at Royal St. George’s next July. The following are the numbers by the last three VISA Open de Argentina champions at The Open:

    Year

    Venue

    Player

    Scores

    Pos.

    2017

    Royal Birkdale GC

    Kent Bulle

    68-72-74-76—290 (+10)

    77

    2018

    Carnoustie GC

    Brady Schnell

    79-75—154 (+12)

    CUT

    2019

    Royal Portrush

    Isidro Benítez

    75-72—147 (+5)

    CUT

    BUBBLE WATCH:

    Players who finish inside the top 60 on the Order of Merit at the end of this event will keep their Tour cards and qualify to the season-ending Shell Championship in Miami, December 2-5. Currently sitting in the 60th position is Argentina’s César Costilla, who is only $21 ahead of Jason Thresher at 61st and $33 ahead of Otto Black at 62nd.

    Pos.

    Player

    Earnings

    55

    Ricardo Celia (Colombia)

    $12,988

    56

    Mario Galiano (Spain)

    $12,886

    57

    Carson Jacobs (U.S.)

    $12,390

    58

    Jacob Bergeron (U.S.)

    $12,308

    59

    Nicholas Maruri (Mexico)

    $12,080

    60

    César Costilla (Argentina)

    $12,062

    61

    Jason Thresher (U.S.)

    $12,041

    62

    Otto Black (U.S.)

    $12,029

    63

    Joaquín Niemann (Chile)

    $11,900

    64

    Michael Davan (U.S.)

    $11,875

    65

    Sebastian Szirmak (Canada)

    $11,834