Galiano earns last ticket to Shell Championship
Finishes 60th on the Order of Merit by $61
November 18, 2019
By Communication, PGATOURLA.COM
- November 18, 2019
- QUITO, ECUADOR - JUNE 02: Mario Galiano Aguilar of Spain during the third round of the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica Quito Open presentado por Diners Club at Quito Golf and Tennis Club on June 2, 2018 in Quito, Ecuador. (Photo by Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina—With the calculator in hand, Spain’s Mario Galiano strolled nervously through the Jockey Club’s clubhouse halls. The final full-field PGA TOUR Latinoamerica tournament was concluding, and Galiano had a lot on his mind.
Galiano was looking at the projected finishes of players. He wondered who would fall in the top 60 on the Order of Merit and who would be just outside. It was important for two reasons. A top-60 finish meant an exemption for the 2020 PGA TOUR Latinoamerica season as well as an invitation to play in the limited-field, season-ending Shell Championship in December in Miami.
After missing the cut at the 114 Visa Open de Argentine presentado por Macro, Galiano could only sit around and wait and see what the players did in the final round, everything out of his control.
Although he found no joy in another player’s failure, a bogey on the 16th hole by Mexico’s Nicholas Maruri allowed the Spaniard to breathe a bit easier. And when Maruri finished his day par-par, Galiano had secured the 60th position on the Order of Merit, a mere $61 ahead of Maruri, who ended No. 61.
“I tried not to be very aware, but sometimes it is difficult and every so often I checked how the standings that projected the Order of Merit was going,” he said on his visits to pgatour.com
For Maruri, he once again walked away from the Jockey Club disappointed, another tough finish to his season. In 2017, Maruri closed his year at this tournament, also at the Jockey Club, in the No. 62 position on the Order of Merit.
“A lot of anger and discouragement since I worked very well in the past few weeks and again I miss (my card) at the last event,” said Maruri of his emotions, knowing his two top-10s this season, including one last week at the Neuquén Argentina Classic, weren’t quite enough. At Argentina’s national open, Maruri tied for 49th place after beginning the day tied for 33rd. He shot a final-round, 2-over par 72—a score that included three bogeys in the last eight holes.
In 62nd place on the Order of Merit was Argentina´s César Costilla, who went birdie-free Sunday, signed for a 3-over 73 and tied for 64th. He, too, couldn’t keep his card, pushed to the outside and only able to look in.
“This week things didn't go the way I wanted, and now I will have to see if I play the (PGA TOUR Latinoamerica) Qualifying Tournament or if I can get status through the Dev Series Final,” said Costilla, talking about the 72-hole event in Lima, Peru, in mid-December that offers 2020 Tour cards to the top finishers. Costilla’s best 2019 finish was a tie for fifth at the Molino Cañuelas Championship.
For those who were disappointed, there were also those who slipped inside the top 60 and can start preparing for both Miami and the 2020 season.
In the 59th position was American Jacob Bergeron. For the LSU product, though, it is the Shell Championship that has him excited since he was already exempt for 2020, thanks to his performance in the second stage of the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying School. Bergeron qualified for the Korn Ferry Tour finals and will have both Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR Latinoamerica status next year.
“I already played a little more relaxed this week, but with the confidence that came from a good week, it is good to know that I can already confirm that if I do not have a good Q-School I have this Tour that is so competitive and gives me so many tools for my career,” Bergeron said.
South African Victor Lange was one of the two players who took advantage of this week to get into the top 60 after beginning the tournament outside. The lefthander who led after the Visa Open de Argentine’s first round, closed with a 3-over par 73 to tie for 25th. That was key, as he climbed from 66th at the start of the week to 58th.
The other player who took advantage of the final full-field event was Brandon Matthews. The former Temple University start lost in a playoff, but his $18,900 payday moved him to 33rd place from 91st.
“I worked hard these months with my back problems, which gave a hard time this year. Luckily, I had two great weeks here in Argentina, and now I can have status for next year,” Matthews said of his runner-up performance and his fifth-place showing at the Neuquén Argentina Classic a week earlier.
THE BUBBLE - ORDER OF MERIT 2019