Monagle, Park share opening-round lead at Weston Hills
January 07, 2020
By Communications, PGATOURLA.COM
- January 07, 2020
- Tied for the lead after an opening 67, Colin Monagle is hoping to return to PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, where he played eight events in 2018. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
WESTON, Florida— Colin Monagle of Jacksonville, Fla., and Paul Park of Wayne, N.J., posted rounds of 5-under 67 Tuesday afternoon to share the lead after the opening round of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Qualifying Tournament at The Club at Weston Hills. Monagle recorded five birdies and no bogeys, while Park had seven birdies and two bogeys. The co-leaders finished the day one shot ahead of Eric Beringer, Chris Korte and Jake Marriott.
Trailing the leaders by two, Sweden’s Linus Lilliedahl and Puerto Rico’s Edward Figueroa are the leading international players in a six-way tie for the sixth spot. The other 69s came from Stephen Stallings Jr., Chris Wiatr, William Wax and Alex Scott.
“It was nice. I hit it well and made some putts,” said Monagle after his bogey-free performance at the 7,060-yard, par-72 course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
After making six starts this past season on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada, Monagle is hoping for a return to PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, where he was a Q-School runner-up and made eight starts in 2018. The 28-year old started the day with a birdie on No. 1 and then added a trio of birdies between Nos. 7 and 9 to make the turn at 4-under.
“I hit it close on 7, 8 and 9, so that was nice. I had a nice little 9-iron in there on No. 9, so it was cool to finish that side,” said the player whose lone birdie on the back nine came on No. 14.
Also coming from the Mackenzie Tour, where he made 21 starts over the course of the past two seasons, Park was happy to have an opportunity to play. “During the break, I was working out and I kind of hurt my back, so I’m just very pleased and grateful that I’m able to come and play. That was quite a treat to be able to make that many birdies today,” said the Indiana University alum.
Starting off on No. 10, Park birdied three of his first five holes. After bogeying No. 16, he collected four birdies between Nos. 18 and 5 to get to 6-under. A bogey on No. 6, his 15th hole of the day, prevented him from securing the outright lead.
Did you know Colin Monagle spent the first two years of college at Jacksonville University, playing baseball? He was an infielder, playing in 32 games and starting 16. He joined the golf team his sophomore year, playing both sports for one season.
Players competing at this event are looking to secure PGA TOUR Latinoamérica status for the 2020 season that will begin on March 5th in Mazatlán, Mexico. Below is a breakdown of the various rewards players can earn this week:
Exempt for the entire 2020 season
2nd through 12th (no ties)
Fully exempt for the first half of the 2020 season
13th through 35th (plus ties)
Conditionally exempt for the first half of the 2020 season
Aaron Sherry of the U.S. withdrew after an opening 78, leaving 102 players in the field.
There were 34 players who recorded rounds under par Tuesday, with the scoring average for the field coming at 73.81 strokes on the par-72 course.
Tied for the sixth spot through 18 holes, Edward Figueroa is the best of three Latin American players in the field. The Puerto Rican recorded five birdies and two bogeys for a 69. The 26-year old has plenty of experience, having played a combined 54 events on the PGA TOUR (four), Korn Ferry Tour (one), PGA TOUR Latinoamérica (29) and the Mackenzie Tour (20) since turning pro in 2015.
The other Latin Americans in the field are the Arrazola brothers, Juan Pablo (tied for 64th, at 3-over) and Edgardo (tied for 88th, at 7-over). The young Colombians are members at The Club at Weston Hills.
This is one of four PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Qualifying Tournaments for the 2020 season. The Tour is also playing simultaneously at Mission Inn’s El Campeon Course in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., this week. The other two qualifiers will be played in Mazatlán, Mexico (January 14-17) and Buenos Aires, Argentina (January 28-31).
“We played it yesterday in the practice round. I think I hit a 5-iron into (No.) 9, and today I hit a 9-iron into it, so that’s a little different.”—Colin Monagle on how the course changed with light winds on Tuesday
“I was coming off my second neck surgery in 12 months, so I probably was not ready to be playing when I went up there, but now I’m kind of back into the swing of it.”—Colin Monagle discussing his performance on the Mackenzie Tour last season
“This is not necessarily the easiest course, especially when the wind is blowing. I hit my tee shots pretty low today, I didn’t miss many fairways and I think I only missed two greens all day. I gave myself a lot of opportunities on the greens and fortunately a couple of them went in.”—Paul Park about his seven-birdie performance.
Tournament Fast Fact
This is the first PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Qualifying Tournament played at The Club at Weston Hills. The Tour Course at this venue hosted the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic for four consecutive years, with victories by Corey Pavin (1992), Fred Couples (1993), Nick Price (1994) and Mark O’Meara (1995).
First-Round Weather Report
Sunny and pleasant. High of 75. Wind WNW at 10 mph.