The First Look: 2020 Qualifying Tournament Mexico
January 13, 2020
By Communications, PGATOURLA.COM
- January 13, 2020
- PGA TOUR Latinoamérica is conducting this Qualifying Tournament at Estrella del Mar for the fifth consecutive year. (Media/PGA TOUR)
MAZATLAN, Mexico – This week, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will play the third of its four 2020 Qualifying Tournaments, this time at Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort. This Qualifying Tournament, with a field of 87 players from 12 countries, will help determine membership for the 2020 season.
Last week, the Tour played two qualifiers in the U.S., where a total of 72 players earned status. In addition to the event that starts here Tuesday, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica has one last qualifier scheduled at Cañuelas Golf Club in Buenos Aires, Argentina (January 28-31). The Argentina event is open only to Latin American players.
DATES: January 14-17, 2020
OFFICIAL NAME: Qualifying Tournament Mexico
SCHEDULE: Third of four official PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Qualifying Tournaments
VENUE: Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort, Mazatlán, México
PAR/YARDS: 36-36—72, 7,015 yards
CUT: This is a four-round event with no cut
PLAYERS SEEKING MEMBERSHIP STATUS: Here is the breakdown of what players can earn this week with high finishes:
Fully exempt on 2020 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica
Fully exempt for first half of 2020 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season
Nos. 13-35 (plus ties)
Conditionally exempt for first half of 2020 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season
THE GOLF COURSE: Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and open toward the end of 1996, the 7,015-yard, par-72 Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort is well known by PGA TOUR Latinoamérica players. This venue welcomed the Tour’s Mazatlán Open between 2014 and 2016 and has also hosted a Qualifying Tournament every year since 2016. This venue is also scheduled to host the Tour’s 2020 season-opening event, the Estrella del Mar Open (March. 5-8).
Past winners here include the PGA TOUR’s 2019 Puerto Rico Open champion Martin Trainer, who won the 2016 Mazatlán Open before collecting two wins on the 2018 Korn Ferry Tour. Current PGA TOUR member Tyler McCumber, whose win at the inaugural Mazatlán Open in 2014, was his second of three career PGA TOUR Latinoamérica victories. Before moving first to the Korn Ferry Tour and then the PGA TOUR, McCumber went on to claim Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Player of the Year honors in 2018.
Located on the Mexican Pacific Coast, the Estrella del Mar course is characterized by wide fairways and paspalum greens that the course completely renovated a couple of years ago.
18-HOLE COURSE RECORD: 62 (10-under) Jacob Bergeron (fourth round, 2019 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Q-School), Juan Carlos Benítez (second round, 2019 Copa Puro Sinaloa, Mexican Tour)
72-HOLE COURSE RECORD: 264 (24) Jacob Bergeron, U.S. (2019 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Q-School)
THE TOURNAMENT: PGA TOUR Latinoamérica contests four Qualifying Tournaments each year to determine membership for the 2019 season. This will be the fifth consecutive year of the Mexico qualifier at Estrella del Mar. Here are the scores of the previous editions medalists:
David Rose, Canada
Blake Olson, U.S.
Eric Onesi, U.S.
Jacob Bergeron, U.S.
NOTES ON THE FIELD
This week’s field features 87 players from 12 countries. Here is the breakdown:
U.S. (67), Canada (8), Mexico (3), Australia (1), Costa Rica (1), England (1), New Zealand (1), Norway (1), Peru (1), Scotland (1), South Africa (1), South Korea (1)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Juan Carlos Benítez, Mexico
The 27-year old from Puebla is coming off an impressive two-shot victory over his countryman and 2019 PGA TOUR member José de Jesús “El Camarón” Rodríguez only a month ago at the Copa Puro Sinaloa, a Mexico Tour event that was coincidentally played here at Estrella del Mar.Played last month at Estrella del Mar, the Mexican Tour's Copa Puro Sinaloa was also a Dev Series event. (Photo Banorte Tour/Mexico)
Benítez won the 54-hole tournament with scores of 64-62-69 (21-under) to claim his first career title as a professional. Benítez was a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica member in 2018, a season in which his younger brother, Isidro, won the VISA Open de Argentina at age 19.
Johnny Ruiz, U.S.
The 25-year old from Camarillo, Calif., recorded a Mackenize Tour – PGA TOUR Canada victory at the 2017 Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel. That season, he went on to finish third on the Order of Merit to move to the Korn Ferry Tour, where he had one top-10 in 18 starts in 2018. Ruiz has never played a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica event.
Anthony Paolucci, U.S.
The 27-year old from Dallas is the only past PGA TOUR Latinoamérica champion competing here this week. Paolucci won the 2016 Abierto OSDE del Centro in Cordoba, Argentina, for his only Tour win in 64 career starts. A standout junior golfer, who claimed runner-up honors at the 2007 U.S. Junior Amateur, Paolucci played 12 events across the three PGA TOUR International Tours in 2019.
Paul Imondi, U.S.
The 35-year old from California is coming off a 2019 season in which he made 22 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour, where he picked up a third-place finish at The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic before finishing the year ranked outside the top 100 to lose his card. Imondi has played on the PGA TOUR China Series (2015-18), the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada (2017) and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica (2012-13).
Bryan Bigley, U.S.
After playing 27 events on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica between 2014 and 2015, Bigley moved up to the Korn Ferry Tour, where he played at least 18 event in each of the past four seasons. Despite a runner-up finish at the 2019 Wichita Open, where he made it into a five-man playoff won by Henrik Norlander, Bigley went on to finish the season ranked 107th to lose his membership.View this post on Instagram
Esta semana estamos en la costa del Pacífico Mexicano para el tercero de los cuatro Torneos Clasificatorios del #pgatourla 2020. El evento que comienza este martes se juega por quinto año consecutivo en @estrelladelmarmexico, la misma sede donde abriremos la temporada el próximo 5 de marzo. We are in Mexico 🇲🇽 this week for the third of four PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Q-Schools for the 2020 season. Starting on Tuesday at 7:20 am, this is event is held at #EstrelladelMar, the same venue that will host the Tour’s season-opening event at the beginning of March.