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  • Fernández Valdés achieves lifelong dream, wins Argentine Open by three shots

    This win earns him a playing spot in the 150th edition of The Open Championship, to be played at The Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland

  • With his VISA Open de Argentina victory, Jorge Fernández Valdés became the fifth player to win four career titles on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. (Media/PGA TOUR)
    With his VISA Open de Argentina victory, Jorge Fernández Valdés became the fifth player to win four career titles on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. (Media/PGA TOUR)
  • In This Article
  • BUENOS AIRES, Argentina—In 2011, as a 19-year-old amateur, Argentina’s Jorge Fernández Valdés came agonizingly close to victory at the 106th VISA Open de Argentina presented by Macro. In contention for the title, he hit two balls in the water at the 17th hole at Pilar Golf Club for a finish that stung for a while. Sunday, exactly 10 years later, he found redemption with an impressive three-shot victory at the 115th edition of the event, which earned him a spot in the 150th Open Championship to be played at The Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, next July.

    “This time around it worked out for me,” said Fernández Valdés. “All Argentine golfers dream of winning this event, and I’m extremely excited for what lies ahead following this win. Hopefully it’s a steppingstone to make it to the PGA TOUR.” 

    As the first winner of the 2021-22 season, Fernández Valdés is leading the race for the Totalplay Cup, a new season-long competition that will take the best PGA TOUR Latinoamérica players to the Korn Ferry Tour in 2023. This win also left him atop the Zurich Argentina Swing standings, a competition based around the three Argentina-based events.

    Fernández Valdés became the first Argentine player to earn the Open Championship exemption awarded by The R&A, which began this tradition in 2016. “It’s a huge prize, and it will be an honor to represent Argentina at The Old Course,” added Fernández Valdés about his invite into the world’s oldest championship.

    In typical windy conditions during a partly cloudy day at Nordelta Golf Club, Fernández Valdés kept his composure that saw several players in the mix. Trailing by one at the start of the final round, he carded a 2-under 70 to finish at 11-under 277, three shots clear of Frenchman Jeremy Gandon, who led for the first three days, and South Korea’s Rak Cho. 

    Six other players—Colombia’s Camilo Aguado, Mexico’s Aaron Terrazas, Argentina’s Tano Goya and Alan Wagner and Americans Nicolo Galletti and Chandler Blanchet—tied for fourth, at 7-under.

    After shooting even on the front nine, making a birdie on No. 6 and his only bogey of the day on No. 7, Fernández Valdés claimed the outright lead for good with a birdie at the par-5 10th. No one else was able to get to 10-under, and after saving key pars on 13 and 14, he cemented his lead with one last birdie at the par-4 15th, sinking a critical, 20-footer breaking left.

    “This is a very demanding course, where you have to stay focused at all times. I stayed patient and focused, keeping my emotions under control in order to have a chance to win the tournament,” said the 29-year-old.

    Soon to become a father, with his fiancé, Martina, expecting the birth of a baby girl they will name Azalea, in March, Fernández Valdés said his victory was dedicated to both of them.

    Jorge-caddie
    Fernández Valdés also gave credit to his veteran caddie for keeping him calm down the stretch at Nordelta Golf Club. (Media/PGA TOUR)

    Did you know Jorge Fernández Valdés has made 67 career starts on the Korn Ferry Tour? Advancing through PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, he became a member of that Tour for three consecutive seasons, beginning in 2014. He had his best season at the next level in 2015, when he finished 29th on the money list, only four spots outside The 25 players who moved to the PGA TOUR.

    Key Information

    With PGA TOUR Latinoamérica using Totalplay Cup points to measure players’ success starting this season, Jorge Fernández Valdés earned 500 points for his win. That total gives him a 255-point lead to start the season-long race to move up to the Korn Ferry Tour. The following are the Totalplay Cup top-10 players after the first of 12 events on the 2021-22 schedule:

    file

    Rank

    Player

    Points

    1

    Jorge Fernández Valdés (Argentina)

    500

    T2

    Rak Cho (South Korea)

    245

    T2

    Jeremy Gandon (France)

    245

    T4

    Alan Wagner (Argentina)

    100

    T4

    Aaron Terrazas (Mexico)

    100

    T4

    Camilo Aguado (Colombia)

    100

    T4

    Chandler Blanchet (U.S.)

    100

    T4

    Nicolo Galletti (U.S.)

    100

    T4

    Tano Goya (Argentina)

    100

    T10

    Ryan Cole (U.S.)

    70

    T10

    Hayden Springer (U.S.)

    70

    T10

    Alex Weiss (U.S.)

    70

    By virtue of his win at Nordelta Golf Club, Jorge Fernández Valdés also moved into first place in the Zurich Argentina Swing standings. This season the Swing will feature three tournaments in Argentina. The player with the most Totalplay Cup points won in those three tournaments—culminating at the beginning of April in Cordoba—wins a U.S. $10,000 bonus. 

    Jorge-Zurich
    The two Zurich Argentina Swing events left to play are the Termas de Río Hondo Invitational, March 24-27, and the 90th Abierto del Centro, March 31-April 3. (Media/PGA TOUR)

    Besides the cash prize that goes to the player who earns the most money in the trio of Zurich Argentina Swing tournaments, Zurich donates to charity for every birdie made on the 18th hole at each of these events. This season, the money raised through this charitable component will be going to Fundación Discar, an organization focusing on supporting people with intellectual disabilities. For each birdie recorded on 18, Zurich announced a donation of 10,000 Argentine pesos. Including the birdies recorded during last Wednesday’s Pro-Am, the 18th-hole birdie count for the week finished at 55. Although Zurich announced a donation of 10,000 Argentine pesos for each birdie, that number was doubled at the end of the tournament and a check for 1,100,000 was presented to Fundación Discar. 

    With his VISA Open de Argentina victory Jorge Fernández Valdés is now a four-time winner on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. His previous wins on Tour were the 2013 Mundo Maya Open in Merida, Mexico, the 2014 Chile Open and the 2016 Brazil Open. He is part of a group of five players tied for the most career wins on Tour.

    Four-time winners on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica history:

    José de Jesús Rodríguez, Mexico (won fourth title in 2017, on his 47th career start)
    Rodolfo Cazaubón, Mexico (won fourth title in 2017, on his 42nd career start)
    Julián Etulain, Argentina (won fourth title in 2017, on his 50th career start)
    Michael Buttacavoli, U.S. (won fourth event in 2018, on his 91st career start)
    Jorge Fernández Valdés, Argentina (won his fourth title in 2021, on his 93rd career start)

    In addition to Jorge Fernández Valdés, there were 12 other Argentine players competing this weekend at Nordelta Golf Club. The following are their final positions and scores:

    Pos.

    Name

    Score

    1

    Jorge Fernández Valdés

    277 (-11)

    T4

    Alan Wagner

    281 (-7)

    T4

    Tano Goya

    281 (-7)

    T13

    a-Vicente Marzilio

    283 (-5)

    T13

    Alejandro Tosti

    283 (-5)

    T19

    Augusto Núñez

    285 (-3)

    T29

    Jaime López Rivarola

    286 (-2)

    T34

    Martín Contini

    287 (-1)

    T34

    Andrés Romero 

    287 (-1)

    T45

    Marcos Montenegro

    290 (+2)

    T47

    Rafael Echenique

    291 (+3)

    T59

    Puma Domínguez

    297 (+9)

    T61

    César Monasterio

    299 (+11)

    The VISA Open de Argentina was the first stop in a 12-event PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season that will feature events in seven countries, with players battling for the Totalplay Cup, which is scheduled to culminate in June of 2022 in Mexico.

    For the second of back-to-back tournaments opening the 2021-22 season, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica players are headed to Santiago, Chile, where the Scotia Wealth Management Chile Open presented by Volvo is scheduled to begin Thursday at Sport Francés Club de Golf.

    Final-Round Weather: Partly cloudy. High of 73. Wind ESE at 14-24 mph.