Waite takes two-shot lead in tough, windy conditions
November 23, 2022
By Gregory Villalobos , PGATOURLA.COM
- November 23, 2022
- Osten White is the only player to post two rounds in the sixties halfway through the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Q-School in Argentina. (Media/PGA TOUR)
LUJAN, BUENOS AIRES, Argentina—With the course playing firm, the temperature raising and the wind blowing, the course at Club Las Praderas de Luján is getting tougher by the day at the fourth and final Qualifying Tournament for the 2022-23 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season. As the only competitor who has managed to card two rounds in the 60s (68-69), Osten White has claimed the halfway lead. At 7-under 137, the 28-year old from Orlando, Florida, holds a two-shot lead over Argentina’s Rafael Echenique, who followed his opening-round-leading 67 with an even-par 72.
Carding a low-of-the-day 68, Frenchman Adrien Pendaries charged into a tie for third, at 4-under, where he is joined by Argentina’s Miguel Sancholuz, a 26-year-old who remains the low amateur. Two shots further behind, Juan Arozena makes it two Argentine amateurs inside the top five. The others tying for fifth, at 2-under, are U.S. players Casey Fernández, Baker Stevenson and Dalan Refioglu.
“It was so difficult out there. The wind was blowing, and the course is so firm that if you miss a shot you get really punished for it,” said Waite, who made his way to the top despite a bogey-bogey start.
Recording six pars in a row to settle down after his tough beginning, Waite made an eagle at the par-5 No. 9 that jumpstarted his round. “I hit a great drive, (which) maybe went 350 yards. It was a great shot, and I followed that up with an 8-iron (from 175 yards) to about six feet, and I made the putt,” he said of a hole that turned things around for him. “To make that eagle, I got a little momentum going, and I followed it up with a birdie on 10.”
Waite went on to have a strong closing stretch, making birdies on 14, 16 and 17, before three-putting for a bogey at the last.
“I hit some many good shots, that (the three-putt at the last) doesn’t even bother me,” added the University of North Florida alum who is seeking to earn PGA TOUR Latinoamérica status for the second consecutive year.
Did you know that Osten Waite’s father, Grant, is a former PGA TOUR winner? A native of New Zealand, Grant Waite made 411 career PGA TOUR starts between 1998 and 2012. His lone victory on TOUR came at the 1993 Kemper Open, where he outdueled Tom Kite for a one-shot win. After turning 50, the elder Waite went on to make 48 PGA TOUR Champions starts, where his best finish was a tie for third, at the 2015 U.S. Senior Open.
How the Tournament Works
Eighty-three players from 18 different countries entered this tournament. Below is a breakdown of the various PGA TOUR Latinoamérica membership statuses available this week.
Exempt membership for the 2022-23 season
2nd through 12th (no ties)
Exempt through the reshuffle, which will occur approximately halfway through the season
13th through 40th (plus ties)
This is a 72-hole, no-cut event. There will be playoffs, if necessary, for the medalist position and for the 12th and final position available.
Players in this week’s field come from 18 countries or territories: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, England, France, Ireland, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and the United States.
Dropping into solo second, Argentina’s Rafael Echenique was at 2-under for the day through 11, but a double bogey on 12 slowed him. He then bogeyed No. 16 but got things back to even with a birdie on 17 to follow his opening 67 with a 72. “Just as [Tuesday], I didn’t strike the ball well. I had a bad hole on 12, but I grinded it out in order to shoot even par for the day,” said the 42-year-old veteran.
Adrien Pendaries moved up 16 spots, thanks to a low-of-the-day 68. At 3-under after birdies on Nos. 1, 4 and 5, the Frenchman went back to even for his round with three bogeys in a row, starting on No. 6. Getting things back on track with a birdie on 9, Pendaries collected four birdies (Nos. 12, 13, 14 and 17) and a bogey (15) on the back to finish his day. “It was better than [Tuesday]. I hit a few more fairways. [Tuesday] I hit only one fairway, so it was tough to score. Today I hit nine fairways and more greens, maybe 13 or 14 greens, and a few par-5s in two (shots) as well. All in all, it was a smoother, more comfortable round in which I was able to give myself more chances,” said the 23-year-old from the Neuilly-sur-Seine, right outside Paris.
Adrien Pendaries is 5-over for the week on Nos. 6 through 8. “I guess I don’t really like 6, 7 and 8. I bogeyed 6 and 7 yesterday, as well, so I maybe I need to make better decisions or chance something for [Thursday],” added the Duke University alum, who turned pro last year and is playing PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Q-School for the first time.
As one of only three players with two rounds under par, Argentina’s Miguel Sancholuz (69-71) remains the leading player among six amateurs competing this week. His countryman Juan Arozena (73-69), who was one of only five players who scored in the 60s Wednesday, is only two shots behind, tied for fifth.
This is how the six amateurs in the field stand through 36 holes:
Miguel Sancholuz (Argentina)
Juan Arozena (Argentina)
Evan Peterson (U.S.)
Paul Chaplet (Costa Rica)
Marcos De Ezcurra (Argentina)
Spencer Lane (U.S.)
Second-Round Weather: Sunny and clear. High of 85. Wind NNW at 14-25 mph.