Marelli goes low, shoots 62 to take early advantage
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Written by Laury Livsey @PGATOUR
BERAZATEGUI, Argentina—Argentina’s Leandro Marelli shot a 62 at Ranelagh Golf Club on Wednesday during the Roberto De Vicenzo Memorial 100 Years pro-am. The 9-under score didn’t “count.”
His 62 Thursday did. Marelli duplicated his feat from 24 hours earlier, making eight birdies, an eagle and a bogey to finish at 9-under 62, a score that vaulted him to the top of the leaderboard. He’s two strokes ahead of fellow Argentine and playing partner Andres Romero and U.S. player Davis Shore. Chandler Blanchet is alone in fourth, three strokes back.
It’s been quite a couple of days for the 31-year-old, 13-year pro from Casilda. Marelli put a bow on his round by chipping from trouble on the right side of No. 18, his ball stopping a foot from the cup. From there he tapped in for his final birdie of the day.
“The truth is that I played incredibly well, and I came in with very good feelings after the pro-am. [Wednesday] the flags were in the middle of the green, but it was a bit windy. Today the tournament started, with the scorecard in my pocket, so I had an excellent round,” Marelli explained.
Over his final 11 holes, Marelli was 10-under. “It was incredible,” he said, noting his eagle chip-in from the front of the green on nine got things going. “I think that's where everything started to flow.”
Romero seemingly played two different rounds of golf. Starting on No. 1, he made four front-nine birdies to go with two bogeys, a double bogey and two pars to finish at even-par. On the back nine, all Romero did was shoot a 7-under 30, thanks to five birdies and an eagle.
“The eagle on the 11th gave me the boost I needed to turn the round around. I’ve been feeling very good since last week in Termas de Río Hondo,” Romero said.
Shore has been a little disappointed in his putting since turning pro and playing on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Canada. To remedy that, Shore paid a visit to putting coach Marcus Potter. A few subtle changes seemed to do the trick and it showed Thursday. Shore’s first big made putt of the day came at No. 11, his second hole of the morning. He hit his second-shot approach on the par-5 to 10 feet and then rolled in the eagle putt. “I didn’t change my grip, but it was something in my stroke, and I changed putters and the way I was setting up,” said Shore. “Those adjustments, I felt, made a huge difference. A lot of times last year here and in Canada, I hit it really well and didn’t get much out of my rounds.”
Did you know Leandro Marelli’s lone PGA TOUR Latinoamérica win came at the 2019 Peru Open? He fired four rounds in the 60s, including an opening 66 and a closing 67 at Los Inkas Golf Club to defeat John Somers by a stroke.
2022-23 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Player Benefits
|2022-23 Final Totalplay Cup Position||Reward|
|No. 1||Will receive exempt status on the 2024 Korn Ferry Tour|
|Nos. 2-5||Will receive conditional status on the 2024 Korn Ferry|
|Nos. 1-5||Exempt into Final Stage of the 2023 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament|
|Nos. 6-25||Exempt into the second stage of the 2023 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament|
As PGA TOUR Latinoamérica honors RobertoDeVicenzo, who would have turned 100 next month, the tournament invited two accomplished Argentine players and De Vicenzo friends to hit honorary tee shots Thursday morning. Four-time PGA TOUR Champions winner VicenteFernandez and Juan Carlos Cabrera shared the role. In addition, Fernandez represented Argentina five times in the World Cup (1970, 1972, 1978, 1984 and 1985), while Cabrera was a four-time Argentina World Cup player (1975, 1976, 1977 and 1980).
Zurich Argentina Swing Standings
(Players in bold are in the field and still have a mathematical chance to win)
|Pos.||Name||Score||Current Tournament Pos.|
|2||Cristobal Del Solar||521||Not Playing|
|T3||Zack Fischer||500||Not Playing|
|7||Tim Widing||228||Not Playing|
|9||Alejandro Tosti||189||Not Playing|
The Zurich Argentina Swing ends this week at the Roberto De Vicenzo Memorial 100 Years, the fourth of four events in Argentina. There are nine players in this week’s field still with a mathematical chance of winning the U.S. $10,000 bonus. Sweden’s LinusLilliedahl holds a 114-point lead over No. 2 Cristobal Del Solar, but Del Solar is playing on the Korn Ferry Tour this week. The next-closest player to Lilliedahl is JakeMcCrory, 135 points behind Lilliedahl.
DavisShore didn’t play last week in Termas de Rio Hondo, so this is his first official tournament since the Scotia Wealth Management Chile Open presented by Volvo in December. A week ago, with the PGA TOUR Valspar’s Championship Monday qualifier an hour from his home, Shore elected to stay in Florida and try to get into that field. He was unsuccessful, shooting a 75. “I just decided to play these two weeks (in Brazil a week from now) and maximize my opportunities. I wanted to turn it around today since my last ‘tournament’ round was a 75,” said Shore of his 7-under 64.
Davis Shore’s performance came despite two bogeys midway through his round. He negated those miscues by posting back-to-back birdies. He poured in a 25-footer on his 14th hole (No. 5) and then hit his tee shot on the par-3 sixth to five feet, making that, as well.
This is Clodomiro Carranza’s fifth start of the season. The 40-year-old opened the tournament with a 5-under 66 and is tied for fifth. He has only made one cut in his first four starts during the 2022-23 season and is hoping to keep a personal streak alive. The native of Rio Cuarto, Argentina, with a victory at the 2018 Neuquén Argentina Classic on his resume, has a streak of six consecutive years where he has posted at least one top-10.
Last week’s winner, Jake McCrory, shot an opening-round, 1-under 70, and he sits in a tie for 47th through 18 holes.
Ranelagh Golf Club is unique in that there are no par-5s on the front but three par-5s in a four-hole stretch on the back. ChandlerBlanchet birdied all three par-5s on his way to a 6-under 65. He also chipped in for par on the par-3 15th to preserve his bogey-free afternoon. Through 18 holes, Blanchet is alone in fourth.
This is the second 64 DavisShore has shot in his PGA TOUR Latinoamérica career, but this 64 is his lowest relation to par, at 7-under. He previously fired a final-round 64 at the par-70 Facenda Boa Vista a year ago, at the JHSF Brazil Open, on his way to a tie for fifth. Shore originally earned his Tour card by finishing as medalist at the Qualifying Tournament in Florida in November 2021. He shot an 8-under 64 in the final round to capture medalist honors.
After a bogey on his first hole of the day, No. 10, FredMeyer was bogey-free over his final 17 holes. Making pars on his next five holes was quite a feat for the former University of Kentucky star. Meyer missed his first six greens in regulation and didn’t make his first birdie of the day until his eighth hole. After an errant tee shot into the trees, he punched out, his ball landing on the green on the par-4. From there, he rolled in a 20-footer for birdie.
Besides the long putt on No. 17, FredMeyer had two other putts from distance Thursday. One was for par and the other for birdie. He drained a 27-footer on his 12th hole of the day for birdie then made a 30-footer for birdie on his 16th hole.
Brazil’s Rafael Becker is playing in his 100th career PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournament, and the Brazil native opened well, shooting a 3-under 68. Becker has a pair of top-20 finishes in his previous four starts this season and is looking for his second career win to go with his 2014 Brazil Open title.
Totalplay Cup No. 2 Linus Lilliedahl, who also entered the week as the Zurich Argentina Swing leader, carded a 3-under 69 Thursday afternoon and is tied for 22nd. The Swede posted the under-par score despite a double bogey (No. 16) and a bogey (No. 8) on his card.
There are 39 Argentines playing this week, with Leandro Marelli currently the best among them. He’s alone in first. Here are the 15 who are under-par through the opening round.
|1||Leandro Marelli||62 (-9)|
|T2||Andres Romero||64 (-7)|
|T5||Clodomiro Carranza||66 (-5)|
|T11||Tommy Cocha||67 (-4)|
|T11||Cesar Costilla||67 (-4)|
|T11||Puma Dominguez||67 (-4)|
|T11||Ignacio Marino||67 (-4)|
|T21||Rafael Echenique||68 (-3)|
|T34||Maxi Godoy||69 (-2)|
|T34||Mauro Baez||69 (-2)|
|T46||Andrés Gallegos||70 (-1)|
|T46||Jesús Montenegro||70 (-1)|
|T46||Felix Cordoba||70 (-1)|
|T46||Miguel Sancholuz||70 (-1)|
|T46||Jaime Lopez Rivarola||70 (-1)|
“On the last nine holes, you have three par-5s and you know you can attack on those holes. Luckily, I was able to make a good score.” –Leandro Marelli
“I think (Andres) Romero and I were infected with good feelings. I love sharing a special tournament like this with him. Romero played incredibly well, and we were always giving each other good advice on how to play certain holes. I really enjoyed sharing with a champion like him.” –Leandro Marelli
“This is a very special tournament for me because although I didn’t see Roberto (De Vicenzo) play, it’s clear that he was the best Argentine player in history and winning his tournament would be something very special. I saw Roberto give a clinic in Tucumán when I was only nine years old, and he inspired me from the very beginning.” –Andres Romero
“I stopped playing golf for two months, and thought I would do it for a lot longer. I wasn’t at my best in many aspects of my life, but the truth is I couldn’t stop playing. I picked up my golf clubs again and started working hard on my game. I hadn’t planned to play these three consecutive weeks on the Tour, and now I’m looking to go to Brazil.” –Andres Romero
“I was driving it straight from the start of the round, and that’s the name of the game on this course.” –Davis Shore
“I made a lot of putts today. These greens are tricky, so I was happy with that.” –Davis Shore
“I just got rid of the sight line and am using a dot now. It helps me not think about it so much, and that seems to have freed some stuff up for me with that change.” –Davis Shore on the subtle change he made with his putter
“That’s huge whenever you lose some momentum and get it right back.” –Davis Shore on his consecutive birdies after making consecutive bogeys
“The goal is always to get in contention coming down the stretch of any tournament. That’s what I’m looking for and hopefully get myself a shot at the end.” –Davis Shore
“I played solid today. I took momentum from last week. I missed the cut but shot 5-under Friday, bogey-free, and I was feeling good with the game for the last week.” –Chandler Blanchet
“It’s a tight course. I drove it really well today, kept it in front of me and gave myself a ton of opportunities.” –Chandler Blanchet
“I’m trying to stay really patient, and I was fortunate enough to have some things go my way today.” –Fred Meyer
“I hit a great drive on 18 then hit a wedge to five feet and made that. I started driving it really well.
I just had a different swing feel on that, and then just rode it the rest of the way.” –Fred Meyer on his improved driving as the round progressed
First-Round Weather: Sunny and clear, with a high of 81.Wind N at 2-4 mph.