Tight race at the top, tight race at the bottom
4 Min Read
Written by Gregory Villalobos @PGATOURLA
CAJICÁ, Colombia—Closing the two-week Colombian swing, the Inter Rapidísimo Golf Championship presented by Volvo is set to begin Thursday at Club El Rincón de Cajicá, outside the capital city of Bogota. As one of only two regular-season events left to play before the season-ending Bupa Tour Championship, players are holding on tight as they try to get in position to secure playing rights for 2024.
The race for the Totalplay Cup trophy and Player of the Year honors is as close as it has been all season, with three players within 64 points of the lead, which is held by last Sunday’s Colombia Classic champion Walker Lee. The 25-year old from Houston, Texas, leads Conner Godsey by seven points, Charlie Hillier by 42, and Chandler Blanchet by 65.
“I just need to stay patient and keep doing what I’m doing, keep playing solid, and see what happens,” said Lee of his new role in the tight race for Tour No. 1 after his breakthrough win Sunday in Bucaramanga.
The fact that Lee jumped from 16th to first with his win gives hope to many players still eyeing the Totalplay Cup trophy or a spot inside the top five, who will lock up 2024 Korn Ferry Tour status at the conclusion of the season.
Coming off a tough Sunday finish when it seemed he was on his way to victory, the consistent Stuart Macdonald enters the week at No. 17, just a spot behind the position Lee held a week ago. The 28-year old Canadian is one to keep an eye on at El Rincón de Cajicá, a terrific golf course welcoming this event for the second consecutive season.
“I love the golf course,” said the Purdue University alum, who owns the lowest scoring average on Tour, at 68.40 strokes per round. “It is one of the best layouts I have played so far this season and maybe in a long time. It’s in great shape, with several difficult tee shots that, depending on the conditions, it could play quite difficult. I’m very excited to get the week started.”
The 2022 Dev Series Final champion Josh Goldenberg is not far behind, holding on to the 22nd spot in the standings. The 26-year-old from Scarsdale, New York, feels good about being back at El Rincón, where he tied for fourth in 2022.
“The course is definitely wetter than it was last year. (It) seems like it has rained a lot, so the ball is reacting differently on the greens, coming in with wedges and especially chipping around the greens; definitely more receptive, so I will imagine the scores are going to be somewhat lower than last year. Overall, it’s in incredible shape as it was last year,” said Goldenberg, owner of six top 25s in nine starts this season.
Scrolling down the standings, the other big target on Tour these days is No. 60, as only the Totalplay Cup top 60 following this event and the Jalisco Open Guadalajara (June 22-25) will gain access to the season-ending event. The top-60 through the 11th tournament will also secure exempt status through the Latin America swing of the 2024 PGA TOUR Americas.
Currently, Alex Scott of Traverse City, Michigan, is holding down the 60th Totalplay Cup position, while Argentina’s Matías Simaski, only 0.15 points behind Scott, is the odd man out were the season to end today.
The first round of the Inter Rapidísimo Golf Championship presented by Volvo begins Thursday morning at 6:20 a.m. local time.
The following is a look at the different performance rewards available for the players who finish the season inside the Totalplay Cup top 60:
For the second consecutive season, the Tour will be enhancing the race for the Totalplay Cup, providing a U.S. $100,000 bonus pool for the top-10 finishers in the standings at the end of the 2022-23 season. The winner of the Totalplay Cup will receive $20,000 in addition to his 2024 Korn Ferry Tour membership. The following is the bonus pool breakdown:
The Inter Rapidísimo Golf Championship’s 144-player field features 21 Colombians, including a female for the second consecutive week. This time competing is María José Bohórquez, a 21-year old professional who made her Epson Tour debut earlier this month. The Epson Tour is the LPGA’s developmental circuit. Bohórquez will become the third female to make a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica start this season and the fourth in history.
Tournament Fast Facts
Official Name: Inter Rapidísimo Golf Championship presented by Volvo
Dates: June 1-4, 2023
Host venue: El Rincón de Cajicá, Par-72 (36-36) 7,464 yards
Field: 144 players from 20 countries
Countries and territories represented in the field: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, England, Finland, France, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Puerto Rico, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, United States and Venezuela
Defending champion: Cristóbal Del Solar (not playing this week)
Purse: U.S. $175,000 – Winner’s share U.S. $31,500
Totalplay Cup points: Awarded to the top-55 and ties, with500 going to the winner
Cut: Top 55 and ties