PGA Tour Latinoamérica
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2018 PGA Tour Latinoamérica
|Formerly||Tour de las Américas|
|Countries||Based in Latin America|
|Most titles||José de Jesús Rodríguez, Rodolfo Cazaubón, Julián Etulain (4)|
|Official website||PGA Tour Latinoamérica|
PGA Tour Latinoamérica is a third level professional golf tour formed in 2012 and operated by the PGA Tour. It was formed in concert with the now defunct Tour de las Américas. Executives from the Tour de las Américas became employees of the new tour. The initial 2012 season runs from September to December and consists of 11 tournaments in seven Latin American countries. Subsequent years' schedules will run in two swings, March to May (Southern Hemisphere autumn) and October to December (spring).
PGA Tour Latinoamérica is one of a number of lower-tier tours that factor into the Official World Golf Ranking, awarding a minimum of six points to the winner and points to the top six plus ties. The top five in the tour's Order of Merit earn status on the Web.com Tour, with the money leader being fully exempt. The Order of Merit Winner also receives the Roberto de Vicenzo Award, named after one of the first golf stars to come out of Latin America. Players finishing 6th-50th retain privileges on PGA Tour Latinoamérica, but can also advance to the Web.com Tour's qualifying school depending on position. Those 2nd-5th can also improve their status at Web.com Tour Q School, gaining entry into the final stage.
The fields will consist of a maximum 144 players, with the top fifty plus ties making the cut.
The 2012 season was the inaugural season of the tour and ran a series of 11 tournaments from September to December. Colombian Jesus Rivas teed the first shot on the new tour. The Order of Merit winner for the season was Ariel Cañete and the five players to graduate to the Web.com Tour based on their Order of Merit positions were Cañete, Oscar Fraustro, Clodomiro Carranza, Matías O'Curry, and Tommy Cocha.
The 2013 season was the first full season of play on the tour with an increased schedule of 14 tournaments running in 2 distinct swings with events played from March to May and October to December. Under the new format the number of tournaments was increased. In April 2013, the NEC Corporation became the sponsor of PGA Tour Latinoamérica and the tour was renamed NEC Series - PGA Tour Latinoamérica. The Order of Merit winner for the season was Ryan Blaum and the five players to graduate to the Web.com Tour based on their Order of Merit positions were Blaum, José de Jesús Rodríguez, Timothy O'Neal, Jorge Fernández-Valdés, and Manuel Villegas.
The 2014 season continued to be played in the 2 swing format as in 2013 but was extended to a total of 18 tournaments for the season. A notable addition to the schedule was the Bridgestone America's Golf Cup, a new unofficial money event on the tour; the event has the highest purse of any event on the tour at $600,000. Initially it was confirmed that Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar would play in the team event; however, following Woods's injuries in 2014, they did not compete. The Order of Merit winner for the season was Julián Etulain and the five players to graduate to the Web.com Tour based on their Order of Merit positions were Etulain, Marcelo Rozo, Tyler McCumber, Brad Hopfinger, and Jorge Fernández-Valdés.
The 2015 season had one more event than the 2014 season, with one event dropped from the schedule, the TransAmerican Power Products CRV Open, and two added: the Honduras Open and the PGA Tour Latinoamérica Tour Championship. Rodolfo Cazaubón led the Order of Merit to earn a Web.com Tour card. Also exempt are Kent Bulle, Rafael Campos, Alexandre Rocha, and Tommy Cocha.
The 2016 season had eighteen official events plus The Aruba Cup, an unofficial event where the PGA Tour Latinoamérica competed against PGA Tour Canada. The Visa Open de Argentina gave the winner entry into the 2017 Open Championship. The five players that earned Web.com Tour cards were Nate Lashley, Augusto Núñez, Guillermo Pereira, Emilio Domínguez, and Samuel Del Val.
In 2013, the tour organized other events from the region into a Developmental Series. The top five finishers from each event qualify for the Dev Series Final, and the top fifteen finishers at the Final earn status on PGA Tour Latinoamérica for the following year. Events on the Dev Series include the Abierto del Sur, Abierto Norpatagónico, Abierto del Litoral, and Abierto de Venezuela.
The Aruba Cup is a team tournament first held on December 15–17, 2016 at Tierra del Sol Resort and Country Club. A PGA Tour Latinoamérica team plays a PGA Tour Canada team, with ten players in each team. PGA Tour Latinoamérica won the inaugural event, 13−7.
Order of Merit winners
|2018||Harry Higgs||United States||101,336|
|2017||José de Jesús Rodríguez||Mexico||119,001|
|2016||Nate Lashley||United States||140,897|
|2013||Ryan Blaum||United States||99,135|
Notes and references
- "PGA Tour Latinoamerica to launch in 2012". PGA Tour. October 20, 2011.
- "Tim Finchem Q&A regarding PGA Tour Latinoamerica". PGA Tour. May 2, 2012.
- "PGA Tour Latinoamerica announces 2012 schedule". PGA Tour. May 2, 2012.
- "Jesus Rivas of Colombia struck PGA Tour Latinoamérica's first tee-shot". PGA Tour. September 5, 2012.
- "NEC becomes umbrella sponsor of PGA Tour Latinoamerica". PGA Tor. April 24, 2013.
- "Woods, Kuchar commit to America's Golf Cup". PGA Tour. August 11, 2014.
- "PGA Tour Latinoamérica announces 2015 tournament schedule". PGA Tour Latinoamérica. January 20, 2015.
- "PGA Tour Latinoamérica – 2015 schedule". PGA Tour Latinoamérica. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- "New events strengthen 2015 Dev. Series schedule". PGA Tour Latinoamérica. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- Decker, Brian. "PGA Tour Latinoamérica Holds On To Win Aruba Cup". British Columbia Golf.