Tour de las Américas
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Top level tournament golf in Latin America has had an unstable history. Some of the national open championships in the region are long established, but they did not traditionally form a coherent tour. In the late 1970s and early 1980s the Caribbean Tour attracted entrants from leading European and American golfers such as Seve Ballesteros and Curtis Strange, but it folded after a few years. The next attempt was the "South American Tour" of 1981 to 1999, which incorporated the existing national opens of the leading Latin American countries. This had considerable success in creating a popular and coherent tour over its almost two decades of operations and was notable for the quality of some of the players it exported to the PGA Tour and the European Tour, such as José Cóceres and Ángel Cabrera.
In 2000, new owners relaunched the tour under the name Tour de las Américas with the aim of creating a schedule which would cover the whole region from Argentina to the Caribbean, and gain broader media exposure. The tour soon introduced a policy of co-sanctioning some events with Europe's second tier Challenge Tour, and some years later, in 2008, a similar arrangement was agreed with the Canadian Tour. The TLA also co-operated with the Nationwide Tour; whereby some of the leading Tour de las Américas players are given entries to specific Nationwide Tour events.
If the Sunshine Tour is considered to be the main tour for all of Africa, then in the early 21st century, Latin America was the only region of the World which did have a professional tour which is a full member of the International Federation of PGA Tours, the Tour de las Américas having joined the federation as an associate member on July 30, 2007. In August 2010, the Governing Board of the Official World Golf Ranking made a provisional announcement that the tour would offer ranking points starting in 2011. The first tournament to receive ranking points was 2011 Abierto de Chile
Order of Merit winners
|South American Tour|
|1999||Scott Dunlap||United States|
|1992||Eric Woods||United States|
- Official World Golf Ranking Board Announces New Directives Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine.
- TLA events count for World Ranking starting this week Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine.