WESTON, Florida—After two-and-a-half months, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica resumes its 2020-21 season with a new event, The Club at Weston Hills Open. This will be the first of three consecutive tournaments the Tour will hold. The other two will be the Holcim Colombia Classic presented by Volvo, in Colombia, and the Banco del Pacífico Open, an annual event on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in Quito, Ecuador.
The Club at Weston Hills Open is the fifth of eight events in a season that began in March 2020 but has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges posed by the public-health crisis, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica officials have put together a tournament calendar that produce a graduating class for the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour.
DATES: June 7-13, 2021
OFFICIAL NAME: The Club at Weston Hills Open
HASHTAGS: #TheClubatWestonHillsOpen #pgatourla
SCHEDULE: Fifth event of the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season
VENUE: The Club at Weston Hills (Tour Course)
PAR/YARDS: 72 (36-36), 7,060
POINTS LIST: Winner earns 500 points
PURSE MONEY: U.S. $175,000 (winner claims U.S. $31,500)
CUT: Top 55 and ties
SIZE: 144 players (including ten who will play via Monday qualifying)
PGA TOUR LATINOAMÉRICA WINNERS: 24
Friday, June 4 – Open Qualifier (completed)
Monday, June 7 – Practice Round
Tuesday, June 8 – Practice Round
Wednesday, June 9 – Practice Round
Thursday, June 10 – First Round
Friday, June 11 – Second Round (cut for the top-55 and ties)
Saturday, June 12 – Third Round
Sunday, June 13 – Final Round
THE TOURNAMENT: Although this is the first time PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will play a tournament on its official calendar at this venue, it is not the first time the Tour has visited the facility. At The Club at Weston Hills, the Tour played one of four Qualifying Tournaments leading up to its 2020-21 season. A.J. Crouch was the medalist, thanks to an overall score of 10-under 278.
The University of Florida graduate defeated Piri Borja by two shots. Borja appeared on his way to medalist honors, sitting at 7-under par through 13 holes. Borja’s undoing was a triple bogey on the 15th hole and a bogey at No. 18, clearing the way for Crouch, who secured his first card as a Tour member.
NOTES ON THE LIST OF COMPETITORS:
This week’s field is made up of 144 players from 20 countries.
The breakdown of the 144 players per country in the field this week: United States (94), Mexico (11), Argentina (10), Colombia (6), Canada (4), Brazil (3), Chile (2), Dominican Republic (2), Australia (1), Bolivia (1), Finland (1), France (1), Guatemala (1), Italy (1), Netherlands (1), Norway (1), Spain (1), South Korea (1), Puerto Rico (1) and Venezuela (1).
Álvaro Ortiz will play his first tournament of the season as Points List leader. The Mexican arrives in good spirits, thanks to him earning a spot in the U.S. Open scheduled for Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California, next week. The 25-year-old successfully got through the 36-hole qualifier at the Dallas Athletic Club in Dallas on the strength of back-to-back 68s. This will be the second major championship Ortiz has played. He made his debut at the 2019 Masters Tournament at Augusta National after he won the Latin America Amateur Championship.
Álvaro will be in the U.S. Open field with his brother Carlos, a PGA TOUR member, who earned his invitation by finishing in the top 60 of the Official World Golf Ranking. It will be the first time Latin American siblings will play together in the same major.
It has been a more than positive 2020-21 season for Ortiz, who reached the top of the Points List after his victory in the 61st Mexico Open, the fourth event of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season held in March 2021 at the Estrella del Mar Golf and Beach Resort in Mazatlán. At 23-under 265, Ortiz outlasted Canadian Drew Nesbitt by three shots.
Mazatlán has been key in Ortiz’s progression. The University of Arkansas graduated, who played his first season as a professional and as a member of the Tour, traveled to Estrella del Mar in March 2020 for the first tournament of the season. At that event, Ortiz finished second, at 26-under, three strokes behind winner Alexandre Rocha.
Last week in North Carolina, Ortiz played in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Rex Hospital Open, where he made the cut and finished 85th.
Ortiz’s point total gives him a 209-point lead over No. 2 on the Points List, MJ Maguire.
The American has not missed a cut this season and is returning to a venue where he feels comfortable. Maguire played one of eight LOCALiQ Series events at The Club at Weston Hills last summer-fall. The LOCALiQ Series was a circuit created by the PGA TOUR to provide playing opportunities for International Tours players. Rounds of 72-65-67, for a total of 12-under, left him tied for third place—with Camilo Aguado, Brendon Doyle and Brian Carlson. American Justin Doeden won the tournament.
This is the fourth season the University of North Florida graduate has played on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and it has been the best. His success is in part due to his victory in December 2020 at the Shell Open in Miami. Maguire posted all four rounds in the 60s and finally beat Argentine Andrés Gallegos by two strokes. This was his only victory in 36 tournaments played on the Tour.
Alexandre Rocha is another who arrives with good feelings at Weston. The Estrella del Mar Open champion (his 29-under-par score set a new 72-hole Tour scoring record) has not missed a cut and hopes to continue that streak on a course he is playing for the first time. The Brazilian is coming off a tie for 14th at the Mexico Open, where he finished at 12-under. At age 42 and with two victories on his PGA TOUR Latinoamérica resume, Rocha arrives at this event as one of the most-experienced players.
Brandon Matthews returned to PGA TOUR Latinoamérica at the end of last season and has been a star since. In two of the last three events of 2019, he finished in the top five. At the VISA Argentine Open, he lost the title in the second playoff hole to Colombian Ricardo Celia. In 2020-21, the Pennsylvania native has made the last three cuts, including a victory, the second as a member of the Tour.
The 26-year-old won the Puerto Plata Open, an event he dominated over the weekend, eventually securing a comfortable, five-stroke win over Jacob Bergeron. The American’s other victory on the Tour came in 2017 when as a rookie he won the Molino Cañuelas Championship. At age 22, he became the youngest American player to win on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
Finishing second at the 61st Mexico Open allowed Canadian Drew Nesbitt to climb from 24th to fifth on the Points List. He is currently the last player who will qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour if the season ended today. Besides his runner-up showing, Nesbitt added tie for sixth place at the Shell Open. Since 2018, the native of Toronto, Ontario, has played 18 Tour events, including his triumph at the 2019 Mexico Open at Tijuana Country Club. At that time, Nesbitt started the final round five shots behind leaders Matt Ryan and Gustavo Silva. An 8-under par 62 was enough to make up the difference and eventually hoist the trophy—his first and only title.
Highlights of the Top-10 Players on the Point List