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Guatemala’s Toledo sets pace with a 65

The Country Club La Planicie proved to be a good test for those trying to earn their 2013 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica card in Lima

Guatemala's José Toledo in action this afternoon at Lima's CC La Planicie. Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR

Lima, Peru (February 5, 2013) - A round of six birdies, an eagle and just one bogey turned Guatemala’s José Toledo into the outright leader after the opening round of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s first Qualifying Tournament for the 2013 season. His 7-under par 65 at the CC La Planicie in Lima allowed him to move one stroke ahead of Mexico’s Oscar Serna, who carded a bogey-free 66 for solo second.

"Last night I set up a game plan. The idea was to shoot 2-under every six holes and I managed to follow it early and that helped me raise my confidence for the back nine. I knew I had to stay patient because there were plenty of birdies to collect on the back,” said the 26-year old from Guatemala City who carded three birdies and one bogey on the more difficult front nine and followed with three birdies and one eagle on the back.

Toledo, a member with conditional status on the Web.com Tour last season, attributed part of his success in today’s round to a new putter he switched to just last week when he visited his coach Mike Shannon at Sea Island. He dropped his Newport 2 by Scotty Cameron and picked up a Newport 2.5 with center shaft that prevents him from aiming left as he was doing before.

Serna holds second spot. "I have been playing very well for quite some time, striking the ball nicely and just playing golf easy and that gives you an advantage," said the 34-year old from Leon, Guanajuato. Starting off the 10th in the afternoon, he was the only competitor able to go bogey-free today. He played extremely well between 12 and 18, making five birdies in that stretch. Serna has spent three full seasons on the Web.com Tour, most recently in 2012 when he played 26 tournaments.

Pinto’s strong finish. Argentina's Paulo Pinto reached the 12th tee at even par for the day, but went birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle to turn his day around. A bogey on 16 and a birdie on 18 added to a 67 that earned him third place alone.

Best from the morning wave. Chile’s Martín Ureta carded a 68 to be the best among those who played earlier in the day. He got to 5-under at one point, but bogeyed 14 and 16 and then claimed a shot back with a birdie at the last. “The goal in any tournament is to get off to a good start. You can never win tournament or qualify the first day, but you certainly lose on that first day," said the 27-year-old who shares the fourth spot with Venezuela’s Alfredo Adrián.

Poor finish ruined Cabrera’s great round. Playing in the afternoon, Argentina’s Federico Cabrera, the eldest son of two-time major champion Ángel Cabrera, flirted with the outright lead thanks to an outstanding start. The 23-year had a flawless performance on his first thirteen holes (started off the 10th) to get 6-under for the day. Unfortunately, he hit the ball out of bounds at the 5th, his 14th hole, for a bogey and then followed with a double-bogey on 7 and a bogey on 8. He ended up posting a 70 (-2) for a share of the tenth spot.

Red numbers. A total of 22 players posted rounds under par this Tuesday at the Country Club La Planicie’ 6,700-yard par-72. Spain’s Jacobo Pastor López (69) was the only amateur among them.

A tale of two nines. Both nines at the CC La Planicie are significantly different. The front nine is a lot more difficult and today’s scores prove it. The front, which the locals call ‘the upper nine’, goes into the hills, while the back is flatter, more open and provides plenty of chances to attack and score. Today’s averages: Front 37.3 strokes (+2.3) / Back 37.11 (+0.11).

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