March 8, 2013 – The wait is finally over. The second season of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica has arrived. Starting with the fifty-fifth playing of the Abierto Mexicano (Mexico Open) to be played in Mexico City, March 14-17, an exciting new year carries the hopes and dreams of several up-and-coming players competing in Latin America.
Nine months from now, those holding the Order of Merit’s top 5 spots (“Los Cinco”) will be rewarded with access to the 2014 Web.com Tour. The No. 1 player among “Los Cinco” will earn the Roberto De Vicenzo Award and will be fully exempt on the Web.com Tour.
Building on a successful inaugural season that featured eleven tournaments in seven countries, the Tour has added four events to bring the number of countries welcoming PGA TOUR Latinoamérica to nine. The season will be divided into two halves with each of its 15 tournaments awarding US $150,000 in prize money.
In addition to the season opening Abierto Mexicano, which begins March 11th in Mexico City, the first swing of the season will also feature the TransAmerican Power Products CRV Open in Guadalajara, Mexico the following week.
After a three-week break, the Tour picks up again at the Abierto del Centro in Cordoba, Argentina on April 15th. The following week the Roberto De Vicenzo Invitational Copa NEC will be contested in Montevideo, Uruguay at the Club de Golf de Uruguay, a new country and venue for the event. The Colombian Open will then be contested from April 29-May 5 in Pereira, Colombia.
The first part of the schedule concludes with a three week stretch beginning on May 13th in Mérida, Mexico, followed by a two week visit to the Caribbean with the Puerto Rico Classic returning to Dorado’s East Course and the Dominican Republic Open at Cana Bay Golf Club ending on June 2nd.
The second half of the season begins in Brazil with a new event the week of October 7th followed by the Brazil Open, to be contested in Rio De Janeiro at Gavea Golf Club. The season continues at the Colombian Coffee Classic from October 28-November 3rd at San Andres Golf Club in Bogota, followed up by the Lexus Peru Open at Los Inkas GC in Lima.
After a final one-week break, the race for “Los Cinco” heats up with the final three events of the year, starting with the Chile Open to be contested at Los Leones GC in Santiago from November 18-24. The race ends in Buenos Aires once again with the last two events of the season, the Olivos Golf Classic-Copa Personal and the Argentine Open contested in Buenos Aires beginning on November 25 and concluding on December 8th.
As host nations, Mexico and Argentina lead the way with three events each, followed by Brazil and Colombia with two. Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Peru and Chile will host one tournament each.
This year, the Tour membership has risen to 145 players from 24 countries. Fifty of these members kept their Tour cards by finishing in the Order of Merit’s top 50 last year, while nine others received special exemptions to represent each host country. The remaining 86 (40 of them fully exempt) emerged from the two Qualifying Tournaments played at the beginning of February in Lima, Peru and Sebring, Florida.
With the word spreading about what PGA TOUR Latinoamérica has to offer following an intense inaugural season that allowed its top players to move up to the Web.com Tour, more competitors from outside Latin America have joined. The nation that increased its membership the most is the United States, which rose from 18 players to a Tour leading 39. The 2013 membership also features players coming from as far as Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Wales, Australia and Taiwan.
Playing PGA TOUR Latinoamérica last year proved to be fun, as well as a fantastic learning experience for players who sought out this Tour not only as a playing opportunity but also as an opportunity for professional growth. The cultural diversity provided by fourteen host cities in nine countries will definitely enrich players who will come to play and discover the wonders that Latin America can offer them.