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Punta Cana is ready for another great week

The Dominican Republic Open crowned Mexico’s Oscar Fraustro as its champion last year and its returning to Jack Nicklaus designed Hard Rock Golf Club at Cana Bay

The Hard Rock Golf Club at Cana Bay's fourth hole is one its toughest. Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (May 3, 2013). - For some years the Dominican Golf Federation has sought to gain the Dominican Republic some recognition for not only its beautiful vistas but also for a place where golf is hosted at its highest levels.

So, last year's victory by Mexico’s Oscar Fraustro at the DR Open signaled the arrival of the NEC Series - PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and a solid step for the growth of golf on the island. The Mexican then went on to finish among "Los Cinco" and earn his place on the Tour. He earned the victory after battling American Paul Imondi in a tight finish on Sunday.

This year, the same course designed by Jack Nicklaus will host an event that strives to be "iconic" for golf in the region, as told by FEDOGOLF’s President, Rafael Canario. To that goal, they have been working for several months to get the par-72, 7253 yard course in the same excellent condition it was in during last year’s event.

Julio Santos and Willy Pumarol Jr. carry the Dominican flag on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and have represented the country with good results. They will be seeking their first victory on Tour in their home land in June.

The Dominican Republic is known as a great destination for golf tourism. Among the 28 courses in operation, the world's top designers have left their mark, as not only Jack Nicklaus put his mark on the country’s shores, but names like Greg Norman, Nick Price, Gary Player, Tom Fazio and Pete Dye came to this idyllic island to stake their claims as well.

"Golf in the Dominican Republic is in practically in its infancy stage. It’s growing, with many amateurs playing,” said FEDOGOLF President, Rafael Canario. “We have a youth program involving 120 youth players that play a local 'Tour' we were also able to get the City of Santo Domingo to allocate some land for us to build an academy. This is going to help us strengthen the development of high performance athletes of all social strata, "continued Canario on the prospects of growing golf in his country.

Undoubtedly, the return of a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica event to the island will be another step in the consolidation of a sport that is growing steadily.

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