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Storylines: Abierto de Chile

The tournament begins on thursday at Club de Golf Los Leones, in Santiago

Nicolas Geyger is the leading Chilean player in the Order of Merit. Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR

SANTIAGO, CHILE – NOVEMBER 20, 2013.

The race for the top spots heats up with only three tournaments left to play this season on NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. The final three events will be played over the next three weeks, starting with the Abierto de Chile at the Club de Golf Los Leones in the capital city of Santiago. This will be the first PGA TOUR Latinoamérica event ever played in Chile, which becomes the ninth Latin American country to welcome the Tour.

  • November 18-24
  • Club de Golf Los Leones
  • Santiago, Chile
  • This is the 12th event on the Tour’s 14-tournament schedule
  • Field
  • Tee Times
  • Hashtag: #AbiertodeChile

Los Cinco move closer to the Web.com Tour. The final three events on the 2013 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica schedule will help decide who “Los Cinco” will be. Those players able to close the season ranked No. 1 through No. 5 in the Order of Merit of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will earn status on the Web.com Tour in 2014. Those five spots currently belong to José de Jesús Rodríguez of Mexico, Ryan Blaum of Florida, Jorge Fernández-Valdés of Argentina, Timothy O’Neal of Savannah, Georgia and Manuel Villegas of Colombia in their respective order. In addition to claiming the Roberto De Vicenzo Award, the player finishing No. 1 will earn full exempt status on the Web.com Tour next year.

Race for Los Cinco is still wide open. The players currently in the top 5 of the Order of Merit have been holding strong this season thanks to very consistent play, but their spots are not secure yet.  Anyone can still make a charge into the top 5 with $81,000 in winners' checks available over the final three events, even a player who has not earned any money this season.

Field. There are 132 competitors from 19 countries on this week’s field. The following are the countries they represent and the number of players by country: Chile (39), Argentina (31), USA (21), Colombia (7), Mexico (6), Brazil (5), Venezuela (4), Paraguay (3), Peru (3), Canada (2), Spain (2), Uruguay (2), Australia (1), Bolivia (1), Dominican Republic (1), Ecuador (1), Puerto Rico (1), Wales (1) and Zimbabwe (1).

Tour Champions. There are 13 NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica champions ready to compete at Los Leones this week. The list includes two-time winners José de Jesús Rodríguez of Mexico, ranked No. 1 in the Order of Merit, and Ryan Blaum of Florida, ranked No. 2. Julián Etulain of Argentina, the latest player to join the winners’ circle with a victory at the Lexus Perú Open will be here as well.

Seven National Opens. With the addition of the Abierto de Chile to its schedule, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will be celebrating seven National Open Championships this season. The other six are the National Opens of Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Peru and Argentina.

Glorious Past. The Abierto de Chile includes among its most celebrated champions world stars such as South Africa’s Gary Player, winner in 1980, and the incomparable Roberto De Vicenzo of Argentina, 1961. Other notables who have won it are Argentina’s Eduardo Romero, 1984, Paraguay’s Carlos Franco, 1985, and some of Chile’s top stars such as Felipe Aguilar, Benjamín Alvarado, Francisco Cerda and Guillermo Encina.

Chilean Members. Seven of the local players in this week’s field are PGA TOUR Latinoamérica members. The following are their names, (number of Tour starts) and best career finishes on Tour:

  • Christian Espinoza (22 starts) T4 at 2012 Aberto do Brasil and 2013 De Vicenzo Invitational Copa NEC
  • Santiago Russi (21) T5 at 2013 Abierto OSDE del Centro and at the Lexus Peru Open
  • Nicolás Geyger (19) T3 at 2012 TransAmerican Open and 2013 DR Open
  • Horacio León (19) T9 at 2013 TransAmerican CRV Open and Mundo Maya Open
  • Antonio Costa (6) All missed cuts
  • Juan Cerda (4) All missed cuts 

Club de Golf Los Leones. As the oldest golf club in Santiago Los Leones has served as host of world-class stars and events. Roberto de Vicenzo, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Ángel Cabrera are among the brightest stars that have walked its fairways in the past. Tournament wise, one of its finest hours came just fifteen years ago, when it hosted the 1998 World Amateur Team Championship. The field of that event featured the likes of Matt Kuchar, Luke Donald, Sergio García, Trevor Immelman, Camilo Villegas, Aaron Baddeley and Henrik Stenson among others.

  • Club’s Name: Club de Golf Los Leones
  • Location: Santiago, Chile
  • Par: 72 (36-36) – 6,948 yards
  • Club founded in 1910
  • Current venue opened in 1936 and the golf course in 1937
  • The course features four par-3s, ten par-4s and four par-5s. Both, holes 17 and 18 are par-5s.
  • Club Web Page: Los Leones

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