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The First Look: 2020 Puerto Plata Open

PUERTO PLATA, Dominican Republic – After the restart of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica last week in Miami, the Tour travels to here this week to celebrate a new edition of the Puerto Plata Open. This will be the fourth time Playa Dorada Golf Course has hosted a tournament on a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica schedule.

Additionally, with this week’s tournament, the Dominican Republic remains one of the five countries that has hosted at least one tournament in each season since the creation of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in 2012.

DATES: December 14-20, 2020
OFFICIAL NAME: Puerto Plata Open
HASHTAGS: #PuertoPlataOpen #pgatourla #VidaBupa
SCHEDULE: Third event of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica 2020-21 season
VENUE: Playa Dorada Golf Course – Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
PAR/YARDS: 71 (36-35) / 6,805
ORDER OF MERIT: Winner earns 500 points
PURSE MONEY: U.S. $175,000 (winner claims U.S. $31,500)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Cristóbal del Solar, Chile
CUT: Top 55 and ties

FIELD OVERVIEW:

SIZE: 144 players (including 10 from Monday qualifying)
PGA TOUR LATINOAMÉRICA WINNERS: 21 players

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:
Monday, Dec. 14 – Open Qualifier (10 spots available, 34 competitors)
Tuesday, Dec. 15 – Practice Round
Wednesday, Dec. 16 – Pro-Am, Practice Round
Thursday, Dec. 17 – First Round
Friday, Dec. 18 – Second Round (cut for the top-55 and ties)
Saturday, Dec. 19 – Third Round
Sunday, Dec. 20 – Fourth and Final Round

THE TOURNAMENT:

This will be the fourth time the event has been held at the Playa Dorada Golf Course. Here’s a recap of the previous three tournaments.

2019
Chilean Cristóbal del Solar won what would be his second PGA TOUR Latinoamérica title. A birdie on the 72nd hole allowed del Solar to reach 14-under 270, giving him a one-shot win over American Scott Wolfes. Both players arrived at the 18th hole tied, but a great approach from 120 yards gave del Solar the advantage. Local favorite Willy Pumarol started the final round in the lead, but a 74 on the last day dropped him to a third-place tie with Brazilian Alex Rocha.

2018
Argentina’s Andrés Gallegos won the title. Opening rounds of 66-64 allowed him to tie for the lead after 36 holes with American MJ Maguire. From there, Gallegos hit the gas, fired a 67 in the third round and added a bogey-free 65 Sunday to capture his first professional victory. He defated maguire by six strokes.

2017
American Tee-K Kelly claimed victory by becoming the first player go on to win by leading a Tour tournament from start to finish. The 26-year-old finished seven strokes ahead of Australian Ryan Ruffels, his closest rival. After his triumph in Puerto Plata, Kelly added four more top-10s to finish seventh on the Order of Merit.

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 is as follows: United States (72), Argentina (18), Mexico (12), Dominican Republic (12), Canada (4), Colombia (4), Peru (3), Brazil (2 ), Chile (2), Puerto Rico (2), Spain (2), France (2), Venezuela (2), Netherlands (1), Finland (1), Italy (1), Norway (1), South Africa ( 1) and Sweden (1).

Alexandre Rocha will play his second consecutive tournament as No. 1 on the Order of Merit. The champion of the Estrella del Mar Open comes into the week after tying for 28th at the Shell Open at Trump National Doral in Miami. The 43-year-old returns to Puerta Plata, a venue where in 2019 he tied for third place.

Last Sunday’s victory in Doral catapulted MJ Maguire to second place in the Order of Merit. The 28-year-old American is coming off a busy summer in which he played in all eight LOCALiQ Series events. On that Tour, created by the PGA TOUR to give members of its International Tours playing opportunities, Maguire only missed one cut and had two top-10s. Maguire is another who has fond memories of Puerto Plata. In 2018 he finished second.

Andrés Gallegos, champion of the Puerto Plata Open 2018, is one of the players who comes into the tournament on a roll. The Argentine finished second at Doral last week, battling eventual champion MJ Maguire on the back nine at the Golden Palm Course. At one point in the final round he was just one shot behind, but a bogey on No. 17 ended his chances against Maguire, who won by two strokes. The feelings are more than positive for Gallegos, who also remained active during the summer playing the LOCALiQ Series events—achieving one top-10.

Although ranked No. 30 on the Order of Merit, Tommy Cocha has traditionally played well at the Playa Dorada Golf Course. The three-time PGA TOUR Latinoamérica winner tied for 10th in 2019, tied for third in 2018 and was fifth in 2017. The Argentine is coming off top-20 last week in Doral..

Here’s the top-10 of the Order of Merit at this point in the season:

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