• This is a 72-hole, no-cut event. There will be playoffs, if necessary, for the medalist position and for the sixth and final position available.
• Players in this week’s field come from 13 countries and territories (Argentina, Bermuda, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Costa Rica, England, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico and Venezuela.
• Ten players from Canada are competing this week. The leading Canadian after 18 holes is Robert Wilkinson from Dundas, Ontario, at 3-under. He’s tied for sixth. The next-closest Canadian is Brendan Seys, at 1-over. He’s tied for 32nd.
• After amateur Zack Taylor, who shares the first-round lead, American Christopher Williard is the next-low amateur among the 13 entered. The Stetson University product is a stroke ahead of India native Saptak Talway. Williard enters the second round alone in fifth place, while Talway is tied for sixth. Austin Hitt (2-under) and Grant Haefner (1-under) were the other two amateurs to finish under par through 18 holes.
• Cristian DiMarco held Mackenzie Tour status in 2018, his rookie season as a professional. He played on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in 2019.
• Although he lives in Winter Park, about an hour from here, DiMarco chose to stay close to the course Monday night because of his 8:30 a.m., tee time. With an afternoon tee time Wednesday, DiMarco will sleep with a share of the lead in his own bed. DiMarco is also not unfamiliar with the layout. “I’ve been playing this course for six, seven years,” he said, referring to one college tournament and the Florida state high school tournament held here.
• In his career, Isidro Benitez has played in 31 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournaments, 30 of those as a professional. His lone breakthrough came in 2018, at the 113th playing of the Argentine Open. At Pilar Golf Club, he defeated Russell Budd and Harry Higgs by three strokes. The win was also significant as it earned Benitez an invitation to the 2019 Open Championship, where he missed the cut.
• With an invitation to the Masters on the line for the champion, Luis Gagne just missed on that opportunity at the 2019 Latin American Amateur, finishing second, two shots behind winner Alvaro Ortiz. As an amateur, Gagne reached as high as No. 24 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
• While playing for LSU, Luis Gagne shared the title at the David Toms Intercollegiate two years in a row. In 2016, he tied with Brandon Pierce, Eric Ricard and Tiger teammate Sam Burns. The following year, Gagne shared the title with Lewis George and LSU teammate Jacob Bergeron.
• For the first two years of college, Zack Taylor was not a member of the Coastal Carolina golf team. He was studying in the school’s PGA Golf Management Program. He walked on the golf team his junior year and later earned Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year honors.
• In May 2020, Zack Taylor took a four-shot lead into the final round of the General Hackler Championship at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He hung on to win by two shots for his lone college title. Following the completion of the Chanticleers’ 2021 season, Taylor intends to turn pro.
“My coach, Todd Anderson, and I were talking last week, and he said I should go with the mindset of winning, obviously. Then if I don’t but if I play well enough, I’ll be in the top six. Of course, everybody here wants to win, and that’s the goal.” –Luis Gagne
“The main thing is to keep doing what I’m doing and stick to my gameplan.” –Luis Gagne
“I still have three rounds. I’ll just keep my head down and give myself the best chance I can.” –Luis Gagne
“I was really happy with my tee shots. I hit really good tee shots all day.” –Isidro Benitez
I hit really good second shots, hitting them really close. Fifteen feet was my longest birdie putt on the back nine.” –Isidro Benitez
“I’ve been playing this course for six, seven years. We had a high school tournament here, States my junior year of high school. I played a college tournament here, too.” –Cristian DiMarco on his experience at Mission Inn
“There are some good par-5s. No. 1 is a tough one. Right out of the gate you have to hit a good drive. Seventeen is tough. I would say 10 and 14 are definitely the ‘aggressive’ holes. They’re shorter par-5s.
“The longest putt I made was 17 feet today. Nothing unreasonable. I hit the ball pretty well today. Toward the end I think I was getting a little tired, swirling it left—and right, actually.” –Zack Taylor
“It rained a good bit, but it wasn’t unmanageable. It came down pretty decent at one point. That was actually when I was playing pretty well.” –Zack Taylor on the rain that hampered his final round
“It was good putting. I got a few good breaks off the trees and got a few decent hops so I could get to where I needed to get to hit the next shot.” –Zack Taylor
“It was.” –Zack Taylor on his goal of being a club professional and how his plans have changed
“From where I came from, I’ve had a pretty good college career.” –Zack Taylor on walking on at Coastal Carolina and only playing two years of collegiate golf
First-Round Weather: Overcast and pleasant in the morning. Rain began falling at 2:30 p.m., and lasted until 3:47. Officials never stopped play. High of 78. Wind N at 3-6 mph.