Starting his day off No. 10 at noon, Tosti got hot out of the gate. The Rosario, Argentina native made five birdies in a row between 11 and 15, hitting all his approaches within 15-feet of the hole. He made one more birdie on No. 18, where he barely missed an eagle putt, to shoot 29 on his first nine.
He kept hitting it close on the front, collecting birdies on 1, 3 and 4 to get to 9-under for the day. “At the par-5 No. 5 I hit it in the middle of the fairway, but my approach shot wasn’t that good and the ball went right of the green. I chipped it within 10 feet and failed to make the birdie putt to get to 10-under for the day. I kind of lost focus there and had a bad tee shot at the next that cost me a bogey. Down the stretch I had several birdie chances but the putts didn’t drop,” said the 24-year old who has carded four rounds of 63 or better in the eight rounds he has played this PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season.
Tosti is officially getting his Spanish language and literature degree from the University of Florida tomorrow. The virtual graduation celebration to honor the accomplishments of the College of Liberal Artis and Sciences is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. ET. He will have to miss it, because that’s the exact same time he will be starting Round 3 of the Puerto Plata Open at Playa Dorada Golf Course.
Did you know Alejandro Tosti is seeking his second PGA TOUR Latinoamérica career victory this weekend? He claimed the first in November of last year at the Termas de Rio Hondo Invitation in Argentina, where he carded a final round 64 to win by one over Spain’s Mario Beltrán.
The cut came at 5-under, with 57 players from 11 countries making it to the weekend.
Alejandro Tosti’s 16-under 126 total is a new record for the first 36 holes of play at Playa Dorada Golf Course. The previous low was a 14-under 128 by Tee-k Kelly, who opened 61-67 when the tournament first landed here in 2017.
The 36-hole leader have gone on to win the Puerto Plata Open each of the past three years: Tee-k Kelly (2017), Andrés Gallegos (2018) and Cristóbal Del Solar (2019). The only player who couldn’t capitalize on the 36-hole lead here was MJ Maguire, who entered the weekend tied with Gallegos and finished as the runner-up in 2018.
After missing the cut at the Estrella del Mar Open and the Shell Open, Brendon Doyle made his first PGA TOUR Latinoamérica cut in style. The Indiana University alum followed his opening 65 with a 64 to trail the leader by three as solo second. Doyle has recorded two eagles, 10 birdies and only one bogey this week.
Solo third after consecutive 65s, Brandon Matthews knows how to play well at Playa Dorada Golf Course. In his only previous start at this event in 2017, the Temple University alum finished solo third at 13-under. He didn’t really had a shot that week, as Tee-k Kelly had control all the way for a seven-shot win at 21-under.
Coming off an impressive victory at the Shell Open last Sunday at Trump National Doral Miami, MJ Maguire has a shot at back-to-back wins. He has recorded 13 birdies and two bogeys to trail Tosti by five heading into the weekend. The 28-year old from St. Peterburg, Florida claimed runner-up honors in his only previous Puerto Plata Open start, carding rounds of 64-66-70-68 to finish six shots behind Andrés Gallegos in 2018.
The hopes of a win a by player from the Dominican Republic rest on Juan José Guerra and Willy Pumarol. These PGA TOUR Latinoamérica members were the only locals to make it into the weekend, with Guerra tied for tenth at 10-under and Pumarol tied for 27th at 6-under. Last year Pumarol finished in a tie for third, while Guerra, who led after an opening 63 competing as an amateur, finished in a tie for 23rd. Including five amateurs, there were twelve players from the Dominican Republic in this week’s field.
Only four of the ten players who entered the week inside the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit top-10 made it to the weekend. All four of them are inside the tournament’s top-10, with MJ Maguire, Leandro Marelli and Brad Schneider in a tie for fourth at 11-under and Order of Merit No. 1 Alex Rocha in a tie for tenth at 10-under. This is how the players inside the Order of Merit top-10 did through 36 holes of play at Playa Dorada Golf Course: