Mexico, Ecuador ready to welcome resumption of season
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will return to two countries it knows well when it resumes its 2020-21 season in March. Mexico’s national open—the Mexican Open supported by Unifin, CONADE and the Government of the State of Sinaloa—gets things going March 22-28, with action continuing in Ecuador at the Banco Del Pacífico Open on May 10-16 at Quito Tenis and Golf Club.
The Mexican Open has appeared on the Tour’s schedule six times since 2013. Its seventh as a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournament became official Thursday when the Tour in conjunction with the Mexican Golf Federation announced the tournament will be at Estrella del Mar Resort in Mazatlán. There was no Mexican Open in 2020. Canadian Drew Nesbitt won the 2019 tournament, held at Tijuana Country Club. The Banco Del Pacífico Open has been a mainstay event on the Tour’s schedule since 2014, with players making their annual visit to Ecuador. Like the Mexican Open, officials postponed the 2020 Banco Del Pacífico Open.
“We have such a strong history with Mexico and Ecuador, and we’re pleased to continue our season in two countries that have been the sites of exciting and competitive action through the years,” said PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Executive Director Todd Rhinehart. “We’re well into our season, and it will be great to begin playing again as we watch players battle for position on the points list and eventual membership on the 2021-22 Korn Ferry Tour.”
In March 2020, Mazatlán hosted the Estrella del Mar Open, what was the 2020 season-opening event. Brazil’s Alex Rocha won the tournament in record-breaking fashion, finishing at 29-under and three strokes clear of runner-up Alvaro Ortiz of Mexico. When PGA TOUR Latinoamérica shut down its season three weeks later due to COVID-19, the Tour altered its plan, changing to a 2020-21 wraparound campaign, meaning players will play Estrella del Mar twice in the same season.
In mid-May, the Tour heads to Quito for the seventh playing of the Banco Del Pacífico Open. “Quito Tenis and Golf Club and Banco Del Pacífico have been tremendous partners, and while it was disappointing not to play the tournament in 2020 because of COVID-19, we’re pleased to return to a course that has produced quality champions like Nate Lashley, Augusto Núñez and Tyler McCumber,” Rhinehart continued.
With these two tournaments now on the schedule, Tour officials will announce the remainder of season’s tournaments in the near future. The schedule is expected to conclude sometime in the late spring or early summer.
“We are excited to start play again, and we appreciate all the work our partners and host organizations have done these past several months. All of us associated with PGA TOUR Latinoamérica are pleased to continue with this very unique season and anticipate announcing the remainder of the schedule soon,” Rhinehart added.
After a nine-month break following the 2020 Estrella del Mar Open, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica resumed its schedule in December, with the Shell Open in Miami and the Puerto Plata Open in the Dominican Republic. MJ Maguire won the Shell Open, with Brandon Matthews capturing the win in the Dominican Republic.
Past champions of the Mexican Open as a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournament are Ted Purdy (2013), Oscar Álvarez (2014), Justin Hueber (2015), Sebastián Vázquez (2016), Austin Smotherman (2018) and Nesbitt (2019).
The Mexican Open dates to 1944, with the event part of the Korn Ferry Tour schedule from 2008 to 2013. World Golf Hall of Famers Roberto De Vicenzo (three times), Bobby Locke, Tony Lema, Lee Trevino, Billy Casper, David Graham and Ben Crenshaw all count the Mexican Open as victories on their career records.
About PGA TOUR Latinoamérica
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica is a professional golf tour created in 2012 by the PGA TOUR in collaboration with promoters, clubs and national golf federations in Latin America. The inaugural season in 2012 featured 11 tournaments in seven countries in the Latin American region. Since then, the Tour has played tournaments in countries throughout Central and South America, as well as in the Caribbean. The points leader at the end of each season is awarded the Roberto De Vicenzo Award, and the top-five points winners from the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit earn Korn Ferry Tour membership for the following season.