NOTES ON THE APPLICANT LIST:
This week’s field consists of 144 players from 19 countries.
The breakdown of 144 players per country in the field this week: United States (79), Colombia (29), Argentina (15), Mexico (9), Canada (5), Brazil (3), Ecuador (2), Australia (1), Bolivia (1), Finland (1), France (1), Guatemala (1), Spain (1), Netherlands (1), Norway (1), South Korea (1) and Peru (1)
This week is not the first time Brandon Matthews has come to an event as the leader of the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica scoreboard. In 2017, after finishing in the top 10 at the Colombia Open in Bogota, the American scored the first of his three PGA TOUR Latinoamérica wins at the Molino Cañuelas Championship. Back then, at just 22 years, seven months and 13 days, Matthews was the youngest American player to win the tour.
It has been four and a half years since then and Matthews has once again seen what it feels like to be at the top of the PGA TOUR Latino America standings. The American celebrates a victory at The Club at the Weston Hills Open in Florida. It was his second win of the season and the third of 18 events held on the tour.
At Weston, the Temple University graduate screwed the 72nd hole to get 22 under 266 and beat Sam Stevens. Matthews was forced to play 30 holes on Sunday due to weather delays, 12 of which were in his third round and 18 in his final round.
Matthews’ further win of the season came in December 2020 at the Puerto Plata Open in the Dominican Republic. At the Playa Dorada golf course, the 26-year-old dominated the last 36 holes of the game, and at 26-under he beat his American Jacob Bergeron with five strokes.
His results this season on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica put Matthews 227 points ahead of Álvaro Ortiz in the race for the Roberto De Vicenzo Award, which goes to Player of the Year. Matthews wants Ortiz to move forward as the Mexican is not playing in Colombia. Instead, Ortiz qualified for the US Open in San Diego, California, a suburb of La Jolla.
MJ Maguire failed to hold the 54-hole lead he held at The Club at the Weston Hills Open. A 73 on the final lap dropped him to fifth, five shots behind Matthews. This top five placement brings him to third place on the list of points. The American is hoping to take advantage of Ortiz’s absence from Bucaramanga this week to narrow the gap or overtake Ortiz.
Maguire didn’t miss a cut in the 2020/21 season, his best result is a win at the Shell Open. In Doral, Florida, Maguire completed all four rounds in the 1960s and held off the Argentine Andrés Gallegos with two strokes. It is his only win in four seasons and 37 tournaments on the tour.
Alexandre Rocha arrives in Bucaramanga after missing the cut at Weston last week. The Brazilian went down one notch on the points list, where he is now fourth, 451 points behind Matthews. The 42-year-old experienced the best moment of the 2020/21 season at the season opening event in March 2020, the Estrella del Mar Open. At Mazatlán, he scored a total of 29 under par (a record of 72 holes in Tour events), which resulted in his second PGA TOUR Latinoamerica win.
Sam Stevens came close to winning at Weston. The lack of a short birdie putt on the 72nd hole prevented a playoff with Matthews. Even so, it was the Oklahoma State graduate’s best result in his career on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica. The 24-year-old has reached the top 15 in his last three events and comes in fifth on the points list after Bucaramanga. This is his second season as a member of the Tour. In 2019 he played 15 tournaments and was ranked 47th on the Order of Merit.
Highlights of the top 10 players on the points list