The newest feeder Tour to the PGA Tour system announced their 2012 schedule on May 2nd. The PGA TOUR Latinoamérica (for the 2012 potion) will be made up of 11 events in seven countries played throughout Latin America from September to December. The top players will earn access to the Nationwide Tour. It is a formula that many suspect and hope for the Canadian Tour if their current partnership agreement with the PGA Tour progresses after this season.
The 2012 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica schedule will be contested over four months while the 2013 schedule is expected to divide the schedule into two distinct swings, the first with events played from March through May, followed by the remainder of events in the October through December timeframe.
The inaugural season of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will debut in Mexico with two new events, the Mundo Maya Open and the Monterrey Open. The Mundo Maya Open kicks-off the season on September 3rd in Merida, Mexico at the Yucatan CC, a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course. Monterrey, Mexico will host the Monterrey Open at La Herradura GC. Established in 1945, the Colombian Open in Bogota’s Club El Rincón de Cajicá rounds out the opening swing of the season.
The following two events will be played in October, starting with the 58th playing of the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Immediately after, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica heads south to Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires and the Roberto De Vicenzo Invitational. Hosted by the San Eliseo Golf & CC, the tournament honoring Latin America’s all-time greatest player, will be the first of three events to be contested in Argentina during the inaugural season of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
November brings the series to an event celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Peru Open at Los Inkas GC in Lima, Peru. Next the players head north to the Caribbean for events on the islands of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico with the Dominican Republic Open at Cana Bay GC and the Puerto Rico Classic at the legendary and newly renovated East Course at Dorado Beach Resort.
The final stretch of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s maiden season begins in Cali, Colombia for the Colombian Coffee Classic at Club Campestre de Cali. Players vying for the top spots on the Order of Merit will have two events remaining in Buenos Aires. Rounding out the 2012 season are the Olivos Golf Classic-Copa Personal and the Argentine Open. The Olivos Golf Classic-Copa Personal will be played at Olivos Golf Club and is followed by the Argentine Open, set to celebrate its 107th playing at Nordelta GC, another Jack Nicklaus designed golf course.
“We are delighted to announce the 2012 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season schedule,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “This schedule will provide a good test for players seeking a pathway to the next level of PGA TOUR golf, the Nationwide Tour. This is an important step for the PGA TOUR and for professional golf with South America hosting its first ever Olympic Games, which includes golf’s return to the competition for the first time in more than 100 years. ”
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica also announced the launch of a bi-lingual informational website, www.pgatourla.com. The site, available in both English and Spanish, contains a list of the players qualified to compete on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, the schedule and qualifying tournament information. A more robust site with player bios, tournament host venue and history information with additional editorial coverage is set to launch in early June at the conclusion of the full 2012 Tour de las Americas season.
“The 2012 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica schedule is a combination of long-running established events as well as a handful of new events, which is a testament to the collaborative effort of the National Federations, Tour de las Americas, promoters and clubs in the region” said Jack Warfield, President, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. “We feel this schedule will be a strong test for the players who will be looking to move up to the next level of PGA TOUR golf, the Nationwide Tour.”
A total of 43 players from eight nations have already qualified to play the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica inaugural season. Ten more players will earn spots at the conclusion of the Tour de las Americas’ 2012 season on June 3, while other players will have their chance to qualify through Qualifying events held in Argentina in June and Miami in July.