PRGA Championships Presented by Johnnie Walker
2017 PRGA Championships - About to Tee Off
Promoting Amateur Golf in Puerto Rico for Over 63 years
SAN JUAN, PR – The best golfers in Puerto Rico will have a go at it this June 9-11 at the TPC Dorado Beach – East Course, as the PRGA celebrates it’s National Golf Championships.
The Puerto Rico Golf Association is pleased to “Keep Walking” with Johnnie Walker as partners and main sponsor of this year’s Championships. The competitors will be treated to a world-class event reflecting the PRGA’s and Johnnie Walker’s standards of quality.
The Championship, a World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) event, counts with 5 divisions; Amateur, Ladies, 1st Flight Amateur, Senior and Professional. As an additional boost of adrenaline and competition, the overall winner will receive an exemption spot to play in the PGA TOUR’s 2018 Puerto Rico Open.*
2016 champions Erick Morales (AM), Alfredo Velez (1st flight AM), Valeria Pacheco (Ladies) and Felipe “Pipe” Colon (Senior) will all be looking to defend their titles this coming weekend.
Puerto Rico Golf Association President, Sidney Wolf, expressed his satisfaction (as he looked at the tournament list) stating, “I’m happy to see a mixed field that includes members of the PRGA Junior National Team, collegiate players, top amateurs, ladies and a great lineup of seniors. Great to see “Pipe”, Erick and Valeria return to defend their titles.”
The PRGA is happy to return to TPC Dorado Beach, as the tournament will be played on one of the finest golf courses in the Caribbean, the famed East Course! Brad Boyd, Course Superintendent and Jeff Willenburg, Director of Golf, “have given us a great canvas for us to work on”, said PRGA Director of Rules & Competitions, Francisco Rivera.
The East Course, which can become a daunting challenge depending on a multitude of factors, pace of play is something that has been taken into serious consideration. That being said, the PRGA is suggesting to the players to adopt the R&A’s initiative of ready golf. This should help participants in the overall satisfaction and enjoyment of the tournament.
The Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed course, site of the 54-hole tournament, will challenge this field no matter what. With that in mind, Rivera plans to “accomplish a tough but fair competition with a balance of all aspects including distance, pin placement and weather. I’ll take it day-by-day analyzing the statistics from the field to make it a just competition.”
This year looks to promise great golf and an exciting tournament with a field of 78. As per Francisco Rivera, “I’m looking forward to our players taking on the tough test of golf at the beautiful East Course always provides.”
Make sure you follow the action via live scoring, daily newsletter recaps, pictures and videos on the PRGA’s Facebook page!
*Please review eligibility requirements at the tournament registration tent.
2017 PRGA Championships - Round 1 Summary/Recap
Round 1 in is the books and it did not disappoint.
Today’s weather was a tale of two stories. The morning was calm with a light breeze and partly cloudy skies. Then came a 20-minute downpour and the heat came into effect. The East Course drained really well and that opened the gates for the field to attack the pin.
PRGA Junior Andres Aranguren sits atop the Amateur Division tied with recent high school graduate Ian Aldarondo at 1-over par 73, while Erick Morales and his buddy Max Alverio are tied in 3rd place with a 2-over par 74.
The Ladies Division has Lynn University Junior Kristina “Krissy” Ortiz leading the pack at 1-over par 73. In a telephone interview with the PRGA, Krissy expressed “I’m really happy to be back in Puerto Rico coming off a season where I had ups and downs, I find myself feeling relaxed and confident”.
“I had such a fun time playing along side Kim and Paola. And having my dad on the bag by my side kept me relaxed and calm. Aggressiveness cost me a few mistakes, but I’ll just focus on the fundamentals and play calm and relaxed.”
Professional Miguel Suarez had a stellar round shooting an impressive 4-under 68. The veteran sank 4 birdies en route to a bogey-free round. Post round interview had an energetic Suarez showcasing how he has been practicing very hard for the past 3 months and his exercise regimens led him to just miss 2 greens in regulation.
Suarez mentions in reference to his game plan going forward, “I’m just going to focus on hitting the ball onto the fairway, then onto the green and make the putts”.
Stay tuned to the PRGA’s Facebook page for round 2 tee times and pairings of the 2017 PRGA Championships - Presented by Johnnie Walker.
2017 PRGA Championships - Round 2 Summary/Recap
Calvesbert Shoots a 67 and Currently Tied for Second
Round 2 on the East Course at TPC Dorado Beach was pressure-packed as the field tried to position themselves for Sundays final round of the 2017 PRGA Championships.
Miguel Suarez continued his great play with 1 bogey in the entire round. He quickly bounced back on the par-5 11th with a magnificent eagle and a birdie on hole 15 to hold the overall lead with a 2-under par 70 in round 2.
Max Alverio really turned it on with 4 birdies on the back nine for a 2-under par 70, good for T-2 overall.
But it was Robert “Robi” Calvesbert who shaved 10 strokes off his 1st round of 77 for a 67 today! “Robi” had 6 birdies on the day but gave one back on the 212 yard par-3 17th. With today’s 67, “Robi” is in a 2-way tie for 2nd overall with Alverio.
Rounding off the top 5 has Andres Aranguren alone in 4th, while Ian Aldarondo and Erick Morales sit tied in 5th.
Senior Mike Santin has a 5-shot lead over Elvin Gonzalez. In the 1st Flight Division, Alfredo Velez is 7-shots back of Carlos Lopez-Lay. And in the Ladies Division, “Krissy” has a slim lead, as Kim is 2-shots back from Ortiz.
Stay tuned to the PRGA’s Facebook page for live scoring, videos, pictures and live streaming covering the overall leaders heading to the 18th hole!
2017 PRGA Championships - Round 3 Final Results
Championship round, strong winds, the East Course, what else could you ask for?
SAN JUAN, PR - As if the East course is not challenging enough, Saturday’s round 2 was a walk in the park compared to the final round of the 2017 PRGA Championships.
A fantastic back-and-forth developed between professional Miguel Suarez and amateur Robi Calvesbert. Both fighting for their respective divisions, but at the same time, playing for overall champion and a spot at the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open in 2018.
Putting got the best of Calvesbert, as he was unable to capitalize birdie opportunities to close the gap between Suarez and himself. As for Suarez, he was a bit erratic off the tee box as nerves and tiredness probably affected the veteran. Suarez was able to scramble enough to maintain the overall lead and be crowned overall champion.
Junior Andres Aranguren had a fantastic tournament, finishing 3rd overall in a strong and talented field. To his surprise, he received a special 1st place Juniors overall award.
In the hotly contested Professional Division, Bahia Beaches Gilberto Barrionuevo and Jose “Iky” Esteves finished tied at 226 overall. It went down to scorecards to settle it and Barrionuevo came out on top by the slimiest of margins.
The Senior Division had Mike Santin edging out Felipe Colon Sr. by 1 stroke overall, 241 to 242.
Alfredo Velez took the 1st Flight Amateur Division title as Joseph Nelson took 2nd place by a margin of 2 strokes.
Lynn University Junior, Krissy Ortiz did everything possible to hold off a streaking Kim to win the Ladies Division by 1 stroke 227 to 228.
The 2017 PRGA Championships presented by Johnnie Walker and hosted by TPC Dorado Beach, will be remembered as one of the best staged by the PRGA. Family, friends and fans followed their respective favorites cheering them on for 3 days.
TPC Dorado Beach Golf Director, Jeff Willenberg and his assistants Miguel Alvarez and Ellie Rodriguez as well as Mr. Boyd and his grounds crew; wow, simply WOW! Everything from preparing the beautiful East Course to Jeff and his crew doing anything and everything assisting in last minute details was a total success! The PRGA cannot thank you enough.
None of this could have been accomplished without the dedication and sponsorship from Johnnie Walker and Titleist.
For pictures, videos, announcements and general information, be sure to follow the PRGA’s Facebook page as well as PRGA.org