The First Look: 2019 Neuquén Argentina Classic – pgatour.com

In addition to holding the Order of Merit and the scoring average lead, Augusto Núñez is the only Tour member playing a full schedule who hasn’t missed a cut. He owns an active streak of 35 consecutive cuts made, by far a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica record. He is also the player with the most top-10s recorded, with nine in 13 starts. Núñez also ranks first in Rounds in the 60s (34), Sub-Par Rounds (40), Total Birdies (229), Par-4 Performance (47-under), Par-5 Performance (113-under) and Birdie to Bogey Ratio (2.67).

Last year, the extremely consistent Núñez enjoyed a solid performance at Chapelco Golf Club. The 26-year old from Tucuman carded rounds of 74-70-69-67 to tie for 10th. At 8-under for the week, he fell nine strokes shy of champion Clodomiro Carranza.

Returning to the venue that turned him into a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica champion for the second time in his career, Clodomiro Carranza will be another player to watch at Chapelco. The 37-year old from Rio Cuarto was the only player to post four rounds in the 60s last year for a win that resurrected his career. After collecting wins on the Chilean Tour, the Argentine Tour and the Ángel Cabrera minitour over the course of this year, Carranza has been a picture of consistency on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. Including a solo-second finish only four weeks ago at the Banco del Pacífico Open in Ecuador and a tie for seventh at the Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational on Sunday, Carranza has recorded eight top-25s while missing only two cuts in 13 starts.

Warming up to make his return to the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020, Julián Etulain decided to turn this tournament into his first of two consecutive PGA TOUR Latinoamérica starts. The 31-year old from Coronel Suarez is coming off his second full PGA TOUR season, where he made the cut in 12 of his 24 tournament starts in 2018-19. With a tie-for-14th finish at the 2018 Safeway Open as his best of two top-25s, Etulain closed the PGA TOUR season ranked 189th on the FedExCup standings. Etulain is a past champion of this event, which he won at Las Praderas de Luján in 2017. He shot 19-under and led for the last 54 holes to collect his fourth career PGA TOUR Latinoamérica win.

There are 42 players from Argentina in this week’s field, including the winners of the past three tournaments on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica schedule: Augusto Núñez (Banco del Pacífico Open), Leandro Marelli (Diners Club Peru Open) and Alejandro Tosti (Termas de Río Hondo Invitational). This is only the fourth time in Tour history that Argentine players have won at least three tournaments in a row, the first time it has happened since the final stretch of the 2014 season. The following is a look at the Argentine streaks of three or more consecutive wins:

2012: Five consecutive wins to start the Tour’s inaugural season, by Tommy Cocha (Mundo Maya Open), Ariel Cañete (TransAmerican Power Products Open), Matías O’Curry (Colombia Open), Clodomiro Carranza (Aberto do Brasil) and Alan Wagner (Roberto De Vicenzo Invitational).

2012: Three consecutive wins to close the Tour’s inaugural season, by Sebastián Fernández (Colombian Coffee Classic), Ariel Cañete (Argentina Classic) and Angel Cabrera (VISA Open de Argentina).

2014: Three consecutive wins to close the season, by Jorge Fernández Valdés (Abierto de Chile), Fabián Gómez (Argentina Classic) and Emiliano Grillo (VISA Open de Argentina).

THE TOURNAMENT:

Launched in 1961, the Neuquén Argentina Classic quickly became a must-play stop for the top players in Argentina. Prior to the arrival of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, its winners featured PGA TOUR champions such as Roberto De Vicenzo, Ángel Cabrera, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Andrés Romero and Fabián Gómez. A key event in the final stretch of the season since joining PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in 2012, this tournament has been dominated by Argentine players, with Spain’s Samuel Del Val the only exception in 2016. Besides a coveted trophy, as part of its rich tradition the tournament awards its champion a blue jacket. The following are the tournament winners since 2012: