PGA TOUR Latinoamérica builds commanding lead at Aruba Cup

Q-School at the PGA TOUR Canada British Columbia
PGA TOUR Canada

Noord, Aruba – SPORTS – Friday’s foursome matches resembled a one-sided Day One at the Aruba Cup, as PGA TOUR Latinoamérica won four of five matches at Tierra del Sol Resort and Golf to build a commanding 8.5 to 1.5 lead over the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada in the inaugural team competition between the two Tours.

Michael Gligic and Paul Barjon secured the lone full point of the competition so far for the Mackenzie Tour with a 3 and 2 win over Seth Fair and Sebastían MacLean, preventing Latinoamérica from sweeping the day’s points after winning the first four of Friday’s alternate shot matches.

“Our guys played hard today, and for the most part they played very well. They’re disappointed with the situation they’re in, but tomorrow’s another day,” said Mackenzie Tour captain Stephen Ames, who gave credit to the Latinoamérica players for an outstanding performance through two days. “As a golf fan, it was fun to watch. They’ve played some great golf to be in the spot in they’re in, and it won’t be easy to beat them tomorrow.”

The red-hot pairing of Augusto Núñez and Leandro Marelli, who combined for 10 birdies in Thursday’s fourball competition, kept their strong play going with a front nine score of 5-under 30 and dismissed the Mackenzie Tour team of Corey Conners and Austin Connelly early with a 5 and 3 victory.

Two more Latinoamérica victories follow shortly after as Nate Lashley and Tom Whitey defeated Taylor Moore and Max Rottluff 3 and 2, and Sam Del Val and Andres Echavarría scored a 3 and 1 win over Dan McCarthy and Brock Mackenzie.

With Gligic and Barjon holding a lead in the day’s anchor match, it was up to the British Columbian duo of Adam Cornelson and Ryan Williams to try and secure more points for the Mackenzie Tour. But each time they made a move, their counterparts Eric Steger and Martin Trainer had the right response and secured another point with a 3 and 1 victory.

Gligic – who nearly holed his second shot for an albatross at No. 10 before going on to win – admitted he was impressed at the scoring from Latinoamérica in Friday’s windy conditions.

“We were something like 5-under through 16 holes out there as an alternate shot, which is pretty good in that wind. The other team, hat off to them. They’re playing great, and it’s tough to make those comebacks when they’re making birdies, too,” said Gligic.

While the Mackenzie Tour faces tough odds in hopes of a comeback, Barjon wasn’t ruling anything out and expressed faith in his teammates to put up a strong effort in the day’s final matches.

“Every single guy on the team has done incredible things this year,” said Barjon. “We’ve still got one more day, and we can still win. We just have to make it happen, and if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen, but we’ll fight.”

Saturday singles matches:

8:00 a.m. Dan McCarthy (Mackenzie Tour) vs. Nate Lashley (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)

8:10 a.m. Seth Fair (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica) vs. Taylor Moore (Mackenzie Tour)

8:20 a.m. Brock Mackenzie (Mackenzie Tour) vs. Samuel Del Val (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)

8:30 a.m. Eric Steger (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica) vs. Corey Conners (Mackenzie Tour)

8:40 a.m. Paul Barjon (Mackenzie Tour) vs. Tom Whitney (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)

8:50 a.m. Leandro Marelli (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica) vs. Max Rottluff (Mackenzie Tour)

9:00 a.m. Ryan Williams (Mackenzie Tour) vs. Augusto Núñez (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)

9:10 a.m. Martin Trainer (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica) vs. Michael Gligic (Mackenzie Tour)

9:20 a.m. Adam Cornelson (Mackenzie Tour) vs. Andres Echavarría (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)

9:30 a.m. Sebastian MacLean (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica) vs. Austin Connelly (Mackenzie Tour)

Miscellaneous notes:
Weather: 30 degrees Celsius (feels like 35), partly cloudy, winds at 28 km/h.

The 8:00 a.m. match between Dan McCarthy and Nate Lashley features Players of the Year from both Tours. McCarthy (Four wins, $157,843 in earnings) and Lashley (Three wins, $140,897 in earnings) each set single-season wins and earnings records on their respective tours tomorrow.

Sam Del Val and Brock Mackenzie will play against each other on Saturday. Earlier this summer, Mackenzie defeated Del Val and Adam Cornelson in a seven-hole playoff at the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops.

Team birdie/eagle leaders on Day Two:

Marelli/Núñez – 4/1
Barjon/Gligic – 4/1
Lashley/Whitney – 5
Del Val/Echavarría – 5
Cornelson/Williams – 4
Connelly/Conners – 4
Moore/Rottluff – 4
Steger/Trainer – 4
Williams/Cornelson – 4
Mackenzie/McCarthy – 2
MacLean/Fair – 2