Aguado extends lead, holds five-shot advantage through 36 holes

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Golf

WESTON, Florida—It was a tough call to know if Camilo Aguado was more pleased with his 5-under 67 Wednesday or the fact he finished his round as the sun was quickly setting. On one hand, his score gave him a commanding lead through 36 holes at the Mackenzie Tour’s Qualifying Tournament here at The Club at Weston Hills’ Players Course. However—and this should not be discounted—by finishing his second round, Aguado gets to sleep in Thursday morning. A 1-hour, 40-minute rain delay prevented the entire field from finishing their second rounds, so 24 players will return to complete their rounds Thursday. Jeremy Gandon also has completed 36 holes, and the Frenchman by way of Kansas State University, is alone in second place, five shots behind Aguado. Of those who finished play, Americans Erik Flores and Jason Thresher are at 8-under and seven strokes behind Aguado.

“I want to win. It’s been a long time since I’ve had my last win,” Aguado explained after his round that ended with more rain falling. “I really want to shoot my lowest four-day tournament, and that’s going to be the plan [Thursday]. I’m going to try to make as many birdies as I can and see what happens.”

Aguado, a regular on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in both 2019 and again in this 2020-21 wraparound season, is hoping to increase his playing opportunities by spending his summer in Canada. He has put himself in prime position through 36 holes by making 14 birdies, one eagle and only one bogey.

Aguado had played nine holes of his second round when officials blew the horn as the course became unplayable due to heavy rain. Aguado returned after the stoppage and promptly made three consecutive birdies before his lone bogey of the week, at No. 4 (his 13th hole of the afternoon). He parred in, a 67 following his opening 62.

“Obviously [Tuesday] was really good. Today, I tried to do it again, but it became a little harder with the rain, obviously,” said Aguado, a native of Colombia who played collegiate golf at Jacksonville State in Alabama. “When we came back, the greens were really slow, and it was hard to get the ball to the hole. The breaks changed, so it was a different course than [Tuesday].”

Gandon is currently the only player within shouting distance of Aguado, and at that he still has a lot of ground to make up.

On the ninth tee, his 18th hole of the day, Gandon trailed Aguado by four shots with the sun quickly setting. He put his ball on green on the par-4 in regulation but faced a 45-foot uphill putt for birdie. With the rain coming down and darkness descending, he left his first putt nine feet short and then missed his putt for par.

“They definitely slowed down a little,” Gandon said of the Players Course greens. “The fairways were definitely soft after all the rain. I had a couple of mud balls out there, but it’s part of the deal, and everybody is playing the same course.”

This 72-hole tournament has no cut. The resumption of the second round begins at 9 a.m., with officials regrouping players for the third round.

Did you know the last tournament Camilo Aguado won came in his native Colombia in 2019? Played at La Sabana Country Club in Tocancipá, Aguado won the National Professional Championship, an event featuring Colombia’s second-largest purse. Aguado shot rounds of 67-69-67-68 to finish at 13-under, one shot ahead of Diego Vanegas. It was Aguado’s second professional victory, coming a year after he won a 2018 Mexican Tour tournament.

Key Information 

How the Tournament Works 

Ninety-nine players began this week, and there are 97 remaining. Below is a breakdown of the various Mackenzie Tour membership statuses available this week.

Finish Position Status
Medalist Exempt membership for the 2021 season
2nd through 6th (no ties

 

Exempt through the reshuffle, which will occur approximately halfway through the season
7th through 25th (plus ties) Conditional membership

 

  • There will be playoffs, if necessary, for the medalist position and for the sixth and final position available.
  • Through 36 holes, Camilo Aguado is surprisingly only 3-under on the Players Course’s four par-5s. However, he is 11-under on the course’s par-4s.
  • Of the players who have finished 36 holes, only two have posted two sub-70 rounds: Camilo Aguado (62-67) and Jason Thresher (68-69).
  • Jason Thresher has in his third year playing on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. He has 30 career starts, including three in the Tour’s 2020-21 wraparound season. Thresher, a Bryant University graduate, also played in six of the eight LOCALiQ Series tournaments last summer and fall. He posted one top-10, a tie for seventh here at The Club at Weston Hills—on the Tour Course.
  • Ethan Marcus opened with two under-par rounds (70-68) and is tied for seventh. Marcus began his college career at nearby Nova Southeastern University before transferring to the University of Arizona for his final two years of college.
  • Gray Barnes and Zach Weaver have both withdrawn from the tournament. Ninety-seven players remain.
  • Andrew Walker remains the top amateur on the scoreboard. Although he didn’t complete his second round, he’s at 6-under. The next-closest amateur is Jack Rhea, who finished his day with a 3-under 69 and is 3-under overall.
  • Former UCLA golfer Erik Flores finished his round Wednesday, and he’s at 7-under with 36 holes to play. Flores has never played in an official Mackenzie Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamerica or PGA TOUR Series-China tournament. His last start on a PGA TOUR-sanctioned Tour was at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Stonebrae Classic in 2014. Flores was a two-time, first-team All-Pac-10 Conference selection.
  • Jeremy Gandon’s top Mackenzie Tour finish in his lone season on the circuit came at the 2019 tournament at TPC Osprey Valley outside Toronto. That week he opened with an 8-under 64 and turned in three additional under-par scores to tie for 11th.
  • Camilo Aguado, at No. 725 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is the third-ranked Colombia behind the PGA TOUR’s Sebastian Munoz (62nd) and Camilo Villegas (394th).

From the players…

“I think my wedges have been really good, really solid.” – Camilo Aguado

It’s just hard to win. You try to play well, to be on the back nine with a chance to win. I just didn’t pull it out last year. Someone else played better or I missed on the last hole, something like that.” –Camilo Aguado on his play in the LOCALiQ Series last summer

“Right now, I saw that I have a pretty good cushion. I’m going to try to keep it and see what happens the next two days. I’m looking forward to it.” –Camilo Aguado

“It’s a Q-School, so I’m trying to play some steady golf, hit some good shots and minimize the mistakes.” –Jeremy Gandon  

“This course is pretty straightforward, and there is some room out there. You want to minimize the mistakes. If you play well, the birdies will fall.” –Jeremy Gandon

“That was definitely a long day. Even with the rain, the greens were pretty receptive, the fairways were pretty receptive and there wasn’t too much wind.” –Jeremy Gandon

Second-Round Weather: Overcast and warm in the morning. Heavy rain caused officials to stop play at 2:20 p.m., due to unplayable conditions on the course. Play resumed at 4 p.m., for a total delay of 1 hour, 40 minutes. High of 75. Wind ESE at 8-11 mph.