CONTACT: Laury Livsey, PGA TOUR
904-525-5538 / [email protected]
STORY BY: Staff, PGA TOUR Staff
September 29, 2020
LADY LAKE, Florida—It took an additional 24 hours for the LOCALiQ Series rules staff to put together the first- and second-round groupings for this week’s Challenge at Harbor Hills, the sixth tournament of the eight-event LOCALiQ Series’ season. Because of bad weather in Savannah, Georgia, the Korn Ferry Tour’s Monday qualifier there extended to Tuesday before the Savannah Golf Championship had determined all its qualifiers for this week’s event. Numerous players who competed in last week’s LOCALiQ Series Jacksonville Championship made the two-hour drive to Savannah, hoping to secure a playing spot.
“We are thrilled every week when the members of our International Tours are able to play in PGA TOUR-sanctioned events, whether it’s on the LOCALiQ Series or on the PGA TOUR or Korn Ferry Tour,” said Rob Ohno, Senior Vice President, International Tours. “There is such a depth of talent among our membership that when players have the opportunity to move up a step—to a Korn Ferry Tour event or the PGA TOUR event—it’s not only great for them, but it allows other members spots in fields, allowing them to play in the LOCAliQ Series tournaments.”
Case in point was last week when five regular LOCALiQ Series players—Alex Smalley, Justin Suh, Tommy Cocha and Willy Pumarol—earned invites to the PGA TOUR’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. In addition, Patrick Cover Monday-qualified into the Korn Ferry Tour’s Wichita Open. Smalley, Suh and Pumarol all made the cut in the Dominican Republic, Smalley and Suh tying for 14th and Pumarol tying for 65th. Cover missed the cut in his second Korn Ferry Tour start of the season.
This week, Argentina’s Leandro Marelli, who contended at Hidden Hills Golf Club at last week’s LOCALiQ Series’ Jacksonville Championship, eventually tying for fourth, shot an 8-under 64 at the Savannah qualifier held at Oakridge Golf Club to medal and earn a spot in the field. At the other qualifying site, Marshwood Golf Club, Chris Wiatr shot a 63 and was the medalist. Marelli is 17th on the LOCALiQ Series points standings, while Wiatr is 61st.
“I think that I have been picking up the rhythm with where I finished last year on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica,” Marelli said. “The last 15 rounds I have played I have finished under-par, and that gives me a lot of confidence for what is coming. I hope to have a good week here, especially on the greens.
“I have a good excuse not to play the LOCALiQ Series this week,” he added with a smile.
While Marelli and Wiatr—along with LOCALiQ Series regulars Colin Monagle and Andrew Dorn, who also qualified—will be in Savannah, Harbor Hills Country Club will host the eponymous Challenge at Harbor Hills. Entering the event playing well is David Pastore, who, along with Rowin Caron, lost a one-hole Jacksonville Championship playoff to Carson Young. Pastore holds the distinction of being the only player who has played all five previous LOCALiQ Series tournaments to shoot under-par in every round. Pastore, a former University of Virginia golfer and Connecticut native, moved to South Florida two years ago, and after his strong showing in Jacksonville, he is looking forward to the next two tournaments, also in the Sunshine State.
“I’ve been in West Palm Beach the last couple of years. I’m a little more comfortable with Florida, weather, grass, everything,” said Pastore, whose worst finish is a tie for 27th this season. In addition, he boasts a tie for fifth at The Championship at Echelon Golf Club to go with the runner-up finish last week. His stroke average this season is right at 68.0, he’s shot nothing higher than a 70 in any round, and he’s sixth on the points list.
The Challenge at Harbor Hills is also the second tournament in the three-event Arcis Golf Florida Swing that will reward the two top points-earners at the three Sunshine State tournaments with $7,500 and $2,500, respectively. The Arcis Golf Florida Swing began at last week’s Jacksonville Championship and concludes at next week’s Classic at The Club at Weston Hills in Fort Lauderdale.
CEC Golf Design Group, led by architects Lloyd M. Clifton, George M. Clifton and Kenneth C. Ezell designed the par-72 Harbor Hills layout, that offers elevation changes, oak tree-lined fairways near Lake Griffin and the the nearby Ocala National Forest.
SEASON-LONG POINTS STANDINGS
Through Jacksonville Championship
|Pos.||Player (Home Tour)||Points||Previous Position|
|1||Bryson Nimmer (Mackenzie Tour)||1,419.000||1|
|2||Carson Young (Mackenzie Tour)||684.300||13|
|3||Hayden Shieh (Mackenzie Tour)||640.000||3|
|4||Stoney Crouch (Mackenzie Tour)||552.333||4|
|5||Cooper Musselman (Mackenzie Tour)||500.000||5|
|6||David Pastore (Mackenzie Tour)||464.900||9|
|7||Alex Smalley (Mackenzie Tour)||382.500||5|
|8||Rowin Caron (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||337.417||38|
|9||Raul Pereda (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||327.017||6|
|10||Patrick Cover (PGA TOUR Series-China)||271.071||7|
ARCIS GOLF FLORIDA SWING STANDINGS
Through Jacksonville Championship
|Pos.||Player (Home Tour)||Points|
|1||Carson Young (Mackenzie Tour)||500.0|
|T2||David Pastore (Mackenzie Tour)||245.0|
|T2||Rowin Caron (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||245.0|
|T4||Chris O’Neill (Mackenzie Tour)||100.0|
|T4||Camilo Aguado (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||100.0|
|T4||MJ Maguire (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||100.0|
|T4||Cole Miller (Mackenzie Tour)||100.0|
|T4||Leandro Marelli (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||100.0|
|T4||Scott Wolfes (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||100.0|
|10||Patrick Flavin (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||75.0|