Creighton, McCrory share lead heading into Sunday
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Written by Greg Villalobos @PGATOURLA
TERMAS DE RIO HONDO, Argentina— A few weeks ago, planning his first PGA TOUR Latinoamérica trip to South America, Texas native Jake McCrory reached out to Myles Creighton for travel advice. With Creighton, a Canadian playing his third full season on Tour, McCrory thought it would be best to book the same flights as Creighton. They have been hanging together a lot this week at the Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational.
Turns out they both have been playing so well that they will be sharing a final group tee time Sunday as the tournament co-leaders. The duo finished Saturday’s third round tied for first, at 17-under 199, with Creighton firing a best-of-the-day, 7-under 65 to climb from a tie for third and McCrory carding a 67 to move up from solo second.
The co-leaders moved past David Pastore, who carded a 70 to slip down into a tie for third after holding the 36-hole lead. Now trailing by two, at 15-under 201, Pastore is joined by fellow U.S. player Conner Godsey, who carded a 67.
Tommy Cocha shared runner-up honors at this same event a year ago and is the best of 17 Argentine players who made the cut. Matching the low score of the day, Cocha had 10 birdies for the 7-under 65 that saw him charge into a tie for fifth with U.S. player Chris Crawford. At 14-under 202, they will enter the final round only three shots off the pace.
After birdieing four holes on the front nine to move to 18-under, Pastore seemed to be cruising, but with the tougher back nine awaiting, things changed quickly. The leader bogeyed Nos. 10, 13 and 15 to open the door to several other contenders.
“The back nine was the hardest stretch on the golf course today. Just because of the way the wind is,” said Creighton, who did a good job shooting 5-under on the front before opening the back nine with his lone bogey of the day, on 10.
He went on to birdie Nos. 13, 16 and 18 for the strong finish that took him to the top of the leaderboard.
“My first two rounds I had no wind, and then today, there wasn’t a lot of wind, but it felt like it because I played with no wind the first two days. I hit it better the first couple of days, but that’s probably because there was no wind. I just putted great today,” added the 27-year old from Digby, Canada.
McCrory birdied Nos. 1, 3, 5 and 9 to shoot 4-under on the front, but he couldn’t get much out of the back nine while playing in the last group. “I made just a couple of lazy swings out there. I think the heat got me for a minute, and I kind of lost focus. I made a bogey on the back nine, but overall, I’m pleased with it. I would have liked a birdie on 18, though,” said the 27-year old product of Sam Houston State University in Texas.
“I’ll be excited to be playing with Jake,” said Creighton about his travel partner.
“It’s pretty cool,” responded McCrory. “We have been having dinner every night together, hanging out, so it will be fun [Sunday].”
The co-leaders are scheduled to tee off at 12:10 p.m. local time Sunday. They will be paired with Godsey, a 2021 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica champion who spent the 2022 season on the Korn Ferry Tour and currently holds the fifth spot in the Totalplay Cup standings.
Did you know Myles Creighton will be seeking to become just the third Canadian player to win a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica event? The only two winners from Canada in 10 previous seasons are Wil Bateman, who claimed the 2015 Chile Open, and Drew Nesbitt, who won the 2019 Mexico Open. This week, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica is sanctioning its 153rd tournament since its inception, in 2012.
Tournament co-leader Myles Creighton, Tommy Cocha (tied for fifth) and Josh Goldenberg (tied for 13th) shared the low-round-of-the day, with 7-under 65s. Creighton had eight birdies and one bogey, Cocha had 10 birdies and three bogeys, while Goldenberg had one eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys.
Thirty-eight Argentines started in this event, with 17 making the cut. The top player among them is Tommy Cocha, in a two-way tie for fifth. Here are the locals who are playing this weekend and how they’ve performed through 54 holes.
|T5||Tommy Cocha||202 (-14)|
|T7||Marcos Montenegro||203 (-13)|
|T7||Jesús Montenegro||203 (-13)|
|T11||Puma Domínguez||204 (-12)|
|T18||Andrés Romero||206 (-10)|
|T18||Franco Romero||206 (-10)|
|T27||Andrés Gallegos||208 (-8)|
|T27||Leandro Marelli||208 (-8)|
|T27||Horacio Carbonetti Jr.||208 (-8)|
|T37||Rafael Echenique||209 (-7)|
|T44||Ignacio Marino||210 (-6)|
|T44||Jaime López Rivarola||210 (-6)|
|T44||Maxi Godoy||210 (-6)|
|T51||Franco Scorzato||211 (-5)|
|T54||César Costilla||212 (-4)|
|T54||Oreste Focaccia||212 (-4)|
|59||Juan Arozena||217 (+1)|
The Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational is the third of four PGA TOUR Latinoamérica events in Argentina. The player accumulating the most Totalplay Cup points in these tournaments will win the Zurich Argentina Swing and a bonus of U.S. $10,000. Besides the cash prize, Zurich is donating to charity for every birdie made on the 18th hole at each of these events. This season, the money raised through this charitable component is going to Fundación Integrar, a foundation that provides educational scholarships.
Third-Round Weather: Sunny and clear, with a high of 96.Wind NW at 9-14 mph.