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Back-nine supremacy lifts Shore to 36-hole lead

8 Min Read


    Written by Laury Livsey @PGATOUR

    BERAZATEGUI, Argentina—A slow start to his second round didn’t deter Davis Shore as the former University of Alabama stalwart kicked it in gear once he turned on the back nine at Ranelagh Golf Club. Shore will take a one-stroke lead into the weekend at PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s Roberto De Vicenzo Memorial 100 Years. He’s a stroke ahead of a quintet of players—Argentines César Costilla, Andres Romero and Rafael Echenique, Chandler Blanchet of the U.S. and New Zealander Charlie Hillier. Canadian Max Sekulic is alone in seventh, two shots back of Shore.

    After a birdie to open his round, Shore bogeyed his second and third holes, to drop to 1-over. He then parred his next six holes.

    “The way this course is, the hard holes all come in a row. The front nine, one through eight, kicks you in the teeth,” said Shore, who was born a year after both Echenique and Romero turned pro, in 1998, and two years after Costilla left the amateur ranks. “It was windy when we started out today, and I was hitting some pretty good shots but still just trying to hold on on the front nine.”

    Held on Shore did, making the turn and rallying, with a birdie at No. 10, an eagle for the second consecutive day at the 11th and another birdie at 12. “I knew something like that was going to happen on the back nine because that’s the scoreable side,” Shore explained.

    His second-shot approach on the par-5 11th stayed on the green after looking like it might fall off. From there, he rolled in a 12-footer. In Thursday’s first round, his eagle putt came from 10 feet.

    “I hit a 5-iron again, the same club,” Shore added about his last two approach shots on No. 11. “It was a different pin location, with a little more wind in our face today. It was probably a little tougher shot today.”

    Romero struggled off the tee Friday after enjoying a solid tee-ball game a day earlier. “Today it was hard for me to start the day,” Romero noted. He battled for most of a windy morning, making four birdies against two bogeys for his 2-under 69.

    Blanchet took a share of second place despite making one birdie on Ranelagh’s three back-nine par-5s Friday—at No. 14. He birdied all three in Thursday’s opening round.

    Echenique, who is playing in his 104th career PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournament, has made 66 cuts and has a second- and a third-place finish to his credit but has yet to break through and win. His 65 Friday was the low round of the day.

    Costilla suffered his first bogey of the round, at No. 15, but recovered nicely with a birdie-birdie-par finish. His last PGA TOUR Latinoamérica top-10 came at the 2019 Cañuelas Championship, a tie for fifth, while Hillier has yet to finish inside the top 10 in this, his 13th career tournament appearance.

    Did you know Andres Romero played in 231 career PGA TOUR tournaments, posting one victory? Of those appearances, 10 percent (23) resulted in top-10s. The Argentine made his debut at the 2006 Open Championship, tying for eighth. He won his lone title at the 2008 Zurich Classic of New Orleans when it was not a team event. Romero edged Australia’s Peter Lonard by a stroke at TPC Louisiana.

    2022-23 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Player Benefits

    2022-23 Final Totalplay Cup PositionReward
    No. 1Will receive exempt status on the 2024 Korn Ferry Tour
    Nos. 2-5Will receive conditional status on the 2024 Korn Ferry
    Nos. 1-5Exempt into Final Stage of the 2023 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament
    Nos. 6-25Exempt into the second stage of the 2023 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament

    Key Information

    Zurich Argentina Swing Standings

    (Players in bold made the cut and still have a mathematical chance to win)

    Pos.NameScoreCurrent Tournament Pos.
    1Linus Lilliedahl635T18
    2Cristobal Del Solar521Not Playing
    T3Zack Fischer500Not Playing
    T3Jake McCrory500T34
    5Myles Creighton325T23
    7Tim Widing228Not Playing
    8Ollie Osborne210T18
    9Alejandro Tosti189Not Playing
    10Raul Pereda173T14

    The cut came at 1-under, with 58 players advancing to the weekend.

    The Zurich Argentina Swing ends this week at the Roberto De Vicenzo Memorial 100 Years, the fourth of four events in Argentina. There are nine players in this week’s field still with a mathematical chance of winning the U.S. $10,000 bonus. Sweden’s LinusLilliedahl holds a 114-point lead over No. 2 Cristobal Del Solar, but Del Solar is playing on the Korn Ferry Tour this week. The next-closest player to Lilliedahl is JakeMcCrory, 135 points behind Lilliedahl.

    It was a solid day for the Hillier brothers. CharlieHillier followed his 5-under 66 with a 67 Friday to move into a tie for second. His younger brother, Harry, who followed Charlie to the University of Kansas from their native New Zealand, shot a 66, seven shots better than his opening-round score. Harry is tied for 23rd. Friday, the two Hilliers combined for 13 birdies.

    First-round leader LeandroMarelli struggled on day two, posting a 3-over 74 after opening with a 62. He only managed two birdies Friday after making eight and an eagle in round one. He enters the weekend tied for eighth.

    AndresRomero played the three par-5s even-par Friday, with a birdie, a bogey and a par. His birdie came at the 11th, but he walked away from the 13th disappointed. “I hit a perfect shot with the 3-wood before the lake,” he said of the hole where he settled for par. “On the 14th, with the wind, I felt like it was a par-4, and I made bogey.”

    On his last full swing of the day, ChandlerBlanchet, from the fairway bunker, faced 35 yards to the pin. He played what he called a “chunk-and-run shot” that ran out to six feet. He proceeded to sink the birdie putt to end his day on a high note. “It was a really good shot for what I needed,” he observed.

    In three of the four previous tournaments this season, the halfway-point leader has held the solo advantage. Of that group, only CristobaldelSolar converted the 36-hole lead into a win, at the Neuquén Argentina Classic. LinusLilliedahl (Visa Argentine Open) and DavidPastore (Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational) did not win. At the Scotia Wealth Management Chile Open, JorgeFernándezValdés and MattRyan shared the second-round lead, with Ryan going on to victory.

    The only two 2022-23 tournament winners in the field this week are MattRyan (Scotia Wealth Management Chile Open) and last week’s champion, JakeMcCrory (Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational). Both players made the cut, with Ryan shooting rounds of 70-69 (tied for 23rd heading into the weekend). McCrory recorded a pair of 70s and is tied for 34th.

    The last time RafaelEchenique shot a 6-under round in a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournament was at the 2020 Estrella del Mar Open in Mexico. He closed with a 66 at the par-72 course to tie for 22nd. His last 65 in competition was at the 2016 Guatemala Open at the par-72 La Reunion Resort.

    There were 39 Argentines playing this week, and 12 made the cut. Leading the contingent are Andres Romero, César Costilla and Rafael Echenique, all three at 9-under and tied for second. Here is where the others sit through 36 holes.

    T2Andres Romero133 (-9)
    T2Rafael Echenique133 (-9)
    T2César Costilla133 (-9)
    T8Leandro Marelli136 (-6)
    T8Clodomiro Carranza136 (-6)
    T8Tommy Cocha136 (-6)
    T14Puma Dominguez137 (-5)
    T18Andrés Gallegos138 (-3)
    T18Jaime Lopez Rivarola138 (-3)
    T18Ignacio Marino138 (-3)
    T45Maxi Godoy141 (-1)
    T45Felix Cordoba 141 (-1)


    “I think I always feel like I can compete at a high level. I had a couple of setbacks in college with some injuries. The last two years as a pro, I’ve been trying to regain confidence and get better and better.” –Davis Shore

    “The greens are pretty receptive, but the fairways and the areas around the greens are so firm so sometimes if you miss the green, it can go 30 yards away. That makes it tough.” –Davis Shore

    “I had a really good stretch on my back nine, which boosted things a little.” –Davis Shore

    “I am in an ideal moment. If you had asked me in the press conference about my score after two days, I don’t think I would have said this number, so I am more than happy to be in this position heading into the weekend.” –Andres Romero

    “I am totally focused on what that round will be, and I hope to play as well as I have done so far here at the club where I have felt very good all week.” –Andres Romero thinking ahead to the third round

    “Seeing the fans accompanying me throughout the day was fantastic. I think that at times they want me to do well in the tournaments more than I do. I liked having them here in Ranelagh commemorating the Maestro, and I hope to give them joy during the weekend.” –Andres Romero

    “We all work super hard out here to have a chance going into Sunday. I’m really looking forward to it.” –Max Sekulic

    “I feel great. It was pretty even keel out there. I was able to steer it back on track when I got a little off course. I’m confident with the way I hit the ball and my ability to score from there. I’m super excited for the weekend.” –Max Sekulic

    “I hit it good last week and didn’t make anything. I made a 10-footer on the first hole, so it was good to see one go in. From 10 to 15 feet, I’ve been making a few.” –Charlie Hillier on his missed cut last week and his improved putting this week

    “You have to think about it a little more out here, what to hit off the tees. Last week it was hit it and go find it. And it’s not 105 degrees, which is always nice.” –Charlie Hillier assessing the courses at his last two starts

    Second-Round Weather: Sunny and overcast, with a high of 78.Wind E at 10-13 mph with gusts to 15 mph.

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