Miami, Fla. -- (August 3, 2012) After a hard fought tournament at the Great White Course at Doral, 15 players earned their cards on the inaugural PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season on Friday.
The 15 players by country: United States(8), Venezuela (1), Brazil (1), El Salvador (1), South Korea (1), Colombia (1), Spain (1) and Mexico (1).
American Byron Smith continued his impressive play by turning in a six-under-par 66 to extend his lead by five shots, finishing as the Q-school medalist at 15-under par 201 for the week.
“I played well the whole time. I made my bogeys, but made a lot of birdies and two eagles in three days. I hit the ball really well and putted well-enough to shoot in the 60s” said the 31-year-old, whose scores were 68, 67 and 66.
Smith, a graduate of Pepperdine University in 2004 and four-time Canadian Tour winner, was excited at the prospect of playing in Latin America and play for one of the five spots on the Web.com Tour.
“That is probably the biggest incentive for me and for probably many others who are going to play. Beyond the experience of playing in Latin America, that is the carrot that we are all after”, added the Californian.
The strong electrical storm that came through Doral at noon forced the rules staff of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica to cancel the fourth round of Q-school at the Great White Course. The decision was made to shorten the event to 54 holes which was completed in the morning.
At the conclusion of 54-holes there was a three-way tie for the 15th and final spot on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. Jesse Mueller (US), Albin Bihan (FRA) and Bruce McDonald (ZBW) competed on the par-three fourth hole for the final spot. McDonald bogeyed the first hole and was eliminated from the playoff. Mueller and Bihan went on to play the hole five more times exchanging pars until the fifth playing when Mueller made a 14 foot putt for birdie clinching the final spot on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
Bihan and McDonald joined nine other players in earning conditional status on the 2012 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season.
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica now has 108 fully exempt members heading into the start of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season on September 3rd.