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Julian Etulain leads Los Cinco, players advance to the Tour

The Argentine claimed the Roberto De Vicenzo Award for No. 1 in the Order of Merit.

Etulain, Rozo, McCumber, Hopfinger and Fernandez Valdes are Los Cinco in 2014 (E.Berardi/PGA TOUR)

Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina (December 7, 2014) - The conclusion of who would be the No. 1 in the Order of Merit of the season was exciting and kept in suspense until the last hole. Finally, the Argentine, Julian Etulain, won the Roberto De Vicenzo Award, by a narrow margin beating the Colombian Marcelo Rozo who had a chance to overcome it until the last few holes.

The winner of Lexus Panama Classic and Lexus Peru Open did not make the cut at the 109th VISA Open de Argentina so he had no control over his fate which depended on the play of Rozo and American Tyler McCumber.

Etulain totaled $92,394 to beat Rozo for only $3,277. 

"I suffered all day, but happy to have achieved this goal because of the way I played all year, I felt my swing evenly throughout the year," said the 26-year-old from Coronel Suarez, Argentina.

"These three weeks I had a lot of anxiety and it played against me. The positive was that I didn't feel I was hitting bad shots, I felt comfortable with my swing, almost better than when I won in Peru, but the anxiety killed me and certainly I will have to work on that for next year," said the Argentine who already had two top 10s in the Tour in 2011 and 2012.

Marcelo Rozo's emotions were bittersweet because he had the opportunity to regain No. 1 which he held for the majority of the season, including in the final round. The Colombian began with bogey at No. 2, but then he made four consecutive birdies from Nos. 3 to 6 that put him in position to finish second or third, which would have given the No. 1 spot.
"Of course it's bitter, but I know I gave everything, today I gave 110 percent. On the back nine, putts didn't go in and that was crucial," said Rozo whose last birdie came on No. 10. He finished with bogeys on Nos. 13 and 18.

"Today I struggled a lot with my head. Every time I thought about the No. 1 spot, all I wanted was to return to the shot to shot mindset, but it was impossible not to think in the fight for the No. 1," Rozo said.

He closed with 68 strokes to finish T4 and this Monday he will travel to West Palm Beach in the United States to play in the final Tour Qualifying School event to better his chances for next year.

Tyler McCumber took third place in the Order of Merit but still had mixed feelings about not take advantage. 

"I played very well today, I hit the ball very well and left myself chances on many holes, but the putter didn't work and that was very costly," said the winner of the Ecuador Open and Trans American Power Products CRV Mazatlan Open.

The biggest rise of the week was Brad Hopfinger who, with his second place in Martindale Country Club, climbed from eighth to fourth place to keep one of the five cards for the Tour 2014.

"I'm very happy to have achieved the goal. I played a great round of golf, hit well and when I stumbled, I recovered. It's undoubtedly a great joy," said the 25-year-old from California who was the only one from Los Cinco who did not win in the season, but had five top-5 finishes with three second-place finishes.

Finally, No. 5 was in the hands of Argentine Jorge Fernandez Valdes who had an excellent final round 8-under 63, which allowed him to finish T11. 

"To be back on the Tour was the goal after not playing well during the year. I wanted to be in the top 10 to play the qualifying school, but luckily I made it to Los Cinco and it's a great way to seal the year," said the winner of Hyundai 
BBVA 88 ° Abierto de Chile.

Thinking about his future in 2015 on the Tour, the only player who won this achievement in two of the three seasons said: "I will return to courses that I know, with more experience and confidence that I gained in recent months on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, I have great expectations for what is coming."

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