BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — After a 745-day hiatus due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the 115th VISA Open de Argentina presented by Macro is expected to make a much-anticipated return to the Nordelta Golf Club on Thursday. Kicking off a 2021-22 season in which the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica celebrates its 10th anniversary, this event will also mark the start of the race for the Totalplay Cup and the Zurich Argentina Swing. Making the title an even bigger prize, the winner of the Argentinian National Open will earn a place in the Open Championship, which will celebrate its 150th edition at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, next July.
It is certainly one of the greatest golf weeks in Latin America.
“I would dare to say that this tournament is almost bigger than our institution itself,” said Argentine Golf Association president Andrés Schonbaum, while discussing the importance of this event created in 1905. “We We all put our hearts into it in order to have a deserving champion lifting the trophy of such an important and globally respected tournament.
“El Abierto” (the Open), as the locals reverently call it, is a championship rich in history. Playing there in early December, with the summer season just beginning in the southern hemisphere, has been one of its greatest traditions.
“I love the Abierto,” said Tano Goya, a 2022 Korn Ferry Tour member who will be a player to watch out of the 44 Argentinian players in this week’s squad. “The atmosphere of this event is truly unique here in South America. We all dream of winning this event, and having the opportunity to do so lights a fire inside of me.
As the season opener of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, the Argentina Open will be the first tournament to award Totalplay Cup points. Starting this season, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica players will face off in a points competition similar to the PGA TOUR FedExCup and the PGA TOUR Champions Charles Schwab Cup. At the end of the 12-event season, the player with the most points will be crowned the Totalplay Cup champion, also claiming exempt status for the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour season. It is also the first of three tournaments in Argentina. The player with the most points in the three Argentinian tournaments wins the Zurich Argentina Swing and the bonus of US $ 10,000.
Twenty-four miles from downtown, in Tigre, the Jack Nicklaus-designed Nordelta Golf Club is familiar territory for the Tour. For its first two seasons, in 2012 and 2013, the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica had the VISA Open de Argentina as an end-of-season event in the same venue. A par-72 that can play 7,233 yards, Nordelta played hard back then, averaging 74 in 2012 and 75.1 in 2013. Wind was a factor and remains a big problem on a typical Nicklaus route which presents a lot of water problems.