The last two week on PGA Tour Latin America I traveled to Bucaramanga, Colombia and Bogota, Colombia. The first week in Bucaramanga was to compete in the Colombia Classic presented by the Rocha Brothers at Ruitoque Golf & CC. I arrived on Monday the 22nd of May and began my preparations for the week. The golf course was at 4,500 feet of elevation and was located on top of a mountain with 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains and the cities hundreds of feet below. the views were truly some of the best views I have ever seen in my life. After getting lots of practice in the first several days I was there, the tournament began on Thursday with my morning tee time. After playing 9 holes there was a 2 hour delay for weather that called us off the course and when it passed play was resumed. It was a full 12 hour day on the golf course with several warmups and for a 4 hour round of golf. I shot even par 70 and played well although I bogeyed two par 5s and made an unforced double bogey. No matter I was still in good position and needed a good second round to make the cut. The following day I had an afternoon tee time that was pushed back due to players not finishing their first rounds on Thursday afternoon, therefore I had to come back on Saturday morning to finish my second round. I was -2 thru the 14 holes I played on Friday and was 1 or 2 shots off the cut line, I knew Saturday morning needed to be good if I wanted to have another tee time on Saturday and play weekend golf. Saturday morning I came out and unfortunately bogeyed my first hole, but I locked in and made 3 huge birdies in a row to finish my round and shoot -4 66 and make the cut. The feeling after completing my round was euphoric and really showed me that I have the game and talent to make birdies whenever and wherever especially under pressure when I have to make a cut. After spending some time to celebrate it was time to lock back in and focus on going as low as I could on the weekend. I came out in the third round and played solid, gave my self lots of chances and made a few silly mistakes but was still able to shoot -1 69. The final round I got off to a hot start and was -3 thru my first 3 holes, but was unfortunately more of the same and a poor finish to my round resulted in another -1 69. Although the weekend did not go as planned, I still look at a lot of the positives that my game showed. I had 4 straight rounds at par or better which is always a good sign, especially when bad rounds still result in under par scores. Additionally, this was my first event with a brand new putter that I had been breaking in for the week and a half prior to leaving for Colombia. I had 3 rounds of total putts in the 20s which is very good for 18 holes. I also only had two 3 putts all week which is another huge improvement in my game. All in all, the week was great and although I did not place like I wanted to, it was another great step in the right direction and a huge improvement. It was time to prepare for the second event...
The Monday after the first week's event I arrived in Bogota and got settled in to compete in the Inter Rapidisimo Golf Championship presented by Volvo. The course, Club El Rincon de Cajica, was very different from the first week. It was at a higher elevation (~8,000 ft) and the rough was much longer than what we had seen most of the year. Additionally, the grass on the course consisted of zoysia fairways and poana greens rather than all bermuda like most South American courses. This was due to the colder climate as it was sub 70 degree in the middle of Colombia's summer. The green complexes themselves were also very undulating and required precision into the greens. Overall, I made lots of birdies and eagles but also made way to many big numbers (doubles and triple). Some were unforced errors, some were from being too aggressive, and some were from just simply terrible breaks (losing a ball in the rough). But my first round showed me what I need to clean up in order to really take my game to another level. I had 3 doubles and a water ball par and still managed to birdie 5 of my last 8 holes to shoot -1 71. Unfortunately, the second round after being at -3 overall and on the cut line thru 8 holes, I managed to have some poorly timed bad breaks that led to the round slipping away and to me shooting 77, missing the cut, and flying home early. Not the ending to the week I was looking for, especially because I felt so good on the course with the amount of birdie holes and opportunities I had.
There is one more event in Guadalajara, Mexico before the end of the regular season for PGA Tour LA. Hoping for a big final event to help me qualify for the Tour Championship in Tulum! Lets keep getting better!
P.S. Check out my Photo Gallery to see lots of pictures from all of the events and countries I have visited on Tour so far this season!
Author - Evan Brown
I have created this Blog post page on my website to keep everyone updated on my successes, failures, and everything in between. I am excited to take you all along with me on my journey through the various levels and stages of professional golf, as it takes place. I hope that everyone will read, comment and make this an interactive space for all!