PGA TOUR players participate in special pro-am event in Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN – PGA TOUR players were joining LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) stars and Puerto Rican athletes and celebrities Friday for a special, unofficial PGA TOUR event in Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Open Charity Pro-Am, which ends Saturday.
Held at TPC (Tournament Players Club) Dorado Beach, one of the island’s 13 championship courses, the event and the “destination’s readiness” will be featured in a one-hour Golf Channel special airing March 20 at 8 p.m. ET, “showcasing the Caribbean’s premier golf destination and home of the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open,” reads a release issued Friday.
The Puerto Rico Open, which celebrated 10 years of PGA TOUR golf in Puerto Rico last year, will return as a four-day, official PGA TOUR event in 2019 and also in 2020, “thanks to the renewed sponsorship commitment from the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. (PRTC),” the public corporation that regulates and markets the destination’s industry.
“The Island is open for Tourism and to be able to host this event is indicative of that, particularly because Puerto Rico is a premier destination for golf in the Caribbean,” Acting PRTC Executive Director Carla Campos says in the release. “We are very pleased to have formalized an agreement with the PGA TOUR for the 2019 and 2020 Puerto Rico Open, as one of many initiatives that shows our commitment, along with Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s administration, to hosting renowned events on the Island for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
The pro-am event’s goal is to raise $500,000 for Puerto Rico nonprofits. The event has already received a $50,000 donation from 10-time PGA TOUR winner Bubba Watson, who planned to participate before he qualified for the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship after winning the Genesis Open.
“We are thankful for all the support from the PGA TOUR, professional players, valued sponsors and celebrity friends to help us reach our fundraising goal that will support local non-profit organizations. Looking ahead, we are excited to come back as an official PGA TOUR event in 2019,” Puerto Rico Open Chairman David H. Chafey added.
The event will feature past Puerto Rico Open champions D.A. Points (2017), George McNeill (2012) and Derek Lamely (2010). Puerto Rican Rafael Campos, who plays on the Web.com Tour, will lend his support, alongside María Torres, who became the first Puerto Rican player to earn an LPGA TOUR card.
Other players in attendance include Marc Turnesa, Julian Etulain, Brad Fritsch, Robert Gamez and Andrés Romero, and from the LPGA, Belen Mozo, Giulia Molinaro, Cheyenne Woods, Amanda Blumenherst, Paula Reto, Veronica Felibert, Mariajo Uribe and Paola Moreno.
The event was kicking off Friday with a celebrity pro-am featuring an all-star line-up of former Major League Baseball players including Hall of Famer Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez, Carlos Beltrán, Carlos Baerga, Carlos Delgado, José Guzmán, Plácido Polanco and Benji Gil. Puerto Rican actor Raymond Arrieta and former professional boxer Miguel Cotto were also attending.
TPC Dorado Beach has three championship golf courses. The East and West Golf Courses were originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. Dorado Beach courses are located along two miles of coast, nestled within the former Rockefeller Estate.