BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Daniel Barbetti of Argentina entered the final round of the Roberto De Vicenzo Classic Copa NEC 2010 leading by four strokes Sunday, but the 27-year-old nearly gave it away.
Carding a 2-over 74, Barbetti made mistakes that whittled his winning margin to one stroke. Mauricio Molina finished runner-up at 7-under 281.
“There were a few holes I played poorly,” Barbetti said. “I found water three times and then ran into some trouble right at the end. The golf course was not easy at all and although the wind didn’t blow as hard as it did on Saturday, it is always a factor at San Eliseo.”
Despite reaching the 72nd hole with a two-stroke lead, Barbetti nearly lost with a couple of bad shots. His errant third, bouncing off a fairway bunker, came only six feet short from going out of bounds.
Argentina’s Gustavo Acosta, who posted the day’s low of 69, led a trio of players tied for third by birding three of the final five holes. He was joined by countryman Eduardo Argiró and U.S. veteran Blaine McCallister at 282.
It was Barbetti’s third career win on the Tour de las Americas, which co-sanctioned the event with the local TPG Tour.
“It is extremely special to win an event that honors the Maestro,” Barbetti said after De Vicenzo presented him the trophy.
De Vicenzo, who won the 1967 British Open and five times on the PGA Tour, hosted the tournament bearing his name. The Argentine was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1989.