TLA shifts to Chile for national open

Agustín Jauretche of Argentina is the defending champion of the Chile National Open.

Agustín Jauretche of Argentina is the defending champion of the Chile National Open.

VINA DEL MAR, Chile – Founded 114 years ago, the Granadilla Country Club serves as host this week at the 84 Abierto de Chile – Chile’s National Open Championship.

Organized by the Golf Federation of Chile and joining the Tour de las Americas for the fourth consecutive year, the tournament welcomes 86 players from nine nations and provides US$40,000 in prize money.

Located on the city’s highlands, the 6,381-yard course will test the top players from Latin America. Among them is defending champion Agustín Jauretche of Argentina, who is coming off a playoff loss at the Abierto de Hacienda Chicureo.

Julian Etulain, who defeated Jauretche on Sunday, is also among several players from Argentina competing. With two victories this year, the 21-year-old Etulain leads the tour’s money list. Countryman César Monasterio, who hasn’t won a major tour event since the 2006 Aa St. Omer Open on the European Tour, hopes Chile is good to him again after winning the Viña del Mar Open this year on the country’s domestic tour.

Colombia’s José Manuel Garrido, winner of the Sport Francés Open two weeks ago, also is expected to be a strong contender this week.

Local Santiago Russi, after a sixth-place finish at Hacienda Chicureo, appears to be the top Chilean in form. The last Chilean to win here was Felipe Aguilar in 2008 – the same year he won the Indonesia Open on the European Tour. Aguilar is competing at the Castello Masters in Spain this week, hoping to secure 2011 European Tour playing rights. He is No. 119 on the money list; the top 115 earn 2011 tour cards.

The TLA contributed to this report.

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