Copa de las Americas

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Julie Williams
Albin Choi of Canada sunk a 12-footer for par to lead his team to the victory at the Copa de las Americas.
Albin Choi of Canada sunk a 12-footer for par to lead his team to the victory at the Copa de las Americas.

Editor's note: For our complete Copa de las Americas coverage, click here.

• • •

DORAL, Fla. –- As Canada's Albin Choi stood in the famed 18th fairway at Doral’s TPC Blue Monster, he told his captain to give it to him straight. Live scoring lagged a bit on the final holes of the Copa de las Americas, and Choi wanted to know exactly what it would take to put his Canadian team in front of Mexico and the U.S. for good.

The latter two teams began the final round five shots behind Canada. Whispers and frantic calculations indicated a ...

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Julie Williams
Erynne Lee, one fourth of the U.S. team at Copa de las Americas, tees off on the famed 18th hole on Doral's Blue Monster Golf Course.
Erynne Lee, one fourth of the U.S. team at Copa de las Americas, tees off on the famed 18th hole on Doral's Blue Monster Golf Course.

Editor's note: For our complete Copa de las Americas coverage, click here.

• • •

DORAL, Fla. – Jim Williams is not a course-to-range-to-bed-and-back kind of captain. On the outskirts of trendy South Beach, he has proved to have so much more style than that.

For the Copa de las Americas’ maiden visit to U.S. soil, at Doral's Blue Monster, it’s hard to imagine that the U.S. Golf Association could have found a more fitting captain. Except, Williams better describes his role as host. That’s just in his nature – Williams also is a member of the USGA Executive ...

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Julie Williams
Albin Choi of Canada sunk a 12-footer for par to lead his team to the victory at the Copa de las Americas.
Albin Choi of Canada sunk a 12-footer for par to lead his team to the victory at the Copa de las Americas.

Editor's note: For our complete Copa de las Americas coverage, click here.

• • •

DORAL, Fla. – Through three rounds of the Copa de las Americas, Albin Choi has all but secured man-of-the-match status for Canada. With 18 holes to play, the Canadians have a five-shot advantage on the U.S. and Mexico.

Five shots can disappear quickly at Doral’s Blue Monster.

For proof, look to the carnage and the triumphs that occurred at No. 18 on Saturday afternoon. Choi, in the last group to play the famous hole, hung a par putt on the lip that meant the difference between ...

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Julie Williams
Laura Blanco (file photo)
Laura Blanco (file photo)

Editor's note: For our complete Copa de las Americas coverage, click here.

• • •

DORAL, Fla. – From a fairway away, Laura Blanco could pass for an Arizona State player of old, Juliana Murcia Ortiz. That’s good news for Blanco.

The Colombian grew up idolizing compatriot Murcia Ortiz. She’s one reason Blanco ended up on the Sun Devils' roster two years ago.

Blanco has the same confident stride and swinging black braid as Murcia Ortiz, who graduated from Arizona State in 2010 and has since turned professional. Murcia Ortiz finished 29th on the Symetra Tour money list in 2012.

By ...

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Julie Williams
Albin Choi
Albin Choi

Editor's note: For our complete Copa de las Americas coverage, click here.

• • •

DORAL, Fla. – Jaime Lopez Rivarola is trying hard to stick to his captain’s gameplan. Santiago Garat, leading Argentina this week at the Copa de las Americas, told his players to concentrate on their own games. Seems logical enough, except that his message to Rivarola and teammate Alejandro Tosti was slightly different than it was to female team members Maria Olivero and Delfina Acosta.

“The girls have a pretty solid game, and he knows that they can win it easily,” Rivarola said. “The difference is the guys ...

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Julie Williams
Fabiola Arriaga plays her tee shot on the first hole as seen during the first round of the 2013 Copa de las Americas at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Doral, Fla.
Fabiola Arriaga plays her tee shot on the first hole as seen during the first round of the 2013 Copa de las Americas at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Doral, Fla.

Editor's note: For our complete Copa de las Americas coverage, click here.

• • •

DORAL, Fla. – Fabiola Arriaga and Gabriela Lopez set the real pace around Doral’s Blue Monster in the first round of the Copa de las Americas. Playing in twosomes with Guatemala, Mexico’s women were easily off the course in less than four hours. Playing in the third group off the first tee on Thursday morning, teammate Carlos Ortiz did some pace-setting of his own. His 4-under 68 held up as the lowest score in Round 1, by two shots.

By day’s end, Mexico was in ...

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Julie Williams
Washington's Chris Williams
Washington's Chris Williams

Editor's note: For our complete Copa de las Americas coverage, click here.

• • •

DORAL, Fla. – It’s not likely team golf will ever get old for Chris Williams. The Copa de las Americas is a bonus in that way, and also because the Idaho native likely wouldn’t have been able to touch a club this week had it not been for an invitation to Doral.

“It’s fun to play for yourself, it’s fun to play for a college team but it’s also really fun to play for your country,” Williams said of this week. “Luckily I ...

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Julie Williams
The 18th hole at Doral Golf Resort & Spa
The 18th hole at Doral Golf Resort & Spa

Editor's note: For our complete Copa de las Americas coverage, click here.

• • •

DORAL, Fla. – At the Copa de las Americas, caddies are allowed. Most of the field used them around Doral’s Blue Monster, but not Maria Olivero. She used a push-cart.

Olivero has the distinction of being the oldest competitior in the field this week. At 39, the stay-at-home mom says she feels a little out of place among the kids. The next oldest players, a trio of men, are 29. The average age for the championship is 20, and Olivero’s other female Argentina teammate, Delfina Acosta ...

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Julie Williams
Duke's Lindy Duncan
Duke's Lindy Duncan

A quick preview of this weekend's Copa de las Americas, being held for the first time on U.S. soil.

• • •

Copa de las Americas

Jan. 3-6, Doral (Blue Monster), Miami

Notable players in the field: Fabiola Arriaga, Texas-San Antonio junior (No. 31 in Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings); Rodolfo Cazaubon, North Texas senior (No. 42); Chris Williams, Washington senior (No. 45) and No. 1 in R&A rankings; Albin Choi, N.C. State junior (No. 30); Steven Fox, Chattanooga senior (No. 86) and U.S. Amateur champion; Erynne Lee, UCLA sophomore (No. 9) and 2012 college freshman of the year; Lindy Duncan ...

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