COPA DE LAS AMERICAS
Colombia maintains lead in men’s event, while Canada, Argentina still tied atop women’s championship January 3, 2013 By Christina Lance, USGA

Maria Olivero struggled to a 78 on Friday at the Copa de las Americas, but Argentina stands only one stroke back of Canada in the overall standings at the midway point of the competition at Doral. (USGA/John Mummert)

Miami – Sparked by a record-setting day by Albin Choi and Corey Conners, Team Canada rose to the top of the leader board with a two-day total of 14-over 590 following Friday’s second round of the 2013 Copa de las Americas, being conducted on the par-72 TPC Blue Monster Course at Doral Golf Resort & Spa Miami.

Choi (68) and Conners (69) combined for a 7-under 137, a 16-stroke improvement from Thursday’s opening round and the lowest second-round score in Copa de las Americas history. Augusta James shot 76 and Brooke Mackenzie Henderson posted 77 for Canada.

Day-one leader Argentina sits one back of the Canadians at 15-over 591, followed by Colombia (592), Mexico (594) and the United States of America (597).

Colombia remains atop the men’s leader board at 1-under 287, followed by Mexico (289) and Canada (290). The Canadian and Argentine women retained their shared lead in the women’s championship at 12-over 300, two strokes ahead of the USA (302).

The 2013 Copa de las Americas, conducted by the Americas Golf Association and hosted by the United States Golf Association, is a team event for amateurs in North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. It consists of three 72-hole stroke-play competitions – overall, men and women – and the competitions end on Sunday.

Choi, a junior at North Carolina State University, recovered after shooting 4-over 76 on the tough Blue Monster during the first round.

I didn’t play too well yesterday, so I kind of cleared my head, came out and had a better one today, said Choi, winner of the 2012 Ontario Amateur Championship.

That better day included seven birdies, and his score would have been better if not for a little hiccup on the famed 18th hole. After hitting his tee shot into the water, Choi got up and down from a greenside bunker for a hard-earned bogey.

The Canadians took the overall lead despite an off day from the women’s contingent. Henderson, whose 71 on Thursday was the low women’s score of the day, was unable to maintain her momentum on Friday, registering six bogeys to only one birdie.

I was able to make a few putts yesterday when I needed to, said the 15-year-old Henderson. Today, those putts just slid by.

Canada won the first two overall Copa de las Americas championships, in 2003 and 2005, and Choi would like to wrest the trophy back from the USA, which won in 2007 and 2010.

I definitely think we have a very good chance, he said. But there’s still two more days left, so we’ll see how it goes. It’s exciting, just thinking about it.

Peru’s Joaquin Lolas, who plays for Florida State University, shot 5-under 67, a second-round record for the men’s championship. Arizona State University’s Laura Blanco, of Colombia, had the women’s low score of 2-under 70, the second-lowest women’s second-round score in Copa history.

The struggles continued for the United States, which is hosting the Copa de las Americas for the first time. World No. 1 Chris Williams, who is recovering from mononucleosis, and reigning U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox each made only one birdie en route to a 3-over 75 and 2-over 74, respectively. Erynne Lee (3-over 75) and Lindy Duncan (6-over 78) were also unable to better their efforts from the first round. The United States has never finished worse than fifth in the overall championship, a position it holds halfway through the competition.

Miami – Results from Friday’s second day of stroke play at the 2013 Copa de las Americas, being conducted at the par-72 TPC Blue Monster Course at Doral Golf Resort & Spa Miami (men, 7,099 yards; women, 6,205 yards):

Overall Championship

590 (300-290): Canada (Albin Choi 76-68—144; Corey Conners 77-69—146; Brooke Mackenzie Henderson 71-77—148; Augusta James 76-76—152)
591 (293-298): Argentina (Jaime López Rivarola 74-69—143; Alejandro Tosti 72-76—148; María Olivero 72-78—150; Delfina Acosta 75-75—150)
592 (295-297): Colombia (Carlos Ernesto Rodriguez 71-71—142; Ricardo José Celia 70-75—145; Laura Blanco 75-70—145; Camila Serrano 79-81—160)
594 (298-296): Mexico (Carlos Ortiz 68-74—142; Gabriela López 73-71—144; Rodolfo Cazaubon 77-70—147; Fabiola Arriaga 80-81—161)
597 (295-302): USA (Chris Williams 71-75—146; Erynne Lee 73-75—148; Steven Fox 75-74—149; Lindy Duncan 76-78—154)
618 (312-306): Trinidad and Tobago (Matthew Marquez 72-79—151; Talin Rajendranath 80-73—153; Monifa Sealy 78-78—156; Kelsey Lou-Hing 82-76—158)
622 (311-311): Venezuela (Gustavo Morantes 73-73—146; Jorge Garcia 74-73—147; María Alejandra Merchán 82-82—164; Claudia de Antonio 82-83—165)
660 (335-325): Guatemala (Lucia Polo 76-77—153; Sebastian Barnoya 82-78—160; Rodrigo Olivero 81-82—163; Pilar Echeverría 96-88—184)

Men’s Championship

287 (141-146): Colombia (Carlos Ernesto Rodriguez 71-71—142; Ricardo José Celia 70-75—145)
289 (145-144): Mexico (Carlos Ortiz 68-74—142; Rodolfo Cazaubon 77-70—147)
290 (153-137): Canada (Albin Choi 76-68—144; Corey Conners 77-69—146)
291 (146-145): Argentina (Jaime López Rivarola 74-69—143; Alejandro Tosti 72-76—148)
293 (149-144): Puerto Rico (Erick Morales 74-71—145; Edward Figueroa 75-73—148)
293 (147-146): Venezuela (Gustavo Morantes 73-73—146; Jorge Garcia 74-73—147)
295 (146-149): USA (Chris Williams 71-75—146; Steven Fox 75-74—149)
301 (155-146): Peru (Joaquin Lolas 76-67—143; Miguel Tola 79-79—158)
304 (152-152): Trinidad and Tobago (Matthew Marquez 72-79—151; Talin Rajendranath 80-73—153)
305 (154-151): Panama (Omar Tejeira 74-74—148; Miguel Ordoñez 80-77—157)
323 (163-160): Guatemala (Sebastian Barnoya 82-78—160; Rodrigo Olivero 81-82—163)

Women’s Championship

300 (147-153): Argentina (María Olivero 72-78—150; Delfina Acosta 75-75—150)
300 (147-153): Canada (Brooke Mackenzie Henderson 71-77—148; Augusta James 76-76—152)
302 (149-153): USA (Erynne Lee 73-75—148; Lindy Duncan 76-78—154)
305 (154-151): Colombia (Laura Blanco 75-70—145; Camila Serrano 79-81—160)
305 (153-152): Mexico (Gabriela López 73-71—144; Fabiola Arriaga 80-81—161)
314 (160-154): Trinidad and Tobago (Monifa Sealy 78-78—156; Kelsey Lou-Hing 82-76—158)
329 (164-165): Venezuela (María Alejandra Merchán 82-82—164; Claudia de Antonio 82-83—165)
337 (172-165): Guatemala (Lucia Polo 76-77—153; Pilar Echeverría 96-88—184)

Miami – Groupings and starting times for Saturday’s third day of stroke play at the 2013 Copa de las Americas, being conducted at the par-72 TPC Blue Monster Course at Doral Golf Resort & Spa Miami (men, 7,099 yards; women, 6,205 yards):

(All times EST)
First Tee

7:50 a.m. – Kelsey Lou-Hing, Trinidad and Tobago, +14; Lindy Duncan, USA, +10; Fabiola Arriaga, Mexico, +17
8 a.m. – Monifa Sealy, Trinidad and Tobago, +12; Erynne Lee, USA, +4; Gabriela López, Mexico, Even
8:10 a.m. – Talin Rajendranath, Trinidad and Tobago, +9; Steven Fox, USA, +5; Rodolfo Cazaubon, Mexico, +3
8:20 a.m. – Matthew Marquez, Trinidad and Tobago, +7; Chris Williams, USA, +2; Carlos Ortiz, Mexico, -2
8:30 a.m. – Camila Serrano, Colombia, +16; Delfina Acosta, Argentina, +6; Augusta James, Canada, +8
8:40 a.m. – Laura Blanco, Colombia, +1; María Olivero, Argentina, +6; Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, Canada, +4
8:50 a.m. – Ricardo José Celia, Colombia, +1; Alejandro Tosti, Argentina, +4; Corey Conners, Canada, +2
9 a.m. – Carlos Ernesto Rodriguez, Colombia, -2; Jaime López Rivarola, Argentina, -1; Albin Choi, Canada, Even

Tenth Tee

8 a.m. – Pilar Echeverría, Guatemala, +40; Claudia de Antonio, Venezuela, +21
8:10 a.m. – Lucia Polo, Guatemala, +9; María Alejandra Merchán, Venezuela, +20
8:20 a.m. – Rodrigo Olivero, Guatemala, +19; Jorge Garcia, Venezuela, +3
8:30 a.m. – Sebastian Barnoya, Guatemala, +16; Gustavo Morantes, Venezuela, +2
8:40 a.m. – Miguel Ordoñez, Panama, +13; Miguel Tola, Peru, +14; Edward Figueroa, Puerto Rico, +4
8:50 a.m. – Omar Tejeira, Panama, +4; Joaquin Lolas, Peru, -1; Erick Morales, Puerto Rico, +1

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