- Abierto de Argentina
Abierto de Argentina
The first Abierto de Argentina (Argentine Open) took place on 7th September 1905 when it was called the Río de la Plata Open Championship, with 42 amateurs and only two professionals participating in the inaugural 36-hole competition.
The contest was held at the Buenos Ayres (sic) Golf Club, which was later renamed the San Andrés Golf Club. Scotsman Mungo Park Jr. – whose father won the first Open at Prestwick in 1860 – returned a score of 167, which was good enough to claim the first prize. Mungo Park Jr. knew the course intimately as he'd laid it out for the founding members in 1902.
Mungo Park Jr. was beaten into second place a year later by an English amateur named John Avery Wright, but he would regain the title when it became a 72-hole contest in 1907 then again in 1912. Another English amateur named Frank Sutton won the championship in 1908 and Scotsman Alex Philp came out on top in 1910 and 1913, so there was no shortage of British interest in the formative years of the event.
The 1909 championship was something of a watershed for the competition because it was won by Raúl Castillo, the first Argentinean player to claim the title, and he would also go on to secure another two tournaments in 1914 and 1919.
When the Asociacion Argentina de Golf was founded in 1926, Dr. Mariano Demaria Sala donated a trophy to be played for in the years to come, with the AAG taking over the running of the Abierto de Argentina. The first winner of the trophy was Marcos Churio but the major star of that era was José Jurado, garnering seven titles between 1920 and 1931.
Roberto De Vicenzo was the next big name to appear and he was even more successful, capturing nine Argentinean Open titles between 1944 and 1974 – the last one at the Mar del Plata Club, Los Acantilados arrived when he was 51 years-of-age. Still, he’s not the oldest person to win the tournament as Vicente Fernández was aged 54 years and 6 months when he won his eighth Open at the Jockey Club in 2000.
Jay Don Blake’s victory in 1991 at Argentino was the first of seven Open competitions won by Americans during the 1990s, with champions from the United States including Mark O’Meara at Buenos Aires in 1994 and Jim Furyk at the Jockey Club in 1997 (the year that Vicente Fernández and Eduardo Romero were disqualified after a mistake was made with their scorecards).
In the new millennium, Finnish player Antti Ahokas surprised everyone at the Hurlingham Club in 2008, becoming the first European since Spain’s Ángel Miguel in 1962 (and the first left-handed golfer) to lift the trophy following his three-shot victory over his nearest rival.
The Abierto de Argentina has been held at San Andrés 21 times and it’s been staged at the Jockey Club on 18 occasions. Olivos Golf Club has also hosted the event 11 times. The original course for Golf Club Argentino (today Campo de Golf de la Ciudad) has hosted the event 10 times, then another 3 as “Campos Argentinos”.
You’ll not find any of the courses below as they’re not currently included in our listings for Argentina: General San Martin, Hindú Club, Ituzaingó and Río Cuarto.
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