- Abierto Mexicano de Golf
Abierto Mexicano de Golf
Organized golf has been played in Mexico since 1894, when the Club de Golf Santa Gerturdis was founded by Scottish jute workers in Orizaba, Veracruz. More than a dozen other clubs were then established around the country before the formation of the Federación Mexicana de Golf in 1926.
One of these more recently instituted clubs was Club de Golf Chapultepec and it was at this Mexico City venue that the first Mexican Open, or Abierto Mexicano de Golf to give the tournament its proper name, was initiated in 1944 and fourteen of the first sixteen editions would be held here.
Californian Al Espinosa won the first Open, played over four 18-hole rounds under stroke play, with an aggregate score of 281. Espinosa was a former Ryder Cup player who’d lost in a playoff to Bobby Jones in the US Open at Winged Foot in 1929 and his good form in Mexico continued through until 1947 as he also won the next three editions of the Open at Chapultepec.
A closer inspection of the results sheet from the very first competition shows that an amateur named Percy Clifford came second in the overall standings. Clifford won the Mexican Amateur several times but his contribution to the sport as an architect is what he’s most famous for as it’s reckoned he had a hand in the design of about forty courses across the nation during his career.
During the 1950s, one name loomed large on the leader board at the end of most Mexican Open championships: Roberto De Viceno. The Argentinian finished in first place on three occasions and as runner-up another four times between 1951 and 1958, which was an incredible period of consistent performance for the man from Buenos Aries.
Other foreign champions also emerged during the 1950s and 1960s: Bobby Locke from South Africa triumphed in 1952; Ángel Miguel from Spain lifted the trophy in 1959; and Canadian Al Balding won at La Hacienda in 1963.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that Mexico had its first home-grown champion, when Ernesto Pérez Acosta came good at Bellavista in 1970 – and just to emphasize the legitimacy of his winner’s credentials, he repeated the feat at La Hacienda five years later.
American golfers still dominated the event through the 1970s and 1980s – Lee Trevino was victorious in 1973 and 1975 then Billy Casper won in 1977, along with Ben Crenshaw in 1981 – but there was still the odd “outlier” capable of upsetting the applecart and winning, like Australian David Graham in 1980 and Canadian Danny Mijovic in 1984.
Into the new millennium and the trophy was soon engraved with the names of Mexican winners such as Esteban Toledo in 2000, Pablo Fernández the following year and Antonio Maldonado in 2005.
Golfers from Argentina continued to perform well (Rafael Gómez winning in 2004) but so too did players from other South American countries: Colombians Eduardo Herrara and Óscar David Álvarez winning at the Moon Palace Resort in 2003 and Chapultepec in 2014; and Paraguayan Fabrizio winning by one stroke at La Hacienda in 2006.
The Open was included in the Tour de las Américas from 2003 to 2006 and was co-sanctioned by the European Challenge Tour between 2004 and 2007. It eventually became an official fixture on the PGA Tour Latinoamérica in 2013.
In sixty editions of the Abierto Mexicano de Golf up until 2019, Club de Golf Chapultepec had hosted the most number of events (18), followed by Club de Golf México with 12, so half the national Opens have been played at these two clubs in Mexico City.
You’ll not find any of the following Open venues below as they’re not currently featured in our Mexican listings: Aquascalientes, Bellavista, Chiluca, El Bosque León, La Hacienda, Mexicali, Monterrey and Tijuana.
Abierto Mexicano de Golf Top 100 Leaderboard
B-NL Challenge Trophy