At The Copa
DE VICENZO, 86,
A KEEN SPECTATOR
Host Argentina wins men’s
competition, but U.S. takes
women’s and team titles.
BUENOS AIRES | Ever wonder what
would happen if the Ryder Cup and
the Solheim Cup were combined? Ok,
maybe you haven’t. But think about
this concept for a moment:
Get two of the best amateur men and
two of the best amateur women togeth-
er from 12 countries and combine their
scores over 72 holes. Give a trophy to
the country with the best overall team
score. Give another prize to the country
with the best score from its two men
and another to the country with the
best score from its women. And figure it
all out when the dust settles.
Actually this concept exists. It’s called
the Copa de las Americas. And its latest
iteration that concluded Saturday in
Buenos Aires turned out to be a rout for
the U.S. men and women’s contingent
comprised of Peter Uihlein, Nathan
Smith, Jessica Korda and Jennifer Song.
The Copa de las Americas has been
around since 2003 and takes place every
two years. It’s limited to amateurs from
countries in North, Central and South
America plus teams from the Caribbean. But it took on added cachet this
year now that golf in the Olympics has
been officially renewed and the next
Jessica Korda (left), Jennifer Song, captain Steve Smyers and Peter Uihlein celebrate a 22-shot turnaround by the Americans on Day 2.
venue will be nearby Brazil in 2016. It’s
interesting to note that Steve Smyers,
the winning U.S. captain, co-designs
golf courses with Nick Faldo and hopes
to have one of his tracks named the official 18 for the 2016 Games in Rio.
Uihlein and Smith compiled a
four-day total of 3-over-par that was
topped on the men’s side only by host
Argentina’s 2-under. Song and Korda
had an easier time of it, dusting the
runner-up Colombian women’s team
of Juliana Murcia and AJGA star Luz
Alejandra Cangrejo by 10 shots to win
the women’s side. Overall, the Americans’ winning team total of 10-over-par
was 12 shots better than second-place
“The team was patient and focused,”
said Smyers. “It was fun to watch them
bond together and interact with each
other so well. They are serious about it
and they are dedicated.”
And the Americans have now won
this event for the second straight time.
Smyers said the key was the second
round when the Americans engi-
neered a 22-stroke turnaround against
the Argentines, who had taken the
“Emiliano,” understated Argentine
captain Miguel Leeson, “had a great
The co-medalists on the women’s
side with 72-hole totals of 1-over-par
were Murcia and Paraguay’s Andrea
Jun. Individually, Song and Korda
finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Uihlein and Smith, the reigning U.S.
Mid-Am champion, also wound up
fourth and fifth, respectively in the
men’s individual standings.
“Winning as a team is so good,” said
Song, the ’09 U.S. Women’s Am champ.
“You can never be happier than winning
as a team. It takes so much effort.”
Just ask anyone who has been on a
victorious Solheim or Ryder Cup team.
From staff and wire reports
BUENOS AIRES | The Copa de
las Americas got an extra shot of
adrenaline and a boost of prestige
when Argentine golf legend Roberto
De Vicenzo attended the final round
at the Olivos Golf Club in Buenos
The 86- year-old De Vicenzo (right)
won the 1967
Open Championship and
won the 1968
Masters if he
the final round.
De Vicenzo is a member of the
World Golf Hall of Fame and, in 1970,
he received the USGA’s highest honor,
the Bob Jones Award.
Fittingly, the medalist on the men’s
side after Saturday final round was
a young Argentine, Emiliano Grillo.
Grillo’s 7-under total of 279 for the
72-hole event was six shots better than runner-up William Kent of
Paraguay in the individual standings.
Grillo’s 8-under 64 on the third day
was the low round of the tournament.
The third-round total of 139 posted
by Grillo and teammate Tomas Cocha
tied a Copa de las America record.
From staff and wire reports