MEXICO CITY, Mexico – With one week remaining until the best players in the world gather in Mexico City, Roberto Diaz has officially qualified for the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship as the top-ranked Mexican player in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). At No. 472 in the world, Diaz edged out fellow countryman Rodolfo Cazaubon (No. 510) for a spot in the field at Club de Golf Chapultepec March 1-5.
The new eligibility qualification category allowed the top-ranked Mexican player in the OWGR as of Feb. 20 to qualify for the Mexico Championship. After entering the Web.com Tour’s Club Colombia Championship by Servientrega outside the top 700 in the world two weeks ago, Diaz fired a final-round 7-under 64 for the clubhouse lead before Ethan Tracy holed out from 101 yards to force a playoff. Tracy eventually bettered Diaz in the playoff, but the runner-up finish allowed him to take the top spot in the world amongst his fellow competitors from Mexico.
At the Web.com Tour’s Panama Claro Championship this past weekend, Diaz’s spot as the top-ranked Mexican player was in jeopardy with Abraham Ancer in contention over the weekend. With Diaz finishing T19, Ancer needed to finish in a tie for second or better to overtake Diaz in the rankings. With a final-round 3-under 67, Ancer finished solo fourth, narrowly missing out on the opportunity to be Mexico’s representative at the Mexico Championship.
Diaz is joined by several players that also officially qualified for the Mexico Championship as of Feb. 20. Ten players inside the top 50 in the OWGR that were not otherwise exempt included Belgium’s Thomas Pieters (No. 33) and Spain’s Jon Rahm (No. 38). Pieters shot a final-round 8-under 63 at the Genesis Open to finish T2 to improve his position in the top 50 in the world by 14 spots. PGA TOUR rookie Rahm skipped the Genesis Open but has had a memorable month that included his first career PGA TOUR victory at the Farmers Insurance Open and a T5 finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Those players still outside the top 50 in the OWGR will have one final chance to qualify on Feb. 27 following the conclusion of The Honda Classic. The top 10 players in the FedExCup standings that are not yet exempt will also qualify following The Honda Classic.
On the European Tour, the players inside top 10 in the Race to Dubai standings that were not already exempt officially qualified for the Mexico Championship. With no movement in the top 10 following the ISPS Handa Super 6 Perth, four players qualified including Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti and Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal. Australia’s Brett Rumford, who captured his sixth career European Tour title at the ISPS Handa Super 6 Perth and first since 2013, jumped to No. 11 in the standings with the win.
Fans can see the top players from around the globe as they compete in one of the most highly-anticipated golf events to come to Mexico City. To purchase tickets, or for more information regarding tickets and the youth policy for the Mexico Championship, please visit worldgolfchampionships.com.
About Golf in Mexico
Mexico has a strong history with professional golf and currently features the PGA TOUR’s OHL Classic at Mayakoba, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in November. In addition, the LPGA’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico City, the Web.com Tour’s El Bosque Mexico Championship in Guanajuato, and three PGA TOUR Latinoamérica events – the Abierto Mexicano de Golf, the Mazatlan Open, and the San Luis Potosí Open – are currently held in Mexico.
Since 1994, the country has hosted more than 70 tournaments on professional golf tours, including the 2002 World Cup of Golf in Puerto Vallarta after it became a World Golf Championships event. Japan’s team of Toshi Izawa and Shigeki Maruyama claimed that title by two strokes over Phil Mickelson and David Toms of the U.S. It was the fourth World Cup held in Mexico, the previous three occurring in 1958 and 1967 in Mexico City and in 1982 in Acapulco.
Mexico also has more than 20 professionals currently competing full-time on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and the LPGA. This list includes PGA TOUR members Carlos Ortiz of Guadalajara and Abraham Ancer of Tampico, LPGA members and potential Olympians Gaby Lopez and Alejandra Llaneza of Mexico City, and Web.com Tour member Rodolfo Cazaubon of Tampico.
“Hosting a tournament with the stature of the World Golf Championships, and promoting it through the media assets of Grupo Salinas, is expected to influence golf’s growth at the grass roots level throughout Mexico,” Finchem said. “Grupo Salinas is committed to working with existing Mexican youth golf organizations such as First Swing, as well as the PGA TOUR and The First Tee, to grow and promote the game.”
Adam Scott of Australia will be the defending champion when the Mexico Championship debuts in March 2017.
About Grupo Salinas
Grupo Salinas (www.gruposalinas.com) consists of dynamic, fast-growing and technologically advanced companies that focus on creating shareholder value and improving society through excellence. Created by Mexican entrepreneur Ricardo B. Salinas, Grupo Salinas provides a forum to develop entrepreneurship and supports decision-making among the executives who lead the group´s companies which include: TV Azteca, Azteca America, Grupo Elektra, Banco Azteca, Seguros Azteca Afore Azteca, Advance America, Italika, Punto Casa de Bolsa, Azteca Internet, Totalplay and Enlace. Grupo Salinas´ companies generate annual revenues of approximately $5 billion dollars in media, retail, financial services, telecommunications and Internet industries. Grupo Salinas´ companies operate in Mexico, United States, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru and Panama.
For Grupo Salinas it´s essential that prosperity is also reflected in the communities where their companies operate. Through Fundación Azteca, it promotes multiple causes seeking synergies with society, other companies and governments. Grupo Salinas´ social initiatives include projects such as: the Esperanza Azteca Orchestra, Campus Azteca, Movimiento Azteca, Juguetón, Limpiemos nuestro México, Vive, Que Viva la Selva Lacandona, A Quién Corresponda, Caminos a la Libertad, Kybernus, and Ciudad de las Ideas. With this in mind on September 9th TV Azteca´s CEO Benjamin Salinas and the PGA Tour´s Commissioner Tim Finchem announced the creation of The First Tee México.
About the World Golf Championships
The World Golf Championships are sanctioned and organized by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour. Events in the World Golf Championships series include the Mexico Championship (Mexico City, Mexico), the Dell Match Play (Austin, TX, USA), the Bridgestone Invitational (Akron, Ohio, USA) and the HSBC Champions (Shanghai, China). World Golf Championship events are broadcast to more than 1 billion households in 225 countries and territories in 32 languages. The series as a whole has generated nearly $60 million for charitable causes since its inception in 1999.