Ben Kholes takes over the Puerto Rico Open

PGA Tour golfers continue to battle on two fronts

by Andrea Gussoni
Ben Kholes takes over the Puerto Rico Open
© Getty Images Sport - Cliff Hawkins / Staff

PGA Tour golfers continue to battle on two fronts. In the USA, the renowned Arnold Palmer Invitational is underway, while in Puerto Rico, the Open continues to attract an increasingly interesting field to the Central American country.

The Puerto Rico Open (with a prize pool of $4 million) is nearing its conclusion, with Ben Kholes leading the pack.

Ben Kholes, results

The American golfer delivered an impressive third round, climbing 14 positions with a superb bogey-free -9.

He now sits atop the leaderboard at -18 (198 strokes), holding a two-shot lead over German Matti Schmid and Americans Jimmy Stanger and Brice Garnett (pictured). Erik Barnes and Joe Highsmith, both from the USA, occupy the fifth position with a score of -15.

Highsmith, who led after 36 holes, could only manage a -1 for the day, slipping back four positions. On the par 72 course at the Grand Reserve Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Hayden Springer from the USA finished at -13 and in seventh place, followed closely by Colombian Nico Echavarria at one stroke behind.

Rounding out the top ten in ninth place with a score of -12 are Filipino Rico Hoey and Americans Tyler Duncan, Max Greyserman, and Norman Xiong. It's worth noting that the only Italian participant in the Puerto Rican event, Domenico Geminiani, did not make the cut after the first 36 holes.

The afternoon will see the final and decisive round that will determine the winner. In the previous edition, Ecevarria emerged victorious, but he now faces a five-shot deficit to leader Kholes. Puerto Rico also known as Portorico, is officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (in Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico; in English: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico).

It is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea between the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands. Following a popular (though non-binding) referendum in 2012, with 61.15% of the vote in favor, the residents of Puerto Rico chose to become a federated state of the United States.

As a result of this outcome (subsequently confirmed by another electoral consultation held in 2017), an official request to initiate the legislative process that could transform the island into a state of the Union was deposited with the United States Congress, although it has not yet been approved to this day.

Puerto Rico is an archipelago, consisting of the main island of the same name (the smallest of the Greater Antilles) and other smaller islands, including Mona, Vieques, and Culebra. The capital is San Juan, which had nearly 848,000 inhabitants at the 2000 census and reached 2,000,000 considering the metropolitan area.

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