Argentina’s Martin Monguzzi snatched the first round lead at the 103 Abierto VISA de la Republica presentado por Peugeot from European Tour regulars Stephen Browne and Daniel Vancsik.
Ireland’s Browne and Vancsik of Argentina looked certain to lead the way at Argentina’s National Open Championship having posted a pair of five under par 65s at the Hurlingham Golf Club in Buenos Aries, but Monguzzi stole the show late in the day with a fine 64 to take the outright lead at this, the fifth event on the 2008 Challenge Tour Schedule, co-sanctioned with the Tour de Las Americas (TLA).
It was an outstanding day for the European contingent in Argentina, with seven of the top 12 on the first round leaderboard having journeyed across the Atlantic to the magnificent Hurlingham Golf Club.
Christophe Gunther of Germany and Belgium’s Nicolas Vanhootegem joined Argentina’s Rodolfo Gonzalez on four under par, with Finland’s Antti Ahokas, the English pair of Matthew Cort and Marcus Higley, Italy’s Michele Reale and the Swede Fredrik Widmark all in contention after opening scores of three under par 67.
For the moment, though, Monguzzi is the man to beat. The 26 year old, the son of famous Argentinean amateur Roberto, who played the 1968 Open Championship won by Gary Player, is eyeing his first win as a professional.
“We all saw what Estanislao (Goya) did on Sunday, and new doors opened for him because of that win,” said Monguzzi of his friend who won last week’s Abierto Visa del Centro to set up a new career in Europe. “Hopefully, I could follow in his footsteps.
“Everything went well for me today, despite the bogey at the 13th, where I went over the green with my third shot. My ball striking from the tee was perfect and I sank a few good putts,” added the leader of the US $200,000 championship.