RIONEGRO, Colombia – Justin Hueber opened the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season with a dominating performance to claim a five-stroke victory at the 69th playing of the Avianca Colombia Open presented by BBVA.
The outright leader by four following three rounds of 66 or better, Hueber extended his lead to eight shots at one point before carding a 72 to finish at 21-under 267 for the week.
This was Hueber’s second career win on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, where he won the 57thMexico Open last year on his way to finishing ranked 10th on the Order of Merit.
“Just to be able to come down here and play really solid for four days, with my wife Sarah on the bag, it was really an awesome experience,” said the 28-year-old from Fort Wayne, Indiana, who had his father, Scott, serving as his caddie during his first Tour win nine months ago.
Hueber put together a mostly flawless performance at Club Campestre de Medellin Llano Grande, a venue that played tough on another sunny afternoon in the mountains of Rionegro.
“Having such a big lead, I just tried to stay in the moment. I’ve been working on trying to hit as many good shots as I can and stay one shot at a time, don’t get ahead of myself and I did that today,” said Hueber, whose lead was never smaller than three shots during the final round.
With the University of Indianapolis graduate in control, the possibility of a bogey-free week seemed a possibility. However, his bogey-free streak ended when at the par-four No. 9, the 63rd hole of the tournament. “Unfortunately, I drove it in a divot on 9 and was unable to control it the way I wanted to,” he recalled.
“(Throughout the week) I just tried to keep it in play, tried to keep it in the fairway. My numbers were really spot-on with the irons, even in this elevation (of 6,900 feet) and that was a big help, that I could kind of get it in the spots where I could have good looks at birdie and not be in position to make bogey for so long.”
This week Hueber showed the strength of a Web.com Tour player, a Tour where he has low conditional status this season. Halfway through the Web Q-School final stage last December he was in position to claim solid status, but a poor finish dropped him to T79.
“This is my first four-day tournament since final stage of Q-School. I was pretty beat up after that, but I played scared and tentative. I told myself that if I ever get in that position again I’m going to be fearless and I’m going to be aggressive, but smart at the same time, and I did that this week… This is not the Web.com Tour, but it’s a great consolation,” he added with optimism about a season in which he plans to combine PGA TOUR Latinoamérica events with Web.com Tour Monday qualifiers.
With Hueber so out of reach, the rest of the field focused on the battle for runner-up honors. Those belonged to Chile’s Guillermo Pereira, who shot 68 today to be the only player to post four rounds in the 60s this week.
In addition to Hueber’s strong performance, Fidelity Sports Group clients Brian Richey (23rd) and Willy Pumarol (49th) had a solid week to start their 2016 season. Lanto Griffin missed the cut after a tough first round 75 but bounced back nicely in the second round with a 3 under par 69.
The PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season will resume in two weeks with the third playing of the Lexus Panama Classic. It will take the Tour to Buenaventure Golf Club in Rio Hato, Panama.
Source: This article was originally written and published on http://www.PGATour.com/LA by the PGA Tour Latin America Communications Staff