TIJUANA, MEXICO – Jacksonville University athletics had an international presence last weekend in the professional sporting world, as men's golf's Raul Pereda competed alongside top competition. The senior was one of only two amateur entrants to make the cut and play the full weekend at the 59 Abierto Mexicano De Golf (Mexican Open), which took place March 22-25 as part of the PGA Tour Latinoámerica.
The Cordoba, Mexico native completed all four rounds at the par 70, 6579-yard course at Club Campestre De Tijuana, finishing in a tie for 42nd place. Pereda was one of 62 golfers to make the cut after two rounds, positioning himself well through the middle part of the tournament.
After shooting one-over 71 on the first 18 holes, Pereda shot four-under 66 the next two rounds, carding six birdies in round two and four in round three. Following a four-over 74 to conclude play, he rounded out his first PGA Tour Latinoámerica event shooting three-under 277. The mark was good for a finish ahead of 17 competitors who also made the cut.
"It was a great weekend for Raul at an event that always attracts good amateur competition," Head Coach Mike Blackburn said. "We are certainly proud of him for the way he played, and are happy that he had the experience to do so."
Pereda, in the midst of the 2018 spring season at JU, was ranked the no. 39 collegiate golfer in the latest GolfStat poll on March 20, his highest career mark to-date. Having competed in all eight events thus far this season, he has achieved three top-five finishes, shooting seven rounds in the 60's. Pereda put forth his top finish of the year at The John Hayt Collegiate Invitational Match 18-19, tying for third in a field that boasted 10 top-100 golfers.
Following his participation in the event, Pereda becomes the first JU golfer to have competed in a PGA Tour Latinoámerica event while an active member of the team.
The Jacksonville University men's golf team returns to action April 9-10, competing at the Gary Koch Invitational in Gastonia, N.C.