PGA Tour rookie Nico Echavarria leads Puerto Rico Open

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RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico — PGA Tour rookie Nico EchavarriaColombian player, Juan Carlos Alvarez, made four birdies in a row early in Saturdays round and finished with a 7 under 65 to lead by 2 in the Puerto Rico Open. He will be seeking his first PGA Tour win.

Carson YoungEchavarria was Echavarria’s closest follower after he led the first two rounds at Grand Reserve. He had to birdie his last hole for a 71.

Young started with a lead of 4 shots. Then, the 28-year-old Colombian quickly regained ground with an eagle on Par-5 #2 and four consecutive birdies starting at #4.

He went out in 30 seconds and was already leading when they turned.

Echavarria stated, It was an amazing start. You never know when youre going shoot 6 under on your front nine. [in]The third round was my favorite, so I knew it would be a low round. [Young]He had a huge lead. I gave myself some really great chances on the front 9, putter was hot.

Echavarria was at 17 under 199.

The Players Championship will host the winner next week. It will offer a $25 million purse, spots in the PGA Championship, and a two year exemption on the PGA Tour. It does not include an invitation to The Masters, as the Puerto Rico Open takes place the same week.

Sam Stevens(65) Nate Lashley(4 shots behind) 67

Young stated that he played solidly today, but didnt hit any really close. I feel good about my game. It was a lot easier today than yesterday which is a positive. It was just a grind because I wasn’t hitting any real close to my goal, but it was enjoyable and I feel good about the game. I’m eager to see what tomorrow brings.

Young, a tour rookie, is hopeful of a big opportunity on Sunday.

One year ago Ryan BrehmHe won in his final start before he would be relegated the Korn Ferry Tour. Brehm, who was at Bay Hill this Week and had previously participated in two other high-level events with a purse of $20 million, was there.

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