Merizalde to compete in Mexican Open Championships

SAN BUENAVENTURA, Mexico--BYU's Manuel Merizalde will be one of 20 amateurs from Europe and South America competing in the 2000 Mexican Open Championships this weekend.

Merizalde, a junior from Cali, Colombia, has been ranked as high as No. 16 this season in the MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings and was one of a selected few Latin American amateurs invited to compete in this professional tournament.

"This is my first real big tournament and my first professional tournament in three years," Merizalde said.

The Mexican Open Championships 2000 has a strong field of 25 PGA Tour players including two-time champion Stewart Cink.

"It is supposed to be a fairly strong field," Merizalde said. "I'm excited about the opportunity to play against and learn from some top PGA professionals."

Merizalde was also invited to compete against 25 of the top collegiate golfers in the country at the Savanne College All-American Golf Classic, but both tournaments fall on the same weekend.

"It was tough choosing between the two tournaments because I was really looking forward to the All-American," Merizalde said. "But the Mexican Open will give me a better taste of the world of professional golf."

The Mexican Open Championships will be played at the historic del Club de Golf Mexico. The Tournament begins today and runs through Sunday.