Just a few short weeks ago, Costa Rican Carlos Muñoz was rated somewhere in the mid-100s on the Qualifying Series rankings. He's been a major player on the Qualifying Series for a few years, but he's struggled so far in 2017. Muñoz, who is a hero in his homeland, entered the limelight three years ago when he won a fan vote for a wildcard entry in the Championship Tour's 2014 Hurley Pro at Trestles. At that event, he topped World Champ Gabriel Medina in Round One (Medina got his revenge over Muñoz in Round Three).
Things turned for the better this year, though, in mid-July when Muñoz won the QS1,000 Powerade Surf Open Acapulco. His ranking jumped to No. 107 prior to the US Open. Now on a roll, he's guaranteed a 3rd in Huntington, where a trip to the Final would likely push Muñoz into the top 20 on the QS leaderboard, and possibly higher. Not a bad three weeks' work for the gregarious Tican.