Herik Machado was starting the first time as a professional. With his scored two below par, the player from Sao Paulo GC finished one ahead of Rafa Barcellos and Robison Gomes.
After a successful amateur career, where he amassed dozens of national and international titles. For more than two years Herik was the number one amateur in Brazil. In the amateur world golf ranking (WAGR) he still appears as the best player in the country. Herik Machado debuted with a victory in his professional career by winning the opening stage of the 2019 Golf Pro Tour. Clube de Campo de Sao Paulo was the first venue of this national tour circuit.
Small prize money but an important experience
The check for 2,000 Reais is very small. This is the result of a circuit where the prize pool is only based on players’ inscriptions. But for Herik it was very important that he played well. Also, he could stand up to strong and experienced professionals. Herik won with 69 strokes, two under par, and one advantage over fellow club member Rafael Barcellos and Robison Gomes, who played 70 (-1).
Caio Barbosa came in third with 71. followed by three golfers with 72. The amateur Pedro Nagayama, from Sao Fernando GC, and the professionals Alfredo Coelho and Helio Cacimiro followed with a par round (72). Axell dos Santos, from Fazenda da Grama, was behind with 73, followed by Adriel Marques and Sadao Kimura with 75, and amateurs Guilherme Grinberg and Francisco Corrales with 77. Ronaldo Barbosa with 78, was the last to play below 80.
There was also playing a category for amateurs competing in the stableford modality with handicap. The value of their inscriptions was added to the prize money of the professionals. With 44 points Guilherme Macario had 15 points more like the second Fernando Sodre and Ricardo Gonzales Junior.
The goal is the PGA Tour Latinamerica
Herik Machado still has one more Golf Pro Tour tournament to optimize his game. Because his great challenge is to participate at the PGA Tour Latin America. As he does not have a PGA LA tour card, the Brazilian Golf Confederation is trying to get some sponsor invitations for him. Exchanging vacancies with the Brazilian Open and the Sao Paulo GC stage. Both tournaments will be in the second half-year.
Herik would like to play in April two tournaments in Argentina and one in Chile. Whether or not the invitations come out, he is willing to play Monday’s qualifiers for those tournaments. Then pass the cut and finish in the Top 20, which would guarantee a place for the next tournament. Even better if you win a tournament, you would gain exemption until 2020. A winner at the PGA Latinamerica tour is also entering for the race for the Tokyo Games 2020. Sure, Herik has the talent to be a successful professional. After all, he was an amateur champion of Brazil, Argentina and Chile in 2018, in addition to being champion of the international final tournament of the Faldo Series.
Training like a professional
At the Sao Paulo Golf Club, Herik has the best place to train in Brazil. Under the supervision of national coach Eric Andersson, he can refine and optimize his game. For the physical preparation, Tiro Certo and the sisters Dani and Gabi Arantes are responsible. This trio works in the CBG academy, which specializes in the training of golfers.
But he also continues working with Africa Alarcon, who was a coach at the CBG until 2018.
Herik takes his new job very seriously. After the exhausting stage at the Clube de Campo, he was already back in training at the Arantes gym the next day. Then he went straight to the Sao Paulo Gold Club, where he plays and trains full-time next to some other professionals.
Rafa Barcellos and Felipe Navarro have already won the PGA Tour Latinamerica card for 2019.