Rafa Becker, sponsored by Copag, and Guilherme Oda from the Damha Golf Club C, saved the country at the Sao Paulo Golf Club Championship. It was the tenth leg of the PGA Tour Latin America, access circuit to Web.com Tour, closed this Sunday in Sao Paulo (SP ).
From 23 Brazilians only two passed the cut for the weekend
Becker, who finished ninth, and Oda, 24th, were the only ones among 23 Brazilians to pass the cut and play a part of the $ 175,000 in prizes in the final two rounds. The all-time champion, in the tournament tumultuous by the heavy rains on Friday, was Colombian Nicolas Echavarria, with 265 (64-66-68-67) shots, 19 under par.
Ranking – Becker in the Top 10
Becker, one of the four Brazilians with a PGA Tour Latinamerican card, was the one who came closest to his goals. He passed the cut and was at the end in the Top 10. But without being able to finish among the Top 6 who scored for the world ranking of golf and the Olympic games of Tokyo 2020. This ranking will be used to define the 60 Olympic players. Since the countdown in July, only Adilson da Silva, at the South African Tour (Sunshine) and Fernando Mechereffe (Web.com Tour) have scored points for the Olympic ranking.
Brazilians – With the result of this week, Becker, however, made a good leap in the PGA Tour LA prize-winning rankings. At the end of the season, the top 5 in the ranking can play on the Web.com Tour in 2019. Alexandre Rocha, sponsored by Golf Range Academy Campinas, who did not pass the cut by a shot, is still ahead among Brazilians, in 28th place, with $ 18,900 winnings. Despite he only played six tournaments this year. Rafael Becker, who played his ninth tournament, jumped to 30th with $ 18,800. Rodrigo Lee, another who missed the cut, added $ 18,400, also in nine tournaments, to 31st.
Rafa Becker made six birdies and no bogey
After a strong debut, second, on a day when Rafa made six birdies and no bogey, But he lost ground by throwing one up on the rainy second round. He rebounded the following days to add up to 276 (65-72 -70-69), eight under par. With 19 birdies, an average of almost five per round, Becker came in ninth in this category among all players. But unfortunately, he also made nine bogeys and a double bogey. And in spite of the Top 10, it was four strokes to match the three players who drew fourth, 13 under. It would be the last to score in this tournament for the world ranking.
Guilherme Oda strokes four under
Guilherme Oda, on the other hand, alternated rounds under and up to par, adding 280 (72-67-72-69) strokes, four under. The highlight was the four under on the second day. It put him in the weekend for the final rounds. Oda made 15 birdies and 11 bogeys in the week and was one step closer to entering the next week’s tournament, JHFS Open Brazil, at Fazenda Boa Vista, in Porto Feliz (Sao Paulo). Where he will once again play as a guest of the Brazilian Golf Confederation which is entitled to 24 invitations, some of which are mandatory for foreigners.
In addition, Alexandre Rocha, who played two rounds par of the golf course could not be qualified for the weekend. One of the Brazilian highlights were the amateurs Pedro da Costa Lima Pepe (75-68), and youthful Thomas Choi (71-72) both from Sao Paulo Golf Club. In the end, they had one up of the golf course in 2 days and missed the cut for two shots. Those closest to them were Axel dos Santos, from Fazenda da Grama, who were three up (73-72) injured by a moment of an uncontrolled debut. He made three double bogeys in a row, in holes 2, 3 and 4. His unique double bogeys in 36 holes. In the other way, he also made 11 birdies and eight bogeys.
Chileno Nicolas Echavarria the leader of the tournament
Victory – The winning Chileno Nicolas Echavarria was from the first day the leader of the tournament. But as the Argentine Augusto Nunez closed the round with three consecutive birdies, it was close to a final play-off. Echavarria, who was playing in the last flight with him, had also to make a birdie for winning. It was the same putting distance as his adversary.
It was the first victory of Nicolas Echavarria, 24, on the PGA Tour Latinamerica. And his third as a professional player. He is the eighth Colombian to win on the PGA Tour LA. Following in the footsteps of his older brother Andres, champion of Colombia’s 2016 Classic. Nicolas won $ 31,300 and moved up to four in the ranking, led by American Tyson Alexander with $ 60,800.
Original in Portuguese from Ricardo Fonseca / Golfe.esp.br