RIO DE JANEIRO, BRASIL –OCTOBER 16, 2013.
After resuming its 2013 season last week in Puerto Rico, the NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica has made it to Gavea Golf & CC in Rio de Janeiro for the 60th playing of the Aberto do Brasil presented by Credit Suisse Hedging-Griffo (the Brazil Open). This storied tournament joins the Tour for the second consecutive year and marks the first arrival of a PGA TOUR related event to Rio, the city that will welcome golf back to the Olympic Games in less than three years.
The tournament’s 60th playing. For almost seven decades, the Aberto de Brasil has attracted some of the top names in golf – an impressive list of winners that includes Sam Snead (1952), Billy Casper (1958 & 1959), Peter Alliss (1961) Gary Player (1972 & 1974), Raymond Floyd (1978) Jerry Pate (1980), Hale Irwin (1982) and six-time winner Roberto De Vicenzo (1954, 57, 60, 63, 64 & 1973). Brazil’s first golfing star Mario González owns the tournament record with eight career wins (1946, 48, 49, 50, 51, 53, 55 y 69).
Gavea Golf & CC, unique and full of history. Gavea Golf hosted first playing of the Aberto do Brasil in 1945. Its golf course is very unique par-69 that is only 5,915 yards long and provides some stunning views of this part of Rio. It features six par-threes, nine par-fours and three par-fives. The 18-hole record belongs to Hall of Famer Gary Player who carded the first 59 ever made in South America to win the 1974 Aberto do Brasil – at the time the course played as a par-68.
- Gavea Golf & Country Club
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Par-69 (34/35) 5,915-yards
- 18-hole record: Gary Player, 59 (-9) 1974 Aberto do Brasil
- 72-hole record: Hale Irwin, 265, 1982 Aberto do Brasil
- Club Foundation: 1921
- Golf Course designed by: Major Ross Barthe and Arthur Morgan Davidson
- Web Page: http://www.gaveagolfclub.com.br
Amateurs then, professionals now. Gave Golf hosted the Copa Los Andes, the South American Amateur Team Championship, in 2011. Several young players who have made it to the pro ranks over the last couple of years had the chance of playing that event and are part of this week’s field as well. Among them the Brazilian trio of Felipe Navarro, Daniel Stapff and Rafael Becker, who claimed the title, Argentina’s Jorge Fernández-Valdés and Franco Romero, Colombia’s Marcelo Rozo and Venezuela’s Rafael Guerrero.
Player to watch, Alex Rocha. “As a PGA TOUR member, saying that I’m playing a PGA TOUR event in Brazil is fantastic. This is the second time this is happening this year, because we played a Web.com Tour event in Sao Paulo earlier and that was a thrill. I mean this is the PGA TOUR coming to Brazil… For me as a Brazilian this is spectacular and I’m looking forward to it,” said top Brazilian golfer Alexandre Rocha.
A PGA TOUR member in 2011 and 2012, the 35-year old Rocha has made it to Rio following a season in which he finished No. 33 on the Web.com Tour – just outside the top 25 who earned the PGA TOUR card at the end of the regular season.
“I’d love to say that I’m going to play great. I’ve been a little bit inconsistent over the last two or three months. I’ve prepare well and I hope that the inconsistency goes away, at least for a week and I’m hoping to play a good tournament,” added Rocha.