São Paulo, BR (October 6, 2012) – Clodomiro Carranza made a strong comeback on Saturday to defeat Mexico’sJosé de Jesús Rodríguez in a playoff hole for the title of the 59th Brazil Open presented by Credit Suisse Hedging-Griffo. The tournament was the first to go beyond the 72nd hole this season on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
The 30-year old from Rio Cuarto, Argentina entered this final day trailing by six strokes, but made seven birdies and only one bogey for a 65 that took him to the top of the leader board at 15-under par 269. Rodríguez, 68, matched Carranza’s total after missing a two-footer for birdie that would have awarded him the title on the last hole.
The 18th, an uphill 312-yard par-four reachable from the tee, hosted the overtime session and provided plenty of excitement. Carranza got the early advantage, but missed an eight-footer for birdie that would have closed the deal right away. In order to extend the playoff Rodríguez needed to sink a five-footer for par, but he missed and settled for second.
“I have worked very hard to accomplish something like this. The hard work is paying off and that makes me extremely happy,” said the winner, who claimed a US $23,400 check to move into the fourth spot on the Tour’s Order of Merit.
“When I reached 18 with a chance to get to 16-under and missed my birdie putt, I thought I had let it slip away. Then I saw Rodríguez make a great sand save and the title looked even further away, but when he missed that putt I thought I had been given another chance and I was able to take advantage of it,” commented Carranza about the drama that unfolded at the 72nd and 73rd holes.
Today’s playoff was the fourth of his career of ten years as a pro and it helped him improve his record to two wins and two losses. A European Tour member in 2010 and a Tour de las Americas’ winner in 2008, Carranza was among the players to watch this season on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. With this victory under his belt he now becomes one of the frontrunners for the Order of Merit’s top 5 spots.
Setting the Sao Fernando Golf Club’s new course record at 9-under par 62, Argentina’s Matías O’Curry ended up claiming the solo third. His amazing performance of eight birdies, an eagled and a birdie gave him the outright lead for a few minutes halfway through the afternoon.
“It was crazy and I enjoyed it a lot,” said O’Curry, who broke a record of 63 that belonged to Paraguay’s Angel Franco. Still fresh from his first Tour win only two weeks ago at the Arturo Calle Colombian Open in Bogota, the 30-year old remains third on the Order of Merit, right behind his countrymen Tommy Cocha and Ariel Cañete, who hold the top two spots in their respective order.
Rafael Campos, the 24-year old Puerto Rican who led for the first three rounds, was unable to keep his good pace and carded a 76 that featured double-bogeys on the last two holes. He ended up tying for fourth with Colombia’s Andrés Echavarría, 67, Chile’s Christian Espinoza, 69, and Argentina’s Jorge Monroy.