Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (October 17, 2013) – When looking for favorites to claim the Aberto do Brasil title this week in Rio de Janeiro, our experts set their sights on some of the locals and other up-and-coming starts from across the region.
Following last week’s results, a strong performance by Colombia’s Manuel Villegas allowed his countryman José Orlando Ascensio from Bogota’s El Tiempo to take the lead on our Expert Picks Standings. Ascensio moved five points ahead of Golf Channel Latin America’s Franco Longobardi.
Meanwhile, Gastón Saiz from Argentina’s La Nación was able to make some ground thanks to a good performance by Rafael Campos. Meanwhile, our Mexican friend who trusted once again on “El Camarón” Rodríguez did not capitalize as in other weeks, as the top man among “Los Cinco” has his worse performance of the season.
José Orlando Ascencio, El Tiempo Newspaper, Bogota, Colombia
Pick: ALEX ROCHA
I believe this can be a good week for Alex Rocha. He’s got the experience of having played on the PGA TOUR. He’s in his home country and he would give his best shot at his first National Open title.
César Rodríguez Otaola, Crónicas del Golf Editor, Mexico City, Mexico
Pick: JORGE FERNÁNDEZ-VALDÉS
Jorgito is consistently playing at a very high level for several weeks now, competing on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Canada. Once again, last week he showed us what he is made of claiming his sixth top 10 of the season. In Brazil, he’ll be playing a course with conditions that fit his game, such as the ones he found in Puerto Rico. In addition to that, he needs to keep his pace in order to try and cut “Camarón” Rodríguez lead at the top of the Order of Merit.
Franco Longobardi, Golf Channel Latin America Reporter
Pick: MANUEL VILLEGAS
He is playing extremely well. This season his golf game has reached a different level. Besides being one of “Los Cinco”, he is sixth in scoring average. He’s definitely a top contender.
Gastón Saiz, La Nación Newspaper golf writer, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Pick: JORGE FERNÁNDEZ-VALDÉS
Because of his consistency to finish in the top spots week in and week out, my credit remains open on Jorge Fernández-Valdés, who is coming off a very valuable fourth place finish in Puerto Rico. The Cordoba native holds the second spot in the Order of Merit and he knows that he has a very good shot at securing one of the top-5 spots at the season ending events in Argentina.
John Sutcliffe, ESPN Latin America Reporter and Anchor
Pick: ARMANDO FAVELA
The young Mexican came really close last week in Puerto Rico. I think he will carry his good momentum into this week’s event. It’s his time to shine!
THIS WEEK'S GUEST EXPERT:
Marco Frenette, GOLF CBG Life Magazine Editor
Pick: FELIPE NAVARRO
There are many talented Brazilians playing this week, but I bet on this talented young man, Felipe Navarro. He’s got a type of game that could help him pull this win. He can be aggressive enough to go for the pin, while showcasing a powerful and very under control swing. At the same time, he can play smart enough as he did when winning his first career title in Brasilia. Navarro definitely has the game that adapts perfectly to Gavea’s golf course.