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Aberto do Brasil presented by Credit Suisse -Hedging Griffo

Oct 14-20, Gavea Golf Club

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History and Facts of this Event

Ronaldo Francisco in actions this Friday afternoon at Gavea Golf & CC. Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR

Brazilian Ronaldo Francisco claims the halfway lead in Brazil

The new tournament leader has made only one bogey over the first 36 holes of the 60th Aberto do Brasil presented by Credit Suisse Hedging-Griffo

RIO DE JANERIO, Brazil (October 18, 2013) – Brazil’s Ronaldo Francisco shot 4-under-par 65 for the second day in a row to grab the lead halfway through the 60th playing of the Aberto do Brasil presented by Credit Suisse Hedging-Griffo. 

Holding his first outright lead ever on NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Francisco is having a pretty flawless performance at Gavea Golf’s par-69 course. He has made one eagle, seven birdies and only one bogey to set the pace at 8-under 130.

“I came to Rio in very good shape. I have prepared very well for this tournament, having won twice here in Brazil over the past few months. I went bogey-free today and the two times I hit green side bunkers I managed to make the up-and-down to save par. I think my short game was really strong today,” said the 42-year-old from Campinas, São Paulo this afternoon.

He leads by one over the Argentine duo of Paulo Pinto, who fired a second-round 63, and Alan Wagner, who shot a 65. The two were paired together and claimed the clubhouse lead playing in the morning. Florida’s Ryan Blaum matched Pinto’s best-of-the-day 63 to move into solo fourth.

Andres Echavarría made a good charge as well and trails the leader by three at the solo fifth. The Colombian was a little unlucky at the last hole, where he made bogey to post a 64 and miss closing the gap even more.

The outright leader by three following an outstanding round of 62 yesterday, Brazil’s Philippe Gasnier needed 10 more shots to make it through Gavia’s golf course today. He now joins five other players in a tie for sixth, four strokes behind the leader.

Watch Round 2 Highlights.


Cut. The cut came at 3-over par 141 and was made by 63 players from 13 different countries. Among them three Brazilian amateurs: Pedro Junqueira , Thiele and Luis Eduardo Vasconcellos . A total of 11 locals still are still in the race for the title at their National Open Championship.

Saturday. The third round will be played in twosomes, with all players starting off the first tee. The first starting time is at 8 a.m., while the last group, featuring tournament leader Ronaldo Francisco, will tee off at 1:10 p.m.

Weather. Cloudy. Temperatures 73-80 F. Winds SES 12 mph.

Argentine duo set the pace in the morning. Playing in the same group Argentina’s Paulo Pinto and Alan Wagner were the best players among those who started early. They finished the first half of the tournament in a tie for second.

Pinto carded a 6-under par 63, with an eagle, six birdies and a bogey, to move from a tie for 22nd. “I saved key pars on a couple of holes and that made a difference early. Afterwards, I hit the ball quite close and played the putter extremely well,” said the 33-year old from Cordoba who has made only one cut in four Tour starts this season.

Meanwhile, Wagner posted a bogey-free 65. “I think that (making no bogeys today) speaks good about my game plan and how well I execute it. This is a course where you will pay if you get distracted for only a second. You have to be very careful throughout the entire round,” said last year’s winner of the Roberto De Vicenzo Invitational Copa NEC.

Ryan Blaum. After missing the cut last week in Puerto Rico, Florida’s Ryan Blaum charged with seven birdies, including three in a row between holes 1 and 3, and only one bogey. After that 63 that matched the lowest of the day with Pinto, he spoke about the unique experience of playing Gavea’s 5,915-yard par-69.

“I have never played anything like it. Cordoba is maybe a little bit similar, but I’ve never seen anything like this. You know, six par-threes, that’s crazy, but it’s fun. It’s a fun golf course to play. Still, it’s very demanding and it doesn’t play as short as the yardage says, because you have to hit 3-wood or 2-iron off a lot of tees and then there are several second shots up hill, so it plays longer. It’s a very challenging golf course, not one you can take lightly,” commented last June’s Dominican Republic Open champion.

Andres Echavarría. The 25-year old from Medellin, coming off his first career win as a pro last month in Colombia, was enjoying a flawless round of six birdies and no bogeys through 17 holes. With only the par-five 18th left to play, he seemed to have a very good chance to keep charging. To his misfortune, his tee shot found the cart path and his ball bounced out-of-bounds. It cost him a bogey to finish the day on 64.

Philippe Gasnier. After taking a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica record three-shot lead after the opening round, Rio de Janeiro’s Philippe Gasnier had a difficult day four bogeys, one double-bogey and only three birdies. To make it even sour he missed a two-footer for birdie on 18 to shoot ten more than he did yesterday. The local slipped into a six-way tie for sixth and trails the new leader by four. Those paired with him didn’t have a good day either. His countryman Alex Rocha carded a 71 to slow into a tie for 24th, while Mexico’s José de Jesús Rodríguez had a very poor closing stretch, but saved the day with a birdie on 18 to make the cut right on the number.

Bogey- free rounds.

Francisco Ronaldo (Brazil) 65, Alan Wagner (Argentina) 65, Sebastián Salem (Peru) 67.

Notables missing the cut. The most notable among those who are done for the tournament is Argentina’s Jorge Fernández-Valdés, who missed just his second cut this season. Ranked No. 2 in the Order of Merit, Jorgito left Rio after posting a couple of 72’s to finish T77.

DQ. Sebastián Vázquez of Mexico was disqualified under Rule 14-3. While waiting for his turn to hit a shot early in the second wave, he inadvertently used an artificial device. He would have made the cut right on the line after finishing birdie-birdie. 

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