Sunday, April 7, 2013
Benjamin Alvarado takes Brasil
SAO PAOLO, Brazil -- Chile's Benjamin Alvarado shot a 2-under 69 on Sunday to win the Web.com Tour's Brasil Classic by one stroke at the Sao Paulo Golf Club.
Alvarado, the third-round leader, finished at 19-under 265 and edged South Africa's Dawie van der Walt (66) and was two shots clear of American Kevin Kim (68). It was the Web.com Tour's first event in Brazil.
"I'm just speechless," he said. "I don't have the words to explain how I feel."
Alvarado, the first player from Chile to win in the tour's history, found out just last week that he received a sponsor exemption into the tournament. Now the former Arizona State standout not only has tour status through 2014, he also took a big step toward the PGA Tour next year.
"I was just hoping to get into the top 25 this week so I could go to the next tournament," Alvarado said. "In the game of golf, you never know what's going to happen."
His first-place check for $121,500 moved him to No. 2 on the money list through the first five events.
Alvarado began the day up by three and without a bogey for his last 45 holes.
"I was a little bit conservative, yes," he said. "I had so much on my plate. It's different when you're trying to catch a player than when you have the lead. I started feeling nervous on the last four holes. Dawie was playing very good.
"He didn't miss any shots all day, and that was tough for me."
It set the stage for a dramatic finish at the downhill 398-yard, 18th hole. All three players attacked the pin with short irons and though Alvarado was only 12 feet away, he was still the first to putt. A birdie would end things.
"I was shaking so bad over that putt," he said.
Alvarado missed, which opened the door for the 30-year old van der Walt, who faced an 8-footer to tie but fell just short.
"I was expecting him to make that," Alvarado said.