The home fans in the Olympic golf men’s event need to be up early to cheer on their only hope… Sunshine Tour veteran, Adilson da Silva
At 7.30am Brazilian time on Thursday 11th August, Brazil’s very own Adilson da Silva will hit the first competitive shot in Olympic golf for 112 years as he heads out first with Canada’s Graham DeLaet (a Canadian won gold last time round in 1904!) and Korea’s Byeong-Hun An. But who is Adilson da Silva?
Well, da Silva is a 44-year-old born in Santa Cruz do Sul in Brazil who turned pro in 1994 and is currently ranked 288th in the world. He made his European Tour debut in the 1995 Lexington South Africa PGA where he finished T67th and earned €556.
Since then he has played 93 European Tour events in total, achieving three top tens over the course of 21 years, most recently in this year’s Hero Indian Open. But his career has largely been made in South Africa, where he also now lives.
Da Silva has been a Sunshine Tour regular for two decades now, during which time he has been a model of consistency, notching up 12 victories and claiming the record for the most consecutive number of cuts made at 43. He currently stands 18th on the 2016 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit have finished top five in three of his last four events, so he is carrying a bit of form into Rio.
Brazil has two women competing in the ladies’ event – Victoria Lovelady who currently lies 63rd on the LET Order of Merit and Miriam Nagl who currently ranks 71st.
Neither of Brazil’s other two most prominent male golfers – Alex Rocha and Lucas Lee – were ranked anywhere near high enough to be eligible for Rio. Rocha, who competed in Europe for several years, played two full PGA Tour seasons in 2011 and 2012 before dropping back onto the Web.com Tour. He is currently ranked 685th in the world.
Lucas Lee, who gained his full PGA Tour card for 2016 after finishing Top 25 on the 2015 Web.com Tour, is currently ranked 560th in the world. He has made five cuts from 12 starts this year with a best finish of T36th in the Zurich Classic.