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Come to Brazil - golf's next destination
Brazil is getting ready to stage the Olympics in 2016 but one sport which is taking baby steps in the football-crazy nation is golf, which has been re-introduced in the mega event after being last staged at the St Louis Games (USA) in 1904.
A new course is being constructed at the Reserva de Marapendi in the Barra da Tijuca zone, as Rio de Janeiro has only two championship courses, enough to suggest that a lot needs to be done to popularise the sport there.
However, one of the three Brazilians on the Asian Tour - Adilson da Silva - feels that his home country will be the next golfing destination just before the Olympics.
"The Brazil PGA is keen to develop the sport there. They have introduced new tournaments too but the infrastructure needs to improve to help it grow. Couple of good players have also come up like Alexandre Rocha, who is playing on the USPGA Tour, " Da Silva says.
"Players like Phil (Mickelson) and Ernie (Els) went to Brazil few years back to have talka trs with a few developers with their designs but not much interest was shown by the realty sector then. I am confident that with the Olympics coming to the country, they will pump good money to build good infrastructure and transform it into a golf city in next few years, " added the 10-time winner on the Sunshine Tour.
Da Silva, who represented Brazil instead of South Africa, his current country of residence in the Mission Hills World Cup last year, wants to win an Olympic medal on home soil. Brazil finished tied 23rd in the event.
"I spent 17 years of my childhood at Santa Cruz do Sul. It would be a dream come true if I could win a medal when Olympics arrive. I felt that nationalistic spirit and pride during the World Cup last year and will be overjoyed to represent the country in the Games, " said the 40-year-old, who finished tied 22nd at the Hero Indian Open last week in Bangalore.
COURSES IN BRAZIL
RIO DE JANEIRO:
Itahanga Golf Club, Gavea Golf & Country Club
Brasilia Golf Club
Sau Paulo Golf Club, Clube de Campo de Sau Paulo, Sao Fernando Golf Club
RIO DE JANEIRO:
Banana Golf Club, Golden Greens, Buzios Golf Club & Resort, Teresopolis Golf Club
FPG Golf Centre, Santos Sao Vicente Golf Club
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