European Tour Makes Stop in Brazil


While the big news this week in professional golf will be centered around The Players Championship in the United States, life on the European Tour goes on as usual.
The tour will visit Brazil and the Sao Paulo Golf Club this week, site of the Sao Paulo Brazil Open. The tournament is the first in a two-part chain of events comprising the annual South American swing on tour. Part Two will find the tour at The Jockey Club for the Open de Argentina.
This week, however, it is Brazil that gets the nod.
Although the tournament is but in its second year in existence, the Sao Paulo Golf Club is owner to a rather long and fruitful history. The establishment dates back to 1910, when British Engineers founded it while constructing the Sao Paulo Railway. The course designer was Stanley Thompson.
Padraig Harrington took the inaugural edition of the Sao Paulo, but unfortunately will not be making the trip to defend his title. He, along with many other of Europes best, will be playing in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., competing for more than $1 million for first place at The Players Championship.
The purse there is a far cry from the $112, 000 available to the winner in Sao Paulo, but nevertheless, the event has attracted a quality field.
Scotlands Andrew Coltart will be on hand and vying for his second career victory on the tour to follow up his first win at the 1998 Qatar Masters. Other winners, such as Joakim Haeggman, Jose Coceres and Van Phillips will also be in attendance, as will young American Hank Kuehne. Kuehne, winner of the 1998 U.S. Amateur Championship, will be competing in Europe for an extended period following surgery on the bicep muscle in one of his arms.