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Star amateur shines as tour makes its debut in Brazil

April 9, 2013

Twenty-two-year-old Rafael Becker lived up to his star billing as the hottest property in Brazilian golf with a storming finish to the biggest tournament of his brief career.

The São Paulo-born player was the only amateur to make the cut and shot five under on the final day of the Brasil Classic presented by HSBC to finish -8 in a tie for 26th place. The event was won by fellow South American golfer Benjamin Alvarado from Chile.

Becker was invited to play in the $675,000 Tour event in São Paulo by the Confederação Brasileira de Golfe (CBG) and HSBC after becoming the highest ranked Brazilian amateur ever.

And to help him prepare for his biggest test yet HSBC flew in international golf legend Gary Player for a series of golfing masterclasses, covering everything from mental preparation to diet and fitness plus all aspects of the game from tee to green.

Becker, who celebrated his birthday this week, said: "This is the biggest tournament of my life and the time we spent with Gary Player was definitely a big help - he said some interesting things about the way you think and go about your business and I took that with me this week.

"It was unbelievable - I played with a PGA Tour champion today (David Gossett) and saw how he handles himself and it's a learning experience. I'm planning to stay amateur this year and will see where I go from here."

Giles Morgan, HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship & Events, said: "As a long term international sponsor of golf, we pride ourselves on opening up a world of opportunities for people and Rafael has seized this opportunity with both hands.

"We have tracked his career and when he broke into the top 100 amateurs in the world we wanted to help continue his development which is why along with the CBG we invited Rafael to play in this groundbreaking new event on the Tour.

"With Rio 2016 fast approaching we want to help Brazil maximize the Olympic opportunity which is why we have sponsored the event and why we arranged for Gary Player to come to São Paulo. We wish Rafael all the best and he clearly has a great future."

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