11th May 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Da Silva thrives in windy Sicily
Elements conspired in Adilson Da Silva’s favour as he tamed heavy winds on his way to an opening round of four-under-par 67 in the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open at the Verdura Golf Club in Sicily, Italy, on Thursday.
While the weather was pleasant in the morning in Agrigento, Da Silva, teeing off in the afternoon, had more than just the strong field to contend with. The wind picked up treacherously in the afternoon so that any stray shot or poor club choice is punished with some severity.
“I just kept calm and let the wind take the ball,” said the well-travelled Brazilian who has won 12 times on the Sunshine Tour. He made three birdies on the front nine – the back nine of the course – with no bogeys on the card.
“The putting came to the party for me on the front nine,” he said, “and that always helps. I just tried to work with the wind. Just hit your shots and trust that the wind is going to do the rest.”
Under the circumstances, his homeward stretch was measured if not outright solid. A single bogey cancelled out of the birdies he’d made on the back nine. That effort left him in a share of third at four-under 67 with the English trio Marcus Armitage, Daniel Brooks and Andy Sullivan, along with Spain’s Scott Fernandez while Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard and England’s Ryan Evans led by two.
“When I lived in Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal the wind blows really hard some days,” he recalled, “so, I have experience in the wind. I like it. My natural shot is low anyway, so I feel comfortable with the wind. I just drove the ball well and kept myself in play. I gave myself a lot of chances to get my second shot on to the green.”
Now, an experienced campaigner like Da Silva, who has competed in Asia, Africa, and America among many other parts of the world, will know the importance of staying focused, especially when weather conditions seem unfavourable.
Da Silva’s fellow Sunshine Tour member, Thomas Aiken, finished a shot behind Da Silva with Trevor Fisher Jr and Christiaan Bezuidenhout among those who finished round one in the top 30.