Da Silva 'King of the Jungle' in Vietnam
Adilson da Silva shot a final round of 68 to reach -10 and seal a wire-to-wire triumph at Vinpearl Golf Nha Trang to close the gap to Peter Baker at the top of the MCB Road to Mauritius.
He started the day with a two-shot lead after rounds of 66 and 69, and he never let anyone get closer than that throughout the final day in Vietnam. He went out in level par with a birdie at 6 and bogey at 8, before starting the back nine with three red numbers in a row to reach -10.
His amazing progress was halted by a three-putt bogey at the par-3 13th, but he parred the next three holes and rolled in a superb 30-footer for birdie at the 17th to give himself a three-shot cushion up the last. His tap-in for par was greeted by cheers from the Vietnamese fans.
“It’s been such an amazing and wonderful week,” said the champion. “To win here, with so many nice people cheering for you and all they’ve done for us this week, is extra special.”
Four wins in one season equals a Legends Tour record, and Da Silva has been putting in the work to achieve his amazing success: “I don’t know what’s happening, but it is happening. I’ve been working really hard on my mental side, so that’s what has been helping me. My swing feels pretty much the same. Obviously, I’ve been working on things and trying to get better, but I think mentally I feel more comfortable.”
Da Silva has earned the nickname ‘the King of the Jungle’ this year with all four of his wins coming on tree-lined courses – the Riegler and Partner Legends in Austria, the Swiss Senior Open, the WCM Legends Open de France and this week in Vietnam. He is now just 264.2 points behind three-time winner Peter Baker in the MCB Road to Mauritius with 675 points available for the winner at next week’s season-ending MCB Tour Championship – Mauritius.
“Next week is going to be great,” he added. “Mauritius is such a wonderful place. I really love the course at Belle Mare Plage, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Scott Hend finished 2nd in just his second Legends Tour event, having won on his debut at the WINSTONgolf Senior Open in Germany in mid-September. The Australian looked like he’d blown his chances with three bogeys in the first four holes, but he came storming back with four birdies in a row from the 5th to go out in -1. Four more birdies on the back nine was enough for a best-of-the-day 66 to get to -7.
Michael Campbell, who started the day two shots back in 2nd place, equalled his best result of the year by finishing tied-3rd. The 2005 US Open champion registered 15 pars as he never really got going or applied too much pressure to the leader, with a bogey at 5 and birdies at 6 and 11 adding up to a 70.
Ricardo Gonzalez made an early charge with three red numbers in the first six holes and another at the 11th. A blemish at the 14th ended his chances of winning, but a birdie two at 16 was enough to finish alongside Campbell on -6. The Argentinian has climbed to 5th in the MCB Road to Mauritius.
Andrew Marshall followed up tied-16th and tied-9th results in his first two Legends Tour events since turning 50 in August by finishing 5th on -4. He had a turbulent final round of level par that featured five birdies and five bogeys.
Joakim Haeggman had a nightmare start with double bogeys at 1 and 6, but he fought back valiantly and a magnificent eagle at the penultimate hole helped him to recover for a 72 and 6th place. Baker signed for a 67 to climb into a tie for 7th with Jeev Milkha Singh on -2.
“Vinpearl extends our heartfelt congratulations to worthy winner Adilson da Silva,” said Juergen Doerr, CEO of Vinpearl Joint Stock Company. “It has been a special highlight to host the Vinpearl DIC Legends Vietnam 2023, which has provided a unique opportunity for spectators and amateur players to meet and even compete with icons of the golf world gathered here in Nha Trang, Vietnam.”