En Oklahoma State University and at the NCAA championships, Eugenio López-Chacarra is known as the ‘Wonder Boy’an alias that he has earned partly thanks to his golf, partly thanks to his enthusiasm and competitive spirit in the countryside. His achievements with the ‘Cowboys’ team have led him to be the number 2 in the world amateur ranking at present (the Japanese Keita Nakajima does not make the leap to professionals despite the fact that he has been playing against them in his country for years), although he has been the best by points this season.
This same curriculum, in which they shine three wins and eight ‘top 10’ This course has drawn the attention of the LIV Golf Invitational, the circuit that operates under the financial control of Saudi Arabia and has signed already established stars such as Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau or Sergio García. The LIV has not thought twice and just signed the promising spanish playerto abandon amateurism to debut next week at the Portland event.
López-Chacarra, 22, had planned to continue one more year at the university, but the proposal of the circuit directed by Greg Norman was “irrejectable”, according to the words of the new ‘signing’. The figures of the contract, which is for three years, have not been made public but, according to circuit sources, this is in the range of between 8 and 15 million of dollars. “My position is that of a player who is not a member of the PGA Tour or the DP World Tour and I have not made money while I have been an amateur, so I can play in this league without problems. This contract gives me peace of mind and ensures the future of my family I had already achieved everything as an amateur and now I am going to be able to gain experience as a professional,” the golfer told MARCA.
Eugenio, who has been elected to the All-American first team (composed of the best amateurs in the USA) for two years in a row, will finish his double career as Sports Management and Finance and Psychology in December. In addition, he leaves the Oklahoma team with the support of his coaches: “When I spoke with my coach, he told me not to hesitate to go, because I was going to play with PGA tournament winners and I was going to learn a lot”.
Of course, López-Chacarra is no stranger to the dust that the launch of the LIV has raised, but he accepts it and highlights the virtues of the new circuit: “They have given me an opportunity and my grandfather always told me that when a train you have to take it. On this circuit they didn’t just want legends, but young players with projection and Greg Norman has noticed me. Here the philosophy is that players start with a contract and that gives security, so it would not surprise me that players continue to enter. There will be people who do not like it and we are others who have chosen this option. The same if he had caught me in a position like Jon Rahm’s, well I wouldn’t have left, but I had to take this”.
In case anyone has any doubts that golf is at the forefront of Eugenio’s life, just ask his coach in Oklahoma about the hours he dedicated to improving in morning and afternoon sessions. “I only understand that the way to be successful is to work, and not stop until I become number one in the world and win some ‘major’affirms the young golfer, who does not give up on his dreams.