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News from Olavarría, Province of Buenos Aires Argentina

The boy who entered a golf course for the first time at the age of 6 in Carlos Guerrero Park, guided by his father, now shares the tee with the best golfers in the world on the fabulous PGA Tour.

“I feel that I am in the place I want to be” celebrated yesterday from Orlando (Florida) Facundo Delapenna, a few hours after having debuted last weekend as a caddy for Estanislao Goya from Cordoba at the start of a new season on the main golf circuit professional.

It materialized in the Fortinet Championship, in Napa (California), but it was a long road to get there and it wasn’t that long ago.

“Tano” Goya, with Facundo Delapenna at his side, secured a “card” among the world golf elite on September 5, after finishing 5th in the outcome of the “Korn Ferry” Tour in Newburgh, Indiana.

For Facu nothing came as a touch of fortune. His passion for golf distanced him from Olavarría, he added hours and hours of training, whole days walking the fairways and years of study to occupy this privileged place.

“Because of my old man, who took me from a very young age, I was always passionate about golf and this is the culmination of a hard-working golfing process, of preparing myself a lot for the decision to come to study in the United States with a golf scholarship” story.

With the visit of his father (former right-back for Estudiantes in the early ’80s), recently arrived at his home in the Florida peninsula, yesterday he highlighted the value of this decision: “It made me grow a lot personally, in I’m sorry. I feel like it made me change culturally to get where I am now, on the other side of the bag, but very happy to be where I am.”

Facundo left in 2014 and in parallel with his studies he played golf for Lindenwood University in Saint Louis (Missouri) until 2018. In the following two and a half years (as a professional) he had an important presence in the minor leagues of American golf and in several tournaments. of the PGA Tour Latin America. “I feel that all of this was very good preparation as a player; I also worked at the Hernán Rey Academy, which helped me a lot from a technical point of view, and at the university I had people who instructed us on field strategy,” he recalled.

“At 27 years old, I feel very complete in that sense, and the only thing left to do is keep putting him in; adding experience and learning from the best now that I have the opportunity,” he added.

The player was not filed, although the future thinks about it with variants: “I think I’m going to ask for a handicap again and I’m going to take it from another side”.

“I want to make the most of the knowledge that I am going to acquire by being next to the best players, the best coaches and the best caddies in the world, but to return to playing only at an amateur level and to have fun with my friends,” he anticipated.

His approach to Estanislao Goya was at a PGA Latin America tournament played in the Dominican Republic: “We shared a room with Alan Wagner, who is a good friend, in December 2020. After 7 or 8 months passed before we saw each other again, when I had decided stop playing because it’s very expensive if you don’t have a sponsor or people who support you” commented Facundo.

“It so happened that Alan went to live in the same building, ‘Tano’ asked him if he knew someone he trusted and wanted to work as a caddy to take in the second stage of the ‘Korn Ferry’. That’s where he called me in October of last year and since then we hit a lot of vibes and I feel that we both have the same vibe, in a good work team” he narrated.

For the Cordovan from Alta Gracia and for Facu, the “face to face” with the cream of world golf took place less than a month ago in Newburgh. “On my side it was a lot of learning, opening my head as much as I could and taking things from other caddies and other players. There are 25 tournaments, all different courses, all unknown and my job is basically to have all the necessary information so that when Tano needs it can provide it” he pointed out.

Before starting each commitment, Facu must have registered the falls of the greens, different lines from the tee -some more conservative, others more aggressive-, and all the knowledge of the course that is possible to provide it to Goya.

It is not enough to be a coach, but almost…

“I am like his court guide; also a mental support when he gets off, when he is getting tired or when moments of pressure appear, as happened in the last tournament of the ‘Korn Ferry’, which was at stake a lot. I feel that having a partner, a friend, a kid who works 120% adds up” he explained.

Interpreting what it is like to play under pressure can be understood in the way that Goya faced the end of the 21/22 season. “We felt that maybe with a little more work we could have secured the PGA card sooner, but the whole team came very well prepared at the end. The psychologist was also there the last 2 tournaments and I feel it was necessary to put him where he was.” Tano’ must be” highlighted Facu.

“A player with this much talent just needs to give in to his quality, really be him and let his body do the talking on a golf course. The whole team put him in an unbeatable position to get the card at the PGA and it ended up being a fin of a week of great enjoyment” he rescued.

Goya needed to finish sixth to secure that coveted card and finished fifth at Indiana. A bogey on the last hole would have placed him in 11th place and bye dream. But his nerves of steel prevailed, and Tano with the whole team agreed to a place that very few Argentine golfers got.

-For those who are not close to golf, what is it to obtain a PGA Tour card?

“It’s like qualifying to play the Champions League -Facu compared-; the best of the best. Among millions and millions of golf players, the 150 best players in the world play it and in history only a dozen Argentines”.

Kicking off this weekend at the Fortinet Championship in Napa, California, he called it “impressive.”

“A very demanding course, very hard greens. Perhaps we need a bit of adaptation, because in the Korn Ferry and in the other he had a lot of birdies, a lot of shots to the hole, a very aggressive golf; in the PGA you have to respect a little more to the course, play in the middle of the green, have a more conservative strategy and take advantage of the opportunities that the course offers” he analyzed.

Appealing to that boy who entered the Estudiantes golf course at the age of 6, Facundo confessed his feelings on sharing this season with the greats of world golf. Some childhood idols of him.

“I feel that I am in the place that I have to be, because it is the place where the best in what we do are and it is a place where I can learn a lot. In this place, the only thing left is to learn, get the best out of it and apply it at my job most of the time” he reflected.

The great idol of Facu for now is not stepping on the golf courses. “Obviously I was always a big fan of Tiger Woods, who is not playing right now, but I think being hand in hand with a legend like him is going to be my first dream come true,” he acknowledged.

For starters, it wasn’t bad at all. Over the weekend she shared the court with Rickie Fowler. “I was always struck by his way of being, his style. This week I had him by my side and I really enjoyed being on the rope with him,” he stressed.

There will be time to do it with other references, such as the Irishman Rory McIlroy and the Spanish Jon Rahm. “Meeting Rory would be a very nice experience,” he remarked.

But Facu will be left with the desire to share the courts with other heroes who left behind the fabulous prizes of the Arab LIV Tour, such as Dustin Johnson, Sergio García, the South African Louis Oosthuizen, the Spanish Sergio García, the German Martin Kaymer, the South African Charl Schwartzel, plus the British Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.

There’s also not much time to mourn. He’s got a free weekend coming up, but he’s taking some courses to improve his grenn reading.

In between, a recess: on Friday, with their father as a special guest, they will travel the three hours by car that separate their home in Orlando from Miami to attend the pre-World Cup friendly match between Argentina and Honduras at the Hard Rock Stadium. And on Sunday he will take a flight with Goya and the whole team from Florida to Jackson (Mississippi) to play the prestigious Sanderson Farms Championship.

Because this adventure is just beginning.

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