From humble beginnings, Alejandro Tosti earns first TOUR card in magical fashion
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Argentina native wins Pinnacle Bank Championship with final-round 62
Written by Jimmy Reinman @PGATOUR
Some players take several years to reach the PGA TOUR, methodical and patient in their ascent to the highest level of professional golf. Some players take their moment and run with it.
Alejandro Tosti put himself in the company of the latter on Sunday, rallying from a six-shot deficit to win the Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna and secure his first PGA TOUR card in his rookie season on the Korn Ferry Tour.
The 27-year-old Argentinian achieved this lifelong dream by shooting the tournament course record at The Club at Indian Creek, a 9-under 62, when he absolutely needed it most.
“I still think that I'm dreaming,” said Tosti on Sunday. “The PGA TOUR for us is super far; it’s something that is just a dream, something that only a couple players from Argentina ever achieved … It's pretty amazing to achieve something that you dream and you worked so hard for all your life.”
“It's been an amazing day.”
Tosti’s day peaked on the 14th hole where he holed out for an eagle 2, jumping two strokes clear of John VanDerLaan for the lead and never looking back. It was, unquestionably, his moment.
Alejandro Tosti holes out for an eagle on No. 14 at Pinnacle Bank
To understand the gravity of Tosti’s atmospheric ascent, one has to zoom out on his journey as a young golfer from Rosario, Argentina.
Tosti was, and still is, the only member of his family to play golf. He first toyed with the game by hitting a ping pong ball with a charcoal stick, which he would hole into a plumbing drain.
Tosti caught the bug and decided to take the game more seriously, but a significant obstacle remained: his hometown was lacking in practice facilities. So a young Tosti would take the one-hour bus ride from Rosario to Perez, Argentina – most weekdays – to practice.
“I told my father at 9 years old I wanted to make it to the PGA TOUR,” Tosti said. “It was just something wild, really wild. But every step that I took from that moment on was towards my goal to get to the PGA TOUR.”
Alejandro Tosti interview after winning Pinnacle Bank
From there, it was dedication that guided Tosti along the road to success. A decorated amateur career awaited Tosti as he climbed the ladder of youth golf in Argentina.
He won the 2011 Argentine National Junior Championship, 2013 South Argentine Amateur Championship, 2013 Coastal Open and 2014 Argentine National Junior Championship, and he ascended to No. 1 in the Argentine National Ranking in 2014, earning him a spot in the 2015 U.S. Amateur.
One of Tosti’s proudest amateur moments was representing Argentina at the 2014 Eisenhower Trophy, where he finished in a tie for second with two TOUR pros, Australia's Lucas Herbert and France's Victor Perez, with the trio finishing three strokes behind individual medalist Jon Rahm. This endeavor was the most impactful early indicator that Tosti had what it takes to hang with the world’s best.
Being one of the more accomplished and lauded young Argentinians in the game of golf, Tosti elected to take his talents not too far from home. In 2014, Tosti enrolled as a freshman at the University of Florida, joining a Florida Gators golf program with plenty of South American influence that was ready to win immediately.
Tosti etched his name firmly into the history of an already storied golf program throughout his four years in Gainesville. He claimed four individual wins, with the crown jewel being medalist honors at the 2017 Southeastern Conference Championship in Sea Island, Georgia.
In addition to joining Billy Horschel among Gators to win the individual conference title, Tosti earned All-America First Team and All-SEC First Team selections that same season. Tosti would leave the program ranked third in school history in career scoring average (71,48), just ahead of Horschel (71.73), and only behind John Axelsen (71.28) and Camilo Villegas (71.21).
Tosti turned pro and headed to PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, where his train to the PGA TOUR left the station with speed. Tosti cut his professional teeth on that circuit from 2019 to 2022, winning the Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational in his first year. After two more solid seasons on the circuit, Tosti added another title in 2022, en route to a No. 5 finish in the Totalplay Cup standings that secured 2023 Korn Ferry Tour membership.
From humble beginnings, Alejandro Tosti savors his PGA TOUR moments
Tosti relished in the opportunity to move up to the next level, as he told Gainesville news outlet WCJB in 2022.
“I’ve played with so many guys that have already won on the Korn Ferry Tour and guys that have won on the PGA TOUR when I was college,” said Tosti. “So I believe that my golf game can do it and it’s just a matter of time and things coming together at the same time.”
That confidence translated on the course. The Korn Ferry Tour’s entire culture is centered around proving yourself, and Tosti did that in spades in his rookie season.
Tosti has recorded nine top-10s in 19 starts this season, including his unbelievable win at the Pinnacle Bank Championship to officially become #TOURBound.
Before the win to secure his promotion, Tosti made waves across golf for his performances. At The Ascendant presented by Blue, he tied a Korn Ferry Tour single-tournament record for total eagles with five, en route to a T4 finish that moved him to the verge of a TOUR card.
Tosti also played the TOUR’s Mexico Open at Vidanta on a sponsor exemption, winning a three-event points list for Latin players across the Korn Ferry Tour’s Latin America swing. In Mexico, Tosti grabbed attention from national media after he was seen using a unique eye-training method before one of his rounds.
Alejandro Tosti explains unique pre-round eye training at Mexico Open
Whatever he did worked, and Tosti finished T10 in his second career TOUR start. The writing was on the wall for what Tosti could achieve. It was only a matter of time.
Tosti will join four other players from his home nation with various TOUR status: Fabian Gomez, Tano Goya, Augusto Núñez, and 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge winner Emiliano Grillo.
As for Tosti, the sky is the limit as he embarks on his career at the highest level.
“You're burned so many times; you sacrificed so many things,” Tosti said, “and to see it pay off is really special.”