From humble beginnings, Alejandro Tosti ready to make Latin America proud at Mexico Open
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Earned spot as top Latin points earner in Korn Ferry Tour’s early-season Latin America swing
Written by Adam Stanley @adam_stanley
When Alejandro Tosti was 8 years old, his father helped show him how to ride the bus to the golf club. There wasn’t enough time during his break at work to take his son and get back. That bus ride was an hour for the young Tosti. He’d do it, every day. Practice for a couple of hours. Once he was done, he would call and tell his mom he was done. She would wait for him at the bus stop back near his home.
It's been a long road for Tosti, but this week at the Mexico Open at Vidanta he’ll be teeing it up, again, on the biggest stage in golf. It continues to be a dream come true.
“That kid always dreamed on that bus ride to be able to have a chance to play on the PGA TOUR and now it’s a reality,” said Tosti. “It’s happening, so just enjoy it and try your best.”
Alejandro Tosti savors his moments on the PGA TOUR
The 26-year-old earned his way into the Mexico Open via a three-event Korn Ferry Tour points list for Latin players, accruing the most points of eligible pros across The Panama Championship (T31), Astara Golf Championship presented by Mastercard (MC) and Astara Chile Classic (T7). He topped the list by just a single point over fellow Argentinian Nelson Ledesma, narrowly earning the spot with a final-round 67 in Chile. He has maintained the momentum with back-to-back top-25s at the Veritex Bank Championship and LECOM Suncoast Classic as he heads to Vidanta Vallarta for this week’s event.
Tosti has never received a sponsor exemption before, and he thought the Mexico Open would be a great opportunity for a Latin player to have a chance to compete on the PGA TOUR. When he was told that there were no more spots available, he still had in the back of his mind there might be a chance to play in the tournament.
“It came out I was one point over Nelson, and it was pretty amazing. By one point I was going to get an invite into the event,” said Tosti.
Tosti admits the last few weeks have been “very stressful” for him and his family. His father – who has recovered and is doing well – had a heart procedure during the week when he was in Chile. Although Tosti still tied for seventh that week, his career-best result on the Korn Ferry Tour, he says he “didn’t want to be on the golf course” then.
“I was not there mentally,” he admits. “But with my father getting better I started to feel like (getting into the Mexico Open) was pretty special.”
Tosti called his mom first when he got the news. He told her he was playing again on the PGA TOUR, and he was going to have a special opportunity to compete against the best in the world. Tosti previously made the cut at the Sanderson Farms Championship in the fall. He made his PGA TOUR debut at the Puerto Rico Open last March.
Monday qualifier Alejandro Tosti makes first TOUR cut at Sanderson Farms
“I missed the Monday qualifier for the Puerto Rico Open by one shot this year and that event was my first PGA TOUR tournament. I feel like I want to represent Latin America well and this is a great opportunity for me to be surrounded with Spanish people and … my blood. My Latin people,” Tosti said with a smile. “It’ll be amazing to be in Mexico for my third PGA TOUR tournament.”
Tosti was born in Rosario, Argentina – about three hours from Buenos Aires – and says he has plenty of family support back home. He is the youngest of four kids and his brothers would always protect him, he says. Tosti started playing golf after watching the Masters in 2001. He was obsessed with all sports but there was something special about that week, he recalls, and after watching Tiger Woods win his fourth consecutive major, he and one of his brothers grabbed a stick and a ping-pong ball and tried to hit it into a drain in the backyard. Then they’d try to hit it toward the leg of a table or into the gap between the fridge and the kitchen cabinet. His home became his course.
After a couple of weeks, when he was just 6, he told his parents he wanted to play golf for real. They were not motivated to help, since they knew nothing of the sport. They called a few private clubs in their town, but the only one that would answer and have Tosti come out and play was the public course an hour’s bus ride away.
“That’s where I started with a coach,” said Tosti, “and from that day on I never stopped.”
From a bus ride dreamer to the PGA TOUR, Alejandro Tosti is ready to make Latin America proud at the Mexico Open.