An unforgettable experience
November 23, 2020
By Jorge Fernández Valdés, Special to PGATOUR.COM
Editor's Note: In the final installment, Argentine Jorge Fernández Valdés recaps his summer and fall playing in the U.S., on the LOCALiQ Series. Following the conclusion of the season-ending LOCALiQ Series Championship at TPC Sugarloaf outside Atlanta, the Cordoba native will travel to Miami to prepare for the restart of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season.
MIAMI, Florida—Last weekend was exactly four months since this LOCALiQ Series adventure began. I arrived with my Argentine friends in the United States with the aim of resuming the rhythm of competition and to feel active again. I wanted to experience that emotion you get from standing on the first tee when you’re starting a tournament. I was able to do that.
There were eight tournaments in three states, and we all hit many, many golf shots. The LOCALiQ Series was a success for all of us who were part of it. It was a Tour that brought together the best of the PGA TOUR’s International Tours. Bryson Nimmer, whom I had the opportunity to meet in Alpaharetta, Georgia, finished No. 1 on the points list, and his reward will be a playing spot in next year’s RBC Canadian Open.
I want to dedicate a couple of lines to Bryson in this my last blog entry. He deserves all the good that is happening to him. I know that finishing first in the ranking will be a giant boost to his career and will give him the confidence to achieve the goals he set. I truly hope he enjoys playing in that PGA TOUR event, and I hope to meet him again at tournaments in the future. I also think he should come play an event or two on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. I have no doubt he would have an amazing time!
Unfortunately, LOCALiQ Series Championship was not a good tournament for me. I started the event with an 8-over 80 in the first round and could never reverse the situation. TPC Sugarloaf is a course that requires you to be accurate from the tee, in addition to having fast greens with a lot of movement. I didn’t find my game, and I couldn’t get going.
Despite it being a week without a good result, I cannot deny that I am still happy with the marriage proposal I made to my fiancée, Martina. Golf didn’t take a back seat last week, but I do have to admit that I was a little more focused on enjoying the moment with Martina. She accompanied me all week, and we took the opportunity to eat a couple of days with different friends.
Last week we also took the opportunity to get to know a little more about the city. We went to a couple of good restaurants and toured a very old train station. We had a great time with Martina, who will stay with me these weeks in Miami (we arrived Sunday), she will accompany me to the two events of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and then we will return together to Argentina to spend the end-of-the-year festivities.
It's impossible not to feel a little nostalgic, to know the LOCALiQ Series season is over. In addition to the tournaments and competition, it was an incredible opportunity to get to know my compatriots better. Although I had already shared hotels and dinners with them on trips to Latin America, I feel that these months we have strengthened our relationship. Leandro (Marelli), Jaime (Lopez Rivarola), Andrés (Gallegos) and Tommy (Cocha) made this experience unique, and I will always be grateful to them. They made being away from home less difficult.
Starting this week, each of us will go in different directions, and we will meet again in December for the Shell Open in Miami and the Puerto Plata Open in the Dominican Republic as we restart the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season. I know that like me, they found in the LOCALiQ Series the pace of competition they wanted so much. In the midst of everything, it has been a year with more positive than negative things.
For my part, I will be with Martina and some of her family for a few days in Miami. We will take the opportunity to rest, and then I will resume practicing with an eye on these Tour events. I am looking forward to seeing all the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica players and staff again. Although several were part of the LOCALiQ Series, there are many others who I will have the opportunity to see after many months. I am excited for what is coming.
To all who were aware of this blog, I thank you for reading it. I wanted to tell you a little about my experiences, and I sincerely hope you had as much fun reading my stories as I did sharing them.