Augusto Núñez is headed to the PGA TOUR!
July 18, 2022
By Macarena Marañón , PGATOUR.COM
- July 18, 2022
- 2019 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit winner Augusto Núñez will be a PGA TOUR rookie next season. (Design by Elise Tallent/PGA TOUR)
It has been 10 years since Augusto Núñez decided to test his luck as a professional golfer after years of caddying. A decade later, having paved his way through PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and the Korn Ferry Tour, he is bound to begin his first PGA TOUR season in September.
With a T5 at last week’s Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS, the 29-year-old from Tucuman, Argentina, has crossed the fail-safe threshold of 875 points to secure his first PGA TOUR card via the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points List. He will receive his TOUR card upon the conclusion of next month’s Regular Season-ending Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna in Omaha.
This fall, Núñez will bring his family – wife Dini and daughter Lujan – to the PGA TOUR.
“Dream come true,” reflected Núñez of cementing his first TOUR card. “It’s every kid’s dream, to make it and play with the greats. Immense joy.”
Núñez’ path began in the town of Yerba Buena as a family affair, choosing to follow in his father’s footsteps, just like his brothers had before him, and becoming a caddie at the Jockey Club de Tucuman.
“I was 14 or 15 years old when I went to the club for the first time to caddie,” Núñez said. “I saw the North Open and it lit something in me. I caddied for about four or five years before a friend took me to Buenos Aires in 2012. By that time, I was all-in, and I turned pro shortly thereafter when I started playing on the Argentine Tour.”
His PGA TOUR Latinoamérica debut came in 2013, where he not only made the cut in three of his four starts but also notched two top-25s, in addition to two top-10s on the Argentine Tour. A year after that, he earned conditional status on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, and he finished No. 17 on the 2015 Order of Merit.
The patience he cherished and long hours on the range continued showing their results, earning him not only his first win in 2016, but Korn Ferry Tour membership for 2017.
“It keeps you on your toes,” Núñez said. “Being a part of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica gives you the chance to compete all the time against great players, which readies you for the Korn Ferry Tour, and by the time you get here you continue competing and learning and just getting better to make it to the PGA TOUR.”Núnez claimed his first pro victory at the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica's 2016 Flor de Caña Open in Nicaragua. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
Up to this point in his career, the formula to his success has been a combination of patience, hard work … and fear.
“It has always been there for me, right at the beginning on the first hole and it comes back on the 18th hole,” the Yerba Buena native explained. “I take that fear and rush as a good thing. When I stopped feeling it back in 2017 and 2018, I lost my Korn Ferry Tour card. So when it’s not there, it is tough for me to play.”
The path to success in any career isn’t easy, and giving up often looks like a tempting option in the short run. In 2018, Núñez lost his status on the Korn Ferry Tour after just nine made cuts in 20 starts. That was the first time he considered a potential career change.
“I wasn’t playing well,” Núñez said. “I had just lost my father-in-law who had always had my back since day one. He always said, ‘Wherever you go, you go with the truth and with your head held high.’
“His death really took a toll on me, and so I considered quitting. It took a while to get there, but I refused to; I couldn’t do it. I told myself to just keep trying until I got where I wanted to be, like he always told me to do.”
Honoring his father-in-law’s memory, that’s exactly what Núñez did. Upon his return to PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, he crowned himself a champion twice and won the 2019 Order of Merit, earning a fully exempt status for the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour season.
Proving the importance of a strong team, when remembering his best anecdote on the course, it only took a heartbeat for him to think of one.
“I remember we were playing in Doral in 2019 with Seba Fernández, my coach, my everything really, he was the one that took me to Buenos Aires and set me up as a player,” Núñez said. “It was the last event of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season and I was leading on the last hole by two. I had hit a good tee shot; the hole had an island green, we were doing the math and I asked him, ‘What if I lay it up right before the water, get us a good 60-, 50-yard shot,’ and he just looked at me dead in the eye and said, ‘What did you just say? You expect to get on the PGA TOUR and play with Tiger like this? By laying up? No, you need to lose that fear. Make the shot.’”
Núñez lit up as he remembered and added, “I went for the green and we won.”Núnez holding the 2019 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Player of the Year trophy after his victory at the season-ending Shell Championship at Doral. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
In 2021, hardship stuck again as Núñez finished No. 76 on the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points List, missing the last spot in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals and the fully exempt status that comes with it. He once again considered quitting, but not for long.
“Golf is everything to me,” Núñez said. “It has given me everything. I got to know so many places, so many friends. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be without it. It is the sport I had loved ever since I was a kid. I couldn’t gather the courage to quit.”
And quit he did not. Quite the opposite. In the past decade, he has managed to place the Argentinean flag on top of the leaderboard four times.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, to place the Argentinean flag and my province of Tucuman as high as possible,” Núñez said. “It makes me really proud.”
His message to all young players in Yerba Buena, in Argentina, in the whole of Latin America that want to make it to the PGA TOUR and see it as something impossible, is loud and clear.
“Train hard and enjoy golf,” Núñez urges. “There is nothing you can’t do. As long as you try, you can do it. So just train hard and don’t lose your patience. Everything comes in the end.”
As for his next steps, he just wishes to continue doing what he is doing and enjoy the beauty of golf, to just keep working and pushing through, step by step. With patience, hard work, and pushing through fear.
He’ll do so on the PGA TOUR.