One hot Saturday afternoon in June, we find Ariel Cañete, the Argentine player who earned the number one spot in NEC Series PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s Order of Merit during the inaugural season, on the practice area of the TPC Wakefield Plantation.
The veteran player along with his friends Clodomiro Carranza and Benjamin Alvarado had not made the cut in the 2013 Rex Hospital Open and were at the practice range looking for some answers.
Cañete has made seven cuts so far, but is still searching for the result that could change the course of this season. His best finish on the Web.com tour so far was for 11th at the 2013 South Georgia Classic presented by First State Bank and Trust Company. A few weeks earlier, he had his first top-15 finish at the Brazil Classic where he scored his best round of the year, a 65 during the final.
Ariel Cañete, or “Toro", told us how he felt after the first half of the year, "At the moment I’m Ok, although I haven’t done anything great but, I'm happy. It's my first year and I'm practicing hard to find a good week and to move up in the rankings."
Regarding playing on this new Tour, the Argentine said, "You already know what is coming, everything is very well prepared and the course conditions are perfect. I have not played in the USA for a long time, but I knew what I would find. Something that did strike me was the high level of play all the guys have out there. There are not only experienced players but also many young people who make this tour very competitive. "
Ariel takes comfort in traveling with the group of Latinos who broke onto the Web.com Tour this year as well. "Luckily we are many, we get along and so it becomes easier. We go out to eat in groups and that helps because being without family and away from home is the toughest part," said Ariel. Cañete is married and has a daughter but both are still living in Argentina.
On the importance of having the ability to use NEC Series PGA TOUR Latinoamérica as a springboard to access the Web.com Tour, Ariel said, "It's very good, the chance to go through PGA TOUR Latinoamérica opens a huge door and it is critical that we take advantage of it. Five players are able to join this Tour every year from NEC Series PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and to have that possibility is very valuable. "
When discussing how the level of Latin American golf compares to golf in the United States, Cañete said, "I think if there is something missing in our region it is the level and the possibility of training that they have here in America. There are courses in perfect condition everywhere and all the players can get super-prepared for the best. We don’t have that in Latin America. Here (in the U.S.) if you're not on the Web.com Tour, you have mini tours and you can make your way up. If the PGA Tour Latinoamérica continues to grow we will narrow the gap with the Americans”.
After grabbing a quick bite, Cañete promptly returned to the practice area. He does not want to leave anything to chance. Many have struggled to find this opportunity and Cañete just wants to maximize his. That Sunday afternoon, he traveled to Indiana in hopes of achieving his dream of having a week that can change lives, "It is important to build momentum every week because it gives you confidence, but the main thing is to have at least a good week to be near the big goal". Ariel Cañete thoroughly is focused on going after that goal.