Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño

Latest tweets

Hi everyone. I’m writing to you from the up in the air, destination Cleveland, Ohio, where I’ll play in the first of four tournaments that make up the Web.comTour Finals. And I say we will play because I’ve got Julian Etulain sitting here to my right and Erik Compton behind me. All three coming from Miami.

Three golfers who’ve had very different seasons, but all with the same goal: to compete in the PGA Tour 2016-17 season. Julian, as some of you know, already has his spot secured in the PGA Tour after having finished in the top 25 of the regular Web.com Tour season. His goal throughout these weeks is to try to improve his position within that top 25 in order to improve his ranking going into the first few tournaments of the season. In mine and Eric’s case, to try to finish among the top 25 in accumulated money in these four tournaments and thus to recover the card we lost, he a few weeks ago and I this past 2015. 

As you’ll see, I have four crucial weeks ahead, probably the most important of the year, which will dictate the future, short term and mid term. The truth is that I’m really excited and have lots of energy going into these important dates. I’ve played a lot and pretty well throughout these past months and I think I’ve taken steps in the right direction. 

As far as the technical aspect, I’m hitting the ball really well. My game with the wedges has improved immensely since the last time I wrote, even starting to turn into one of the stronger aspects of my game. Additionally, my coach Randy will be with me this week and he’ll help me fine tune certain things, such as the drive and the approach, which have been a bit erratic in the past few tournaments.

As far as the putt, I got a really great crash course in putting in Portland with Ron Stockton who helped me out a lot. And it’s probably the putt that kept me from finishing higher up in the tournaments this year. I was lacking consistency, a very necessary part of the game in order to finish with low-scoring rounds like those that the Web.com Tour winners do.

Physically I’m like a rock. I’ve forgotten about hip and back problems ever since February when I started to work with Michael Garrett, my English physical therapist who is based in Florida.

My mind is also in a much better place. The work I’ve done with Arturo Tenacio has been paying off ever since we started working together this past April. I don’t even recognize myself sometimes on the course, it’s as if I were a different player!

I don’t think I ever told you about the time I met Arturo. Where we live, in Key Biscayne, there’s a big congregation of Spaniards which is why every year there’s a small parade held on the eve of Three Kings day, where the kids have the opportunity to see the Three Kings and I take advantage of the occasion to stuff myself with King cake, my favorite sweet. Imagine my surprise when, amidst the struggle to avoid possessed mothers from cutting in front of the Fernández-Castaño family which was impatiently awaiting the moment with the Three Magi from the East, one of the royal pages took off his beard, introduced himself as Arturo Tenacio and told me that we have friends in common in Spain. I didn’t give it much importance in the moment, but it was a few weeks later when I was talking to one of those friends in common and they told me that Arturo was a great sports psychologist who had worked with a lot of professional Spanish players. So a few months later, after not having made it past the qualifier of the Open de Puerto Rico playoff, I decided that if a sports psychologist suddenly appears in your life as a royal page that it was a divine sign that I couldn’t let pass me by. And here I am 9 months later with my head clearer and my mind sharper than ever. The best Three Kings gift in years!

This last week of rest at home with Alicia and the kids, those who I had gone a long time without seeing, helped me recharge my batteries (which I really needed after 5 consecutive weeks of competition) and to be able to take on these coming tournaments in good spirits, with lots of energy and most of all high hopes. We’ll also take the opportunity to have my son Gonzalo’s belated seventh birthday celebration and to enjoy the nice weather in Miami, since we were lucky enough to escape Hurricane Herminia that was originally said to affect southern Florida. 

A lot of you ask me about the ultra low scores seen in the Web.com Tour. There is no doubt that people play really well here but it’s also true that the courses aren’t the same as in the PGA Tour: they’re usually shorter and have very little rough, which is also a big part of where the low scores come from week after week. If I look at the scores throughout the year my stats reflect an average of 69.92 shots, the lowest in my 12 years as a professional. And it’s not that I’m playing better than ever, it’s the Web.com Tour courses. I’m not trying to say that in the Web.com we play on bad courses, far from it. Courses like the Victoria National GC, the Pumpkin Ridge GC and the Bogotá CC are some of the best courses I’ve ever played on! 

Of the four courses that we’ll play on in the finales, I am only familiar with the third in Columbus, Ohio, where I was disqualified last year for not signing my card and, despite this unpleasant incident, I really liked it. Course pertaining to Ohio State University, designed by Jack Nicklaus, is a very difficult and demanding course, with rough and fast greens. Nicklaus designed it so his alma mater team would be able to practice in the most difficult, most demanding conditions possible, and he achieved it by far, due to the fact that the tournament feels a bit like a US Open. I can’t say anything about the rest of the courses because I’m not familiar with them, but I’m sure they’ll be much “more course”, at least in the way they’re prepared and presented. Since we’re going into the finales, the preparation is more similar to that of the PGA Tour courses and I think that could be to my advantage. 

The seat belt light is on and the captain is on the loudspeaker announcing the descent into Cleveland. It’s time to close the laptop. I hope that the next time I write it’s with the PGA Tour card in hand. Thank you to all my readers!