Cayetana Fernández shines in United States



by ANDREA GUSSONI

Cayetana Fernández shines in United States
© Getty Images Sport - Mike Ehrmann / Staff

A year later, Cayetana Fernandez García-Poggio returns to the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open in Spain to confirm the good feelings she left in her debut at the national open. Already at 17 years old, she was able to achieve a fifth place in the tournament that serves as the final of the Ladies European Tour (LET), in addition to competing for the victory against established stars of the Solheim Cup such as Caroline Hedwall, Linn Grant, Carlota Ciganda or Maja Stark.

At 18 years old she competes again against the LET professionals in the final event of the Race to Costa del Sol, and she does so as a first-year player on the Texas A & M University team and as number 2 in the world amateur ranking.

Cayetana Fernández, results

'Cata' has been standing out in lower categories for years, but her performance in the Open 2022 was as surprising as it is this year. The Madrid native has a special talent for golf and among other merits in recent months she has won world bronze alongside the Spanish team in the Team World Cup, in which she was also second individually; She won the under 18 World Championship in Canada and won the Toyota World Cup in Japan.

In April she finished fourth in the Augusta National Women's Amateur, which Rose Zhang won (the Spaniard was the best non-college finisher). None of this makes her dizzy. She is enjoying the process, although she acknowledges that landing her in Texas was not easy.

Although her sister Blanca - also a golfer - was waiting for her there to make the transition more bearable, she required an adaptation process. "I felt like I didn't have time to do everything," she confesses to MARCA, and explains: "In the US, training is very hard, especially at the beginning when you're not used to it.

In the morning, an hour of physical session at seven, plus three hours of golf in the afternoon and then tournament qualifications and a lot of travel. And the freshmen are required to attend a lot of talks." And, of course, we must add the Communication major classes.

The young player also points out about her golf training: "The training sessions are more intense than what she was used to in Spain and there is no possibility of skipping any of them. If you are not feeling well, you have to make up the session when you can.

"I have noticed a lot of physical improvement." Despite everything, Cayetana's message is clear: "Going to the United States has helped me mature a lot. Yes, I am a more complete player than a year ago. Every week that passes I learn something new in the tournaments and I recommend this experience to who can have the opportunity." To learn to bear the burden of everyday life, she relied on her sister Blanca de ella, with whom she shares a flat, "and on my teammates, who advised me." At Texas A&M they don't pay attention to the means, but if there is one lesson that 'Cata' has learned it is that "when you are new you have to be patient and you have to realize that you will have to stop doing some things for another time." "My greatest virtue is the straightness I have with my drive, I usually miss few fairways; the putt, which if I have the day I make many; and the long irons that I hit.

I have been with the same driver for three or four years and I do not change it, at least until it breaks or I stop trusting him." Regarding the current Spanish Open, she understands that she is no longer unknown and sets herself homework: "My expectations are high, so doing a performance like last year's is going to be complicated, but I already have the goal of at least doing the same." or better".

However, she does not forget that she is a guest at the tournament: "I simply have to try to play well. I come to take advantage of the opportunity to be surrounded by great players." One of her rivals in Marbella will be Carlota Ciganda, whom Cayetana deeply admires.

"She deserves everything that is happening to her and that in the Solheim she held back after her putt and playing against Nelly Korda. When she plays she does it with a lot of feeling," she says. The possibility of making the leap to professional before finishing university is not something he rules out, but it is not even considered right now: "I am all about living in the present, playing and seeing where it takes me.

I want to be in the United States all the time." as long as I can and continue learning as an amateur, because they offer me many things at the university. Going professional will happen when I feel ready, but you never know if an opportunity will appear. In principle my idea is to do the four years of university "he details.