Blog 294, 2/5/14 - Rawitzer Gearing up for Latino Tour

Matt Rawitzer
When did you decide to try for the PGA Latino Tour?
I decided to give it a shot in November.
Did you have to qualify for the qualifying school, or were you somehow exempt?
QSchool was not something I needed to qualify for. It is open to anyone.
Why did you choose the Lima Qschool instead of the one in Florida?
I chose the Lima Q-School for a couple reasons. First of all, it would be a much better experience to see a new country and culture, and it would also be a more accurate representation of what I would see on the tour itself.
Had you been to Peru, indeed anywhere in South America, before?
I had never been to South America at all before my last trip, so everything was new to me. Fortunately I will be seeing a lot more of it in the coming year.
What were your hopes/expectations?
My expectations were to finish in the top 20 and earn full status on the tour. While I finished just outside of that number, it was still a worthwhile trip.
How did you prepare?
I prepared by practicing at my home club, The Plantation Golf Club, in Indio, CA as well as playing a Golden State Tour event the week before.
Did you like the course in Lima?
I thought the course was a great test. While it was only about 6,700 yards, it had very undulating greens and was very narrow with exceptionally difficult rough. This made it require the players' full attention at all times. It reminded me of something you would see in Hawaii, with Bermuda grass and fairly mountainous terrain.
Where did you stay and how long before the tournament started did you arrive in Lima?
I stayed at a local hotel about a 20-minute taxi ride from the course, and arrived in Lima three days before the event started.
You finished T28. Did you feel you played well?
I felt like my ball-striking was extremely poor, and I gave away too many shots on fairly basic errors. On the other hand, my wedge game and putting from 20 feet and in was as good as it has been for as long as I can remember, which kind of saved me.
What is your status on the Latino Tour and how many events do you think you will play?
I have conditional status that is on the higher side. My conditional number is 22, which should get me in a good number of events, although I cannot say exactly how many.
What other events will you play in besides Latino Tour tournaments?
I'll also play in a few etour West events in Southern California.
The Latino Tour goes to some interesting places - Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico. Which are you most excited to visit?
Definitely Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. That event is not until November, but it will be awesome to see the next host city of the Olympics. Argentina will be great as well, because they have (supposedly) the best beef in the world.
How will you plan all the travel, where will you stay?
My dad and a generous Plantation member who is a former pilot will be helping me plan my travel. I will mostly stay at host hotels unless the tournament offers host housing.
Isn't this all a bit daunting?
A little, but it's way more exciting than it is daunting. I have something to play for and can progress my career with tour cards being available. Plus, I get to see some amazing new places around the world.
Where do you hope to be at the end of the year?

Top five on the money list.

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