Santiago De La Fuente rides momentum heading into the biggest week of his life
09 Apr 2024
by Justin Golba of

see also: The Masters Tournament, Augusta National Golf Club, Santiago De La Fuente Rankings

Santiago De la Fuente (Houston Athletics Photo)
Santiago De la Fuente (Houston Athletics Photo)

Santiago De La Fuente has had an impressive run over the last year, winning the Latin America Amateur and making the cut at the Mexico Open. 

Now, he will head to Augusta, Ga., to fulfill every young golfer's dream of playing in the Masters Tournament. 

De La Fuente shot a remarkable 6-under 64 in the final round of the Latin America Amateur to win and earn his spot in the field of the 88th Master’s Tournament.

“That weekend was one of the toughest I've ever had playing golf,” De La Fuente said. “I got really sick Friday night and woke up Saturday morning after not sleeping. I had some type of flu. Saturday, I knew, would be a grind.”

De La Fuente added, “I played phenomenal, 4-under, and bogey-free, but I was not feeling good at all. I went straight to be after my round.” 

He called the 6-under 64 final round his second-best round ever.

His best? He shot 60 in a tournament in Mexico when he was 16 years old. De La Fuente is currently ranked No. 38 in the Golfweek/ World Rankings

De La Fuente also earned a sponsor exemption into the Vidanta Mexico Open, where he not only made the cut but was T9 entering the weekend. 

“That week showed me a lot about where my game was against those guys,” De La Fuente said. “Playing in the Mexico Open is super long, and you have to hit it well with your long irons. That helped me prepare for the Masters (Tournament), and it helped me realize I am in good shape, and it's the little things I have to get better at.”

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He has played Augusta National five times total with his last time being a strictly research mission.  

“I was just doing homework for the tournament,” De La Fuente said. “I was not really playing, but I was taking a lot of notes and learning where to hit it.”

De La Fuente’s advice for Augusta National? It is very simple.

“Don’t short side yourself,” he said.

He added, “I feel like you have to drive the ball really good. The course is tighter than it looks on TV, and hitting good drivers gives you the best chance on many holes.” 

This week, the Houston senior will get to play in the tournament he grew up dreaming of having a putt to win on the practice green.

“It means everything to me,” De La Fuente said. “When we start playing golf, we all dream of playing in those tournaments, and we practice on the putting green without winning this tournament.” 

De La Fuente added, “having the opportunity to tee it up is kind of unique, and hopefully, I am doing everything I can to compete and not just show up.” 

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