Chile's Pablo Caviedes looks ahead to international match v. Argentina
The much travelled Chilean World Cup player Pablo Caviedes is excited as he anticipates his country's forthcoming match against Argentina in Buenos Aires.
"I am counting the minutes," laughs Pablo. "It's been a about four years since my last visit to Buenos Aires, and I've never played Pitch and Putt there! Looking forward to it, and to meet up with great friends."
The format makes for a competitive and a social occasion. Pablo explains. "The idea was to have a team and individual prizes. From the 18 players allowed per country, the 8 best scorecards from this match, added to the 8 best in the rematch in October, will determine the winning team. Individual awards are still in discussion, but we routinely do 1st gross (champion), and 2nd and 3rd places per category. Same for net."
The FchPP (Chilean Pitch and Putt Federation) are seeking to build a South American Pitch and Putt Association. The match in Buenos Aires is another step along the route but that brings its own format complication as Pablo expounds. "However, we now have to consider two players from Ecuador who signed up! This is getting out of control!"
Chile is the more established entity and Pablo feels that this will utimately count for him and his colleagues. "I think our chances are good, the team is looking up. There was great interest considering that the match will be played over a long weekend (Monday May 1 is Labour Day in both countries). We acknowledge, however, that the Argentines have a handful of players that routinely score under par. Perhaps they are a better match for the Irish! It'll be a great match!"
Caviedes and his colleagues are preparing assiduously. "We have been practicing, not only for this match. This year, our local calendar is quite full: the national Pitch and Putt inter-club tournament started in March, which will go on until October, and we have local club tournaments practically every Sunday! So, we will have a chance to 'fine tune'."
Pablo has enjoyed his enjoyed his Pitch and Putt forays abroad, particularly trips to Royal Meath and Xixerella. "The World Cup is a lot of fun, I greatly enjoy the camaraderie there, but I believe some teams are still much too strong (Ireland, Galicia, Catalonia). So, the camaraderie will also be present in Buenos Aires, but the competition will be much closer."
Pitch and Putt is booming in Chile. "We have had an interesting increase in players, one due to an aggressive policy to bring in new members to our club, the Colegio di Medico club (we've doubled the membership, we are now in the neighbourhood of 80), and the other coincided with the reopening of the course at the Estadio Español."
We spoke to Pablo just before a important tournament on the Chilean calendar. "This coming Sunday is the Annual Tournament in honor of Javier Condon, who was part of the Chilean team in the 2012 World Cup in Clonee. Regrettably, he passed away two years later, so his club (the Estadio Español) hosts this special championship in his memory every year." Antonio Acosta emerged as the 2017 champion.
As matters stand, medical professional Pablo won't be teeing it up in the III World Strokeplay championship. "I'm afraid I cannot make it to Norway, it coincides with an international scientific meeting in Chicago (June 7 - 12), where I am part of the international organizing committee. It would reflect poorly on me if I don't show up in the Windy City! The temptation to go to Norway is hard to resist, though.... Who knows..?"