TCN Exclusive: We caught up with caddie Adolfo Juan Luna for a Q&A after big LIV win
Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra overcame long odds and a slow start to his professional career to win LIV-Bangkok last week. A decorated amateur, he’s one of a few young players to take their talents directly to the upstart tour. The Caddie Network caught up with Eugenio’s caddie Adolfo Juan Luna after the win.
TCN: So far Eugenio had finished middle of the pack his first four weeks as a pro – what was different this time?
LUNA: The difference is that we are looking for a strategy similar to what he was doing in college, that is, playing more in safe areas, not making bogeys. He was hitting the ball so well that we knew if we didn’t make any dumb mistakes we’d be up on Sunday. We talked about it when we got to Bangkok and the strategy was perfect. This week he has also putted very well, hitting a lot of big putts.
TCN: Is there an interaction with Eugenio from the week, that maybe had an impact on the outcome, that you’re most proud of?
LUNA: Well, there has been nothing special. We have simply hit many clubs. We have been very precise in the shots to the green. That has also been one of the keys. We have always stayed in the present. On the 18th hole after coming off the tee, and although we won by three strokes, we told ourselves “there’s still a lot to go.” We have repeated the same phrase after the second blow. We didn’t want to lose concentration for even a second of each hit.
TCN: What was the pressure like on Sunday playing with the lead? How did you handle it as a duo?
LUNA: The pressure was intense. Starting with a birdie helped calm our nerves, but everything got complicated on hole four and especially on hole five when we went into the water. But the reaction was brilliant on six, where he hit a 2-iron at 236 meters that almost went in.
And after the storm he played spectacular golf. The approach to the 15th hole is impressive. The ground was very wet, the ball was downhill and he made one of the best shots I can remember. And to finish, he hit all the shots where we said, both in the 16th, as in the 17th and 18th. A lot of merit to do this at only 22 years and with Patrick Reed, among others, very close to you.
TCN: How did you celebrate!?
LUNA: Well, we had a nice dinner on Sunday with the friends that were there. Little celebration that this week we have another important tournament.
TCN: How influential have the more experienced Spanish-speaking teammates been for him? How about your caddie teammates toward you?
LUNA: It is simply wonderful. Having Sergio García, Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortíz by your side gives you a lot. They are always giving you good advice. They are a real team.
And I can only have words of gratitude to the 48 caddies on the circuit. Whenever I meet someone in the field, they try to help me. It is a circuit in which everyone is very united.
TCN: How cool was it to end up winning the same weekend as Jon Rahm? Are he and Eugenio and you close?
LUNA: I was lucky enough to be with Jon Rahm for many years when I was working at the Federation. I have great affection for him and he is an impressive boy. He had some lovely words towards Eugenio, showing what kind of person he is.
TCN: How did you get the job? What has been your previous caddie experience? What’s your favorite part about caddying for Eugenio?
LUNA: I have known Eugenio since he was very little. I have been working in the Royal Spanish Federation since I was 18 years old. I have gone to many tournaments with him, some of them as captain and I have a very close relationship, I consider him a little brother. They called me a few weeks ago to tell me that they wanted to count on me and here I am. Golf is my passion and having the opportunity to be by his side, on a circuit that is just beginning and with such an impressive field, I couldn’t say no. I am truly grateful for the opportunity that I have been given.
I have caddied countless times as I come from a family of golfers. My uncle Santiago Luna played on the European Tour for more than 20 years, my brother-in-law Javier Colomo did it for several seasons on the Asian Tour and also, I had the opportunity to take the bag to Scott Fernández in 2018 on the European Tour.
Being a caddie is really complex, but when you have a player with so much passion by your side, everything is easier. We have a very similar character, he is a hard worker, and I love that. I try to convey serenity in the most complex moments.
TCN: Was Eugenio’s win of increased significance for the future of LIV given his background as one of the top amateurs that chose a new route in pro golf?
LUNA: I think that for LIV it is a very important victory. The LIV has signed the former No. 2 amateur in the world, but he had not yet had time to show his full potential. Now he has and many young people will want to be here for years to come. There can be a very good mix between young players and more veteran players.
TCN: How would you describe the caddie brotherhood on LIV?
LUNA: It is unique. They treat us the same as the players. The circuit is behaving wonderfully with us. Being able to fly 7-8 hours in business is very good to get rested for the tournament. They pick you up at the airport, you can share everything with your player. Greg and his entire team are doing an amazing job. I am very grateful.
TCN: What are you most excited about for the future of the LIV Tour?
LUNA: After this week everything excites me. There are always better players and the team formula is working wonderfully. Seeing Sergio Garcia running down the 18th fairway to help us win the tournament is impressive. This is not experienced in other great tours. It is a plus that I particularly like a lot.
TCN: What is your background as a journalist for @TenGolf ?
LUNA: I studied journalism in Madrid and I have always been passionate about telling things. Thanks to Ten Golf I began to write more frequently and the truth is that I am really grateful to Alejandro and David for all the opportunities they have given me.