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Golf: Delio ready for PGA push

Recent CSUN grad and former Saugus golfer prepares for the pros

Posted: July 22, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 22, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Cal State Northridge and Saugus graduate Nick Delio now has only one place to take his golfing career — the PGA.

 

It doesn’t really matter what level of golf it is, it’s every man for himself.

That’s never been more true for Nick Delio than it is now.

The former Saugus High golfer and recent Cal State Northridge graduate will spend the next few months preparing for the rigorous stages of Professional Golf Association Qualifying School.

At the end of the final stage in December, Delio hopes to come out as a PGA professional.

“When you turn pro, I imagine there’s going to be a lot more pressure,” he said.

Then again, Delio isn’t a stranger to pressure, he said.

In May, his college golf career came to an end when he graduated from CSUN.

During his tenure, he compiled a school-record career scoring average of 71.91.

After spending the past four years playing for CSUN and earning several accolades along the way, Delio feels like he’s been well prepared for playing with the “big boys.”

“It just gave me more experience,” Delio said of his college days. “I was able to play a lot of different courses around Southern California. It’s mostly for experience and I think I gained valuable skills there.”

Since graduating, Delio has done what he always does.

He practices every day, tweaks his swing as needed and adds as many shots to his game as possible.

It’s not far off from the routine he went through while playing in high school and at the junior level before that.

Only now, instead of simply risking the loss of a roster spot on the team or an ample dose of pride, Delio is playing for his livelihood.

“A lot of the summer tournaments I play in are very individual anyway, so it’s not like it’s completely different because I’ve been playing in those tournaments my whole life,” Delio said.

With his college eligibility used up, Delio can now declare as a professional.

The prequalifying stage of Q School is in mid-September and the final three stages follow at various locations across the country in the subsequent months.

The hope is to come out as one of the top 20 to 30 players at the final round in December, thereby giving him a PGA Tour card.

At that point, Delio can regularly participate in Nationwide Tour and PGA Tour events.

He isn’t there yet.

Delio will maintain his amateur status until the end of the summer so he can continue playing top-level amateur tournaments and continue to sharpen his game in a competitive atmosphere.

He’ll travel to Truckee to compete in the Pacific Coast Amateur, a tournament that typically attracts some of the best amateur golfers on the West Coast, on Tuesday.

After that, he hopes to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship at the end of August.

At this point, it’s all a lead-up to Q-School, or the beginning of the long road to becoming a professional golfer.
As far as Delio’s future, if he doesn’t make the cut this year?

“I’m not really sure to be honest,” Delio said. “I think I’ll give it a try for a least four or five years, but I’m not totally sure yet.”

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