Tag Archives: Chris Baryla

By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

DeLaet: Back from surgery


Near the end of his rookie season in 2010, 29-year-old Canadian Graham DeLaet was suffering from an agonizing back injury — originally endured while playing hockey as a teenager — that was so painful he couldn’t even sit upright for more than ten seconds.

After exhausting other forms of treatment, DeLaet had surgery on January 3, 2011, which involved shaving off a piece of a herniated disk to alleviate a pinched nerve. Almost immediately, the procedure relieved much of his discomfort, but left him wondering if he’d make a full recovery and play golf again.

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Rookies Keegan Bradley, Jamie Lovemark, Nate Smith play a practice round at Sony Open

Ask any PGA Tour player and 9 of 10 will tell you the PGA Tour can be a very lonely place, especially for rookies trying to adjust to life in the big leagues. Most guys travel with their significant others and families, which makes after-golf socializing rarer than you might think (unless you’re European, of course). But friendships forged on the Nationwide Tour, the minors, have created a strong bond between some players, making the transition easier right out the gate.

Take Jamie Lovemark (22), Keegan Bradley (24), Nate Smith (27) and Chris “Bobby” Baryla (28, who is still considered a rookie because he only made seven starts before taking a major medical exemption), for example. The four rookies, along with Lovemark’s babysitter manager, Ben Walter, rented an unbelievable house on the water in Honolulu for the week of the Sony Open.

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Chris Baryla shoots 11-under 61 to take the lead at PGA Tour Q-School

When Chris Baryla walked in the clubhouse after firing a course record 11-under 61 in the second round at PGA Tour Q-school to take a one-stroke lead, he was welcomed with praise and some even applauded. “I was thinking, If Andres (Gonzales) can shoot 62 at Bayonet (in the second stage), I can shoot 61 at (the Crooked Cat course at Orange County National),” said Baryla with a wide smile as Andres gave him a congratulatory handshake.

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