I’m in the midst of working on a story about Chris Baryla, the emerging Canadian golf star, who is playing full-time on the Nationwide Tour after taking a rather unorthodox approach to 2006. Some might recall that Baryla, from Vernon, B.C., played his way onto the Nationwide Tour by Monday qualifying his way up the money list. It is a very calculated, difficult task, but Baryla is a pretty sharp kid (apparently with a senior year grade point average of 3.5). And he is very nonplussed about the whole thing. I gather he was very aware it was rare to accomplish what he was trying to do, but that didn’t put him off.
– Baryla doesn’t use a swing coach. I caught up to him when he was in Arizona practicing. Rick Todd, former Canadian Tour pro, was his coach at the University of Texas El Paso.
– He didn’t think of himself as a good golfer when he entered university. His original goal was to play at a school where his goal skills would cover the cost of an engineering degree.
– He’s one of seven Canucks on the Nationwide Tour this year.
– He was burned out heading into last year’s Q-School. He also sounds like he was fully aware that not everything was on the line since he’d be on the Nationwide this year.
– Think Baryla has been pretty anonymous to most until now? Check out his Nationwide player profile, which doesn’t even have his photo. It does, however, note he finished 37th in his first event.
– I’m betting Baryla turns out to be the best among the cast and crew that includes James Lepp and Richard Scott.
In other news, apparently 10 packages for the sale of Mystic GC have been sent out to prospective buyers. Among those interested are ClubLink Corp. and Kaneff Golf. Speculation is the owners of Hidden Lake are also interested. Sources also say former owner Roland Berger is back in Canada from his home in Florida today to determine his level of involvement with the project going forward.