Sept. 12, 2017
The moment, if there was one, when Josh Delo realized he might shoot really, really low Tuesday came on hole No. 16.
The mindset that produced one of the best rounds in the history of The Master’s University golf arrived sometime the night before.
Delo shot a 6-under 65 in the third and final round of the U.C. Ferguson Classic in Oklahoma City, helping the Mustangs to a fifth place overall finish in a field of 10 teams.
On Monday, during the first two rounds at Lincoln Park Golf Course, Delo didn’t play loose and relaxed. He pressed. He didn’t putt particularly well.
So, after shooting respectable scores of 70 and 72, which placed him in a tie for 10th, he placed his finger firmly on the reset button.
“I went out there Tuesday trying to have fun and go play well, not only for the Lord but for my guys,” Delo said.
His Mustang teammates were more than likely satisfied.
Delo made five birdies and an eagle against only one bogey. Six holes in, on No. 16, he laced a drive down the middle of the fairway. He followed it up with a 6-iron shot that rolled to within 2 inches of the cup and putted it home for eagle.
“After that, it was just about making a few birdies and a couple good shots,” said Delo, whose name is appropriately pronounced, ‘De-low.’ “It was a really fun day.”
There were other highlights.
Master’s coach Jason Semelsberger liked how freshman Josh Kehl provided instant production in his first collegiate meet.
Kehl finished the tournament at 7-over, good for a share of 20th place.
Karsten Briley’s big moment came after the second round. After the Mustang sophomore confirmed that he’d violated a rule in the process of putting, he went out of his way to assure a two-stroke penalty was assessed.
“It was a powerful testimony to the greater reality of the gospel,” Semelsberger said. “The score is not the most important thing, it’s playing the game the right way and honoring Christ. So I was really excited about that.”
As a team, Delo felt the Mustangs played the first two rounds focused on not shooting themselves out of contention. The Master’s shot a composite 581 after the first day, good for fifth.
Despite not moving into the top three, like the team wanted, Delo hopes the Mustangs can build on the more aggressive attitude they brought Tuesday.
“Way easier said than done,” he said.
Delo set the tone Tuesday, though. While playing under the pressure of remaining in contention to win the tournament, he produced a “breakthrough” round.
“It’s one thing to shoot a low round when you’re out of it and all the pressure is off. You can go out there and play freely,” Semelsberger said. “It’s another thing when you’re in contention and then you go out and shoot something really low like that. He really gave himself a chance to win the tournament.”
The Mustangs next competition comes Monday at the CA State Intercollegiate in Ventura.