One of the finest golf talents to ever come out of Blair County is about to begin a new chapter in his golfing career.
Anthony DeGol, of Hollidaysburg, is planning to turn professional after a very successful college and amateur career.
DeGol, a 2008 graduate of Hollidaysburg Area High School, began golfing at age 12. Within a few short years, he became a scratch golfer and - as a senior - helped lead the Golden Tigers to the PIAA championship.
After high school, DeGol entered Penn State University with no immediate plans to play college golf. His game, however, continued to improve.
DeGol was fortunate to attend several training sessions at the nationally renowned golf facility Sea Island Resort (near St. Simon Island, GA) over the course of several summers.
"The instruction and training I've received there has been fantastic," DeGol said. "It's brought my golf game to a whole new level."
Good instruction and hard work eventually paid off for DeGol. He played well enough to earn top finishes in several state and national amateur events. His good play eventually caught the eye of Penn State coach Greg Nye, who added DeGol to his Division I team's roster.
DeGol quickly proved that the Penn State coach made a wise choice. He played well for the team right from the start and became the Nittany Lions' top golfer during both his junior and senior seasons.
"Tony has what it takes to be a really good golfer," Nye said. "He has very good fundamentals, a great golf swing and is very strong mentally."
DeGol wrapped up his career at Penn State in May with a total of seven Top 10 tournament finishes. Additionally, he's finished in the top five of the Pennsylvania Amateur in each of the last three years, qualified for the U.S. Public Links Championship the past two years and finished 11th in last year's Canadian Amateur.
With his college career coming to a close, DeGol is now spending time preparing to play at the next level - by practicing and working out. A typical day includes playing golf, hitting balls, chipping, putting and spending several hours in the gym.
He's in the best shape of his young life, having lost 40 pounds in the past year.
His immediate golfing plans include playing a few local amateur events before later this month relocating to Charlotte, N.C., where he'll play several tournaments on the E-Golf professional mini-tour.
Over the summer, DeGol plans to also participate in a few Monday qualifiers for the WEB.Com tour. In the fall, he will be entering the Tour Qualifying School with hopes of gaining full status on the WEB.com Tour.
DeGol's last event as an amateur will be next week at the Down River best-ball event in Everett with good friend Artie Fink Jr., of Altoona. The two have played in many tournaments together over the years, and Fink has always been impressed by the young DeGol.
"Anthony has all the talent in the world," Fink said. "He's so competitive and laid back at the same time. Plus he has a great work ethic. He has everything it will take to make it at the next level."
"I think he has a great chance to be successful," Nye said. "He's been exposed to a high level of competition with our team. I think it's helped to prepare him for the professional level, and he'll continue to have a lot of support from our resources here at Penn State - from teammates, coaches and all the staff here at Penn State."
As DeGol prepares for his upcoming entrance to the professional ranks, he does so with excitement and appreciation.
"Turning professional is something I've thought about since I was a kid," DeGol said. "None of this, though, would have happened without the help of my dad [Denny DeGol]. He's been my biggest supporter - throughout my golfing career - and I wouldn't be here, with an opportunity to turn professional, if it wasn't for him."