Originally written on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 10/21/14
ST. LOUIS The ooohs from the crowd told how close Jay Delsing got. It was on the 18th hole of Bellerive Country Club, the last of Delsing's opening round at the Senior PGA Championship on Thursday. Delsing had hit a crisp pitch shot from the edge of the green, and his ball headed toward the cup in such a fashion that it drew an audible gasp from the mixed-drink sippers who sat in the green bleachers nearby. The ball missed, and it was raining, but Delsing smiled. He flipped his club with a flick of his wrist, let it make one rotation in the air and caught it by the handle. He traded his caddie for a putter, then tapped in the ball. "It's gotta be worth 25 cents," Delsing said about that ball after he turned in his scorecard. "It will be worth 12 once I put this on it," he added as he Sharpied his signature over the dimples before handing it to his caddie. That tells you everything there is to know about Delsing's approach to this weekend. When a guy gets a chance to do something he figured would never happen, he tends to enjoy the moment. In fact, he might enjoy it so much he turns it into something better than expected. You see, Delsing didn't think he would be playing in the Senior PGA Championship. The St. Louis native had golfed professionally for almost three decades, but never in one of his hometown's big events. When the PGA Championship came to Bellerive in 1992, he was a first alternate. When the World Golf Championships followed much later, he was in his mid-40s and failed to qualify. And when Delsing, now 52, heard this tournament was coming, he figured another opportunity would pass him by. He hadn't played competitively in 2 12 years. A bad disc had been removed from his back, and the hotel beds that accompanied golf tournaments didn't do him any favors. Here was a chance to finally play at home, but Delsing had no way to qualify. A friend, professional golfer Trevor Dodds, provided a sliver of hope. He told Delsing the PGA of America sometimes offers exemptions to golfers who provide a good reason for wanting to play in a Senior PGA event. "Trevor Dodds told me, 'Hey man, you should write a letter," Delsing said. Delsing wrote three. He sent them in January, each one to a different high-ranking member of the organization. Months went by before he answered a phone call from PGA of America manager Susan Martin. She told him his request had been approved. "I was just tickled," Delsing said. On Thursday, he proved to be more than a courtesy invite. His opening-round score of 70 was 1-under-par, four off the lead and tied for 19th. If things keep going in this direction, Delsing might try to give traveling another go. "I hope so," he said. "I really don't know what to expect. This will be more golf than I've played in a row in two-plus years. So I don't know. Right now, I feel good." Right now is really all that matters, isn't it? Maybe that's too deep of a question for a golf tournament. But it sure is fun watching Delsing make the most of his moment. Follow Ben Frederickson on Twitter (@Ben_Fred), or contact him at frederickson.ben@gmail.com.

Former NFL QB still feels effects of concussions every day

Robert Klemko given four-week suspension from The MMQB

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

Robert Griffin III 'guaranteed' to be back in Week 11

Urlacher: Cutler paid like elite QB, hasn’t produced like one

Hoyer doesn’t think about getting benched for Manziel


Cardinals kicker blew $1,500 signing bonus on headphones

Ainge: Draft lottery reform would be 'better for the game'

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

Report: Roger Goodell will have to testify in Ray Rice case

Blake Griffin accused of slapping man in Las Vegas club

Ronda Rousey to face Cat Zingano at UFC 182

One Direction promotes tour by acting like bandwagon NFL fans

Jimmy Howard unveils pink mask for 'Hockey Fights Cancer'

Louisville Athletic Dept. asking for donations at gas pump

Falcons make huge mistake with London infographic

DeMarco Murry surprises Cowboys linemen with iMacs

Jimbo Fisher's son reps for Winston on 'Superhero Day'

WATCH: Steve Ballmer freaks out while shown on Jumbotron

AUDIO: Rex Ryan pranks Sammy Watkins on conference call

Top storyline for each Week 8 NFL game

WATCH: Giants pitcher yells at Salvador Perez after HR

Will Muschamp's head coaching job posted on Craigslist

Miss California USA would like to date Eric Hosmer

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Porn star: No one parties like Janikowski

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.