Naz Gagliardi - A Philadelphia Firefighter masters area golf courses.
For 34 years Naz Gagliardi fought fires for the City of Philadelphia, so he knows a little bit about being under pressure with lives at stake.
If firefighting was a pressure packed job, playing golf is merely fun.
Oh, theres the pressure of a difficult shot or a match winning putt, but its nothing like heading into a blazing inferno in the middle of the night.
When not fighting fires Gagliardi developed a reputation around Lower Bucks County golf circles as a man with pinpoint accuracy and a knack for getting the little white ball into the hole.
Gagliardi claimed his first Bensalem Country Club mens club championship in 1978 and successfully defended that crown the following year. It took eight years for him to capture his third championship, then eight more to win number four. He added championships in 2004 and 2006, bringing his victory total to six.
Naz is just a picture of consistency, hes a player who knows his game and plays to his strong points, explains Jim Bogan, the dean of area golf pros who has watched Gagliardis career at the Bensalem layout. If there was a single word to describe Naz game, its consistency. He still has the same simple and solid swing he had 20 years ago. And when his putter is working, look out. The man knows how to putt.
Gagliardi added another feather to his cap recently with a victory in the Philadelphia Publinks Golf Associations Senior Open Amateur Championship at Franklin D. Roosevelt Golf Club. Gagliardi posted the days best round, a sparkling even-par 69, to win the overall championship and added the age 60-69 championship to boot.
For his victory and consistency over time Gagliardi has been named www.golfbuckscounty.com
third Player of the Month for the 2007 season. He joins Philadelphia Amateur Champion Philip Bartholomew and Philadelphia Open Champion Mark Miller as winners of the recognition.
Ive played in a lot of these things (PPGA Open and Senior Open) and this is the first one Ive won, so its a great feeling, said the former firefighter. There were a number of very strong players in the field. But going in I felt I could put together a good round. This is my kind of course because it is not overly long (just under 6100 yards from the tips). There are a lot of hazards, a lot of problems you can run into, but I knew that as long as I played my kind of game I could contend here.
Gagliardi missed hitting only a handful of greens in regulation, and when he did hed put his specialty --- his short game --- to work.
I dont hit the ball a long way, but I do keep it in play and I can chip and putt, said the smiling champion. You can erase that lack of length sometimes, and help your score a lot, when your short game is going good. Today I had it going.
Gagliardi carded nine hole scores of 34 and 35 for his 69 in claiming a 2-shot victory over Horsham Valleys Michael Dutill and Kimbertons Kerry Burnley.
Its a great feeling to win, said Gagliardi. Ive played against a lot of these guys and there are some great players in the room. To win is quite an accomplishment.
Gagliardi has participated on the Bensalem mens team which won the 2003 Terracciano Cup and recently teamed with Matt Foust to place 5th in the PPGA Over-Under Championship. Closer to home Naz Gagliardi teamed with Frank Gagliardi to win the Bensalem Golf Association Better-Ball of Partners title at their home club.
This is a great game, isnt it, said Gagliardi, who also enjoys traveling, at Roosevelt after his victory. Ive got a lot of fond memories.