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Beljan caddie enjoying 'surreal' Tour debut

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LOS ANGELES – Ricky Romano is practically floating across Riviera Country Club this week.

This marks the first time he is caddying in a PGA Tour event, and his player’s in the hunt.

Six days ago, Charlie Beljan called Romano and asked him to tote his bag at this week’s Northern Trust Open. While playing for the University of New Mexico, Beljan played against Romano at the University of Houston. Beljan, who lives in Mesa, Ariz., knew Romano was caddying at Silverleaf Club in Scottsdale.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Romano said Friday with the leaderboard behind him showing Beljan in second place with the morning wave finishing up. “It’s the biggest stage in golf. I always had dreams of being here as a player, but I think it’s a perfect fit for me now.”

Last weekend, Romano was looping around Silverleaf. On Tuesday, he found himself walking down Riviera’s fairways talking to Ernie Els in a practice round and rubbing shoulders with Freddie Couples on the driving range.

“Like I said, surreal,” Romano said.