Florida's Chris Nido, of deep Puerto Rico roots, happy whole family is safe

Ray Carlin

Florida's Chris Nido, of deep Puerto Rico roots, happy whole family is safe

Men

Florida's Chris Nido, of deep Puerto Rico roots, happy whole family is safe

WINDERMERE, Fla. – Hurricane Irma was about to barrel down on Puerto Rico and Chris Nido was in Georgia competing in his first college tournament wondering if his father, Miguel, could make it out on a flight in time to avoid the storm’s wrath.

The worrying was brief, though, as Miguel soon alleviated any doubts.

“I thought about it for a little bit, but then I texted my dad and he said he was boarding (his plane),” Chris said. “So it was good.”

If any college golfer could’ve been most affected by the destruction that Hurricane Irma and then Hurricane Maria – an even more devastating storm – wrought on Puerto Rico, Nido was one of the top candidates.

The Florida freshman is a citizen of Puerto Rico and visits the island roughly 2-3 times per year. With Miguel being born in Puerto Rico, a good deal of family is stationed on the island as well.

Miguel’s parents and brother (along with his wife and children) all live in Puerto Rico. Miguel himself has relocated to Miami but was on business in Puerto Rico as Irma approached.

For Chris, that meant more than a half-dozen family members on an island set to get hit by two destructive hurricanes.

Rather remarkably, everyone in his family has come out of the experience essentially unscathed.

“It all turned out all right,” Chris said.

As it turned out, Chris’ uncle thought ahead and got his family out of Puerto Rico and off to Maine (where his family has a connection) well before either storm hit. His dad called it close but got back to Miami safely.

His grandparents actually stayed through Irma, though, and barely got out before Maria came in force.

Chris was unable to reach his grandparents as Irma made its way across the island. But their message before the tropical storm hit allowed him not to fret.

“They said they would be fine,” Chris said. “So I trusted them that they’d be all right.”

Indeed, they were. And when his grandparents made their way to Miami, they were free of Maria, too.

It’s unclear what damage any of the Nido family will face when they return to Puerto Rico – which Chris expects won’t be for another month at least.

As Chris has gotten accustomed to college life, he has yet to get in touch with his grandparents (who are staying at the family home in Miami) since they left the island.

“I probably should call them soon,” Chris said, with a laugh.

Miguel has been updating him and says they’re doing just fine.

The freshman, then, can continue to march on. Nido didn’t have a banner day Monday at Isleworth Golf and Country Club, as he fired a 3-over 75 and sits T-34 at the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational.

But at least he knows his family is safe.

Nido competed in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open this year and hopes to qualify for the event next year, if it still takes place.

That’s a sobering reminder that even though Nido’s family is fine, seeing Puerto Rico deal with so much pain recently still takes its toll.

“Thinking about how beautiful it is, I feel sad to see it destroyed,” Nido said.

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