After tying for 64th place at the Verizon Heritage tournament on the Professional Golf Association (PGA) tour, Weyburn golfer Graham DeLaet commented on the experience. "Scorecards can be deceiving. I have actually been playing fairly well at the Verizon, but one missed shot here or there can sometimes be the difference between making or not making the cut. That's golf. But thankfully, I made this cut."
DeLaet earned $11,856 for his placing on the Verizon Heritage, and currently sits at 62nd on the FedExCup standings.
At the Verizon Heritage, DeLaet had a difficult first round, after scoring two birdies and taking three bogies and one double bogey to score 74, three-over-par. He handled the pressure by returning strong in the second round, scoring five birdies in the top nine, balanced by three bogies and one birdie in the bottom nine to finish at 68, three-under-par.
It was that even total that allowed DeLaet to make the cut on the Verizon Heritage. Returning to the course for the third round, DeLaet captured four birdies and two bogies to score a 69, two-under-par. During the top nine of the fourth round, DeLaet scored mostly par rounds with one birdie. He struggled during the bottom nine of this round, scoring six bogies, for a total score of 76, five-over-par.
To date, DeLaet's best finish on the PGA Tour was taken in his last tournament, where he tied third at the Shell Houston Open. "Having a strong finish at the Houston Open was terrific for my current sponsors, Titleist, RBC, Focused Money, Transitions, Oakley and J. Lindeberg. I'm happy that I could provide them with some valuable television exposure. I'm not sure what it means for the future, but it definitely can't hurt."
"Life on the PGA Tour has been incredible. It's a different world compared to some of the other tours I have played. This is definitely where I want to be and where I plan on being for years to come. I look forward to keeping my card and to winning my first event on the tour."
DeLaet started playing competitive golf when he was 13. The PGA tour was "always something I dreamed of that and the National Hockey League. I'm not sure that I ever really knew I would get here, but I always believed in myself." He attributed playing junior golf in Weyburn to what got him started, and the support he received from the Saskatchewan Golf Association.
Although his current time on the PGA tour has kept DeLaet busy, he does want to give back to the junior golf program that gave him a start. "It's really important to me that I give back to the sport that has done so much for me, and to the province and community that helped shape me. I look forward to working with young golfers in Saskatchewan and across Canada."
While on the PGA tour, DeLaet relies heavily on his caddie, Basil Van Rooyen. "I use him for every tournament. He's been around and has caddied for some big names on the tour, so his presence on the bag has been very valuable to me."
Already, DeLaet has shared the green with some big PGA names himself, including being paired with Jeff Maggert at the Shell Houston. "During my career as a pro, I have had the good fortunate of playing with several world-class golfers," said DeLaet. "It's hard not to be a little star-struck the first time. But I quickly realized that in order to beat these guys, that I needed to get over that feeling pretty quickly."
DeLaet was recently awarded the Canadian Tour Player of the Year award, which is awarded every year to the leading money winner of the Canadian Tour order of merit. The next PGA tournament for DeLaet is the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, which he qualified for by scoring a top 10 placing at the Houston Open.
In addition to playing this tournament, DeLaet is looking forward to playing the qualifiers for both the US Open and the British Open; both of these qualifiers will take place late May.