It’s been a while since we’ve heard from a Canadian winning a golf tournament. I believe this is about to change. The last big golf prize to go home to Canada was the 2003 US Masters won by Mike Weir, the Lefty from Sarnia,ON. Weir defeated Len Mattiace in a one-hole play-off to take his only major and win the much-coveted green jacket. Since then, Canadian professional golf has been quiet.
There is a man from Saskatchewan climbing the rankings though. I spoke of him last year and he’s started hot again. Many golf pundits are talking of this being a break through year for Graham DeLaet. Last season, DeLaet finished 34th in the FedEx Cup rankings with a couple of top-ten finishes thrown in for good measure.
The young Canadian put in a great show last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open (what a name) at TPC Scottsdale. He finished one shot behind the winner Kevin Stadler at -15. His final two rounds of 65 were so impressive to watch, and really showcased a golfer who is reaching new heights and ready to get his first win.
DeLaet is a testament to the Canadian golf development program run by the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA). He credits them with bringing his game on during his final years as an amateur golfer. From there, he spent some time settling into the pro ranks on the Canadian and Sunshine Tours before gaining his PGA Tour card.
I’m not going to rubbish Mike Weir, he was a very skilled golfer in his day, but I think with DeLaet, there is something more substantial here. He seems to be a slow burner and a golfer who is learning his trade year by year. At 32, he is still young, and although I don’t know if this will be a major-winning year for him, I do believe he will get a win on the PGA Tour.
In other news, it was also a great week for Scottish golf. Stephen Gallacher put together two of the gutsiest inward nines I have seen to retain the Dubai Desert Classic. This has put the Scotsman seventh in the Race to Dubai standings and given him a great platform to get himself a place at a home Ryder Cup in September.
Well played boys, you’ve done your respective countries proud!