Who Is Graham DeLaet?
By Torleif Sorenson on 9/3/13

Graham DeLaet and his father on the famous Swilcan Bridge at St. Andrews in July.
(DeLaet finished 83rd at the Open Championship at Muirfield.)

Graham DeLaet shot an eye-popping 62 in the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship this past weekend, ultimately finishing alone in third place at TPC Boston. His 67-68-62-69 boosted him to 5th place on the FedEx Cup Playoff point-ranking list, behind only Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, and Matt Kuchar.

Most golf fans have heard of those other four players, but few know much, if anything, about Graham DeLaet.

He is a native of Weyburn, Saskatchewan who came up through the Canadian national development team, a program organized by the RCGA (now Golf Canada). During his amateur career, he won the 2005 and 2006 Saskatchewan Amateur, was medalist at the 2004 Canadian Amateur Championship, and finished solo second at the 2005 Edmonton Open, a professional event on the Canadian Tour. During this time, he attended Boise State University and won ten collegiate tournaments as part of the BSU Bronco men's golf team.

DeLaet turned professional in 2007 and has split much of his time since then between the Canadian Tour and both the PGA Tour and their AAA minor-league circuit, currently known as the Web.com tour. On the Canadian Tour, DeLaet has won three times: The 2008 Montreal Open, then twice in 2009 — at the ATB Financial Classic in Calgary and at the Canadian Tour Players Cup, f.k.a. the Manitoba Open.

A back injury kept him off the course for much of 2011, so he used major medical exemption in 2012 to play a heavy schedule and earn his way back — and keep his PGA Tour card.

This season has been his best; he has made the cut in 19 of the 24 events he's played, although he missed the cut at the Canadian Open. He finished solo third at Hartford in June, A T-8 at the AT&T National the next week, a T-2 at The Barclays late last month, followed by his solo third in Boston on Monday. Overall this season, DeLaet has seven top-10 finishes on tour.

As such, he has raised is own expectations a bit:
"It would be nice to win the FedEx Cup playoffs. That's not really a shot in the dark, but it's a really high goal because I'm a long way behind the leaders. At the same time, I feel like I'm playing good enough to get a win and if I can do that, I can jump right into the hunt. Going into the playoffs, the goal was to get to [the Tour Championship], but after this week, I think I can kind of aim a little bit higher than that."

Not surprisingly, DeLaet grew up around hockey players and hockey fans, so in additional to playing on a recreational basis, DeLaet closely follows the game as a Calgary Flames fan. This has been a bit of a tough yoke in recent years, more so since the current off-season began; the Flames have gone into a major rebuilding mode.

Graham DeLaet himself has surged from "building mode" into "strong contender" mode. Only time and talent will tell when he will finally capture his first PGA Tour victory. But if he can make that happen at the 2014 Canadian Open at Royal Montreal, it will undoubtedly be a "popular" victory, not just a breakthrough win.

Expect to see and here more from this native Saskatchewanian on the PGA Tour. Sooner, not later, and not just at the upcoming Presidents Cup.

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[ comments ]
Kurt the Knife says:
Still way better'n me on a good day.
[ post comment ]
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