Q&A with Ian Leggatt

TODD SAELHOF, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

Ian Leggatt feels he is back on his golf game.

The Canadian shooter, who won the 2002 Tucson Open on the PGA Tour, has finished in the top 25 in his last two Nationwide Tour events.

And in an interview with Sun Media at a Calgary Golf Town, the 43-year-old talked about his game, Canadian golf and his favourite courses in the country.

Q: What is the depth and quality of Canadian golf today?

A: I think the quality has definitely improved. The depth I don't necessarily know has really changed all that much. I don't think we're seeing enough kids getting through the Tour school and getting out there. It just doesn't seem to be really changing from 10 years ago. From the standpoint of the ones who are competing -- like Jon Mills and David Hearn -- they're very good, solid players. But there's not 30 of them.

Q: What about Strathmore's Dustin Risdon?

A: I've seen Dustin out there a few times, and he's played really nice so far this year. There's not enough kids like him. On a yearly basis, there should be four or five like him coming out of Canada. It's like once every four or five years. There's just not enough young Canadian talent out there that's breaking through.

Q: How can that change?

A: I think the golfing body needs to understand it's not doing the right thing. Honestly, it's been the same for 25 years. I don't think the RCGA can take credit for a kid like Dustin or Brian DiCorso or other young kids trying to break through. Other countries similar to Canada, like in Sweden and in Australia, their golf associations are the reason why their young golfers are breaking through. In Canada, you almost have to do it on your own or you're not going to get there. There needs to be an effort to bring new people in and fix the system.

Q: Who's the best young Canadian golfer out there?

A: Dustin's probably doing the best out there on the Nationwide Tour right now. Jon Mills played well last year, but Dustin's still in the Top 25 (on the Nationwide Tour). Hopefully, there's three or four Canadians in the Top 25 by the end of the year.

Q: What about Stephen Ames and Mike Weir?

A: Steven and Mike are waiting for their highs. I don't think their days are over of being in the Top 10 in the world -- not by a long stretch. Ten years from now, we have to look at who's taking their place. That's the question. It's not like in the United States, where you look at these kids and say, 'Here comes another Tiger Woods or another Charles Howell III.' There's a 100 of them. In Canada, we don't have an answer.

Q: Where does Ian Leggatt fit on the golf landscape these days?

A: I'm on my way back from a lot of injuries. I'm playing better than I have in a long, long time. Tee-to-green, my form is probably back to where it was when I won in 2002-03. The only thing holding me back right now is my putting. The rest of my game is awesome. For me, it's just scoring right now. But I've had my moments -- I shot a 64 in New Zealand, and I've had a couple of 31s on nines this year. It's there -- it's just a matter of bringing it out.

Q: What's the golf world like with Tiger Woods in it?

A: Obviously, he's the most prolific athlete in the world, and he just happens to be playing golf. The fallout from that financially is awesome. Guys are making more money on the Tour than they ever made before -- the purses are up. And I think any time he competes, excitement goes up. A lot of people wouldn't even know some tournaments are going on, but with Tiger playing it, it elevates those events. Obviously, we saw what happened when he went away -- golf went to second base. He just elevates golf in the public eye.

Q: Is there too much Tiger? Is there too much press on Tiger?

A: To a certain degree, yes. I get frustrated myself if I am watching an event on TV and they're only following four or five guys around all day. As a golf fan, I don't want to see just that. But people love that because a guy like Tiger's a superstar. Tiger went away for eight months, and all of sudden, people went, 'I'm just not interested in golf that much anymore.' The PGA Tour definitely needs him.

Q: What's your fave Canadian course?

A: The National in Toronto -- it's always ranked No. 1. But my other favourite is Wolf Creek here in Alberta. I've played there tons of times on the Canadian Tour, and I have the course record there. It's one of those places that if you love golf, you should go play. It's got that rustic feel of a links course without the ocean. Wolf Creek might be the most underrated course.


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