DeLaet could strut stuff on PGA

IAN HUTCHINSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

Graham DeLaet was in familiar surroundings on the weekend in Boise, Id., where he won 10 collegiate titles at Boise State and now makes his full-time residence.

Adding to the familiarity for DeLaet, who hails from Weyburn, Sask., were several Canadian buddies in town for the Albertsons Boise Open, a Nationwide Tour event he tried on Monday to qualify for, but failed.

Calgary's James Love was staying with DeLaet, who also planned to go to dinner with Brantford's David Hearn and Victoria's Jim Rutledge, as well as attending a concert with Chris Baryla of Vernon, B.C., but the familiar faces and places were about to disappear.

REPRESENT CANADA

On Sunday, DeLaet was scheduled to fly to the northern European country of Estonia to represent Canada, along with Victoria's Stuart Anderson, in a World Cup qualifier. DeLaet, who sits atop the Canadian Tour's money list, admitted he needed a quick geography lesson before leaving.

"I did a little bit of research to find out where it is," said DeLaet, who likes the idea of seeing new lands that are not exactly known globally for golf.

"I think it's kind of cool. Last year, we played in Poland. Wes (Heffernan) and I went over for the World Cup qualifier. I think it's kind of cool that they're trying to grow the game in different places," said DeLaet who, along with Calgary's Heffernan, tied for 13th at the 2008 World Cup in China.

Should DeLaet and Anderson qualify, this year's World Cup will be played Nov. 26-29, also in China.

"I played with Stuart in the first two rounds at the Tour Championship a couple of weeks ago and he hit the ball tremendously well," said DeLaet, who has also earned a sponsor's exemption to play in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland in early October.

"I was impressed. I think we've got a really good chance and to play well at the World Cup," said DeLaet, who hasn't been one to sit still this year.

His travels to places such as China, Scotland, Poland and Estonia have been peppered with success along the way, dating back to a win at the Canadian Tour's Desjardins Montreal Open in Aug. 2008.

South Africa also became a stop along the way early this year when DeLaet posted a couple of ties for second, among other impressive finishes.

"I had taken almost a month off, so I didn't really have any high expectations to play well over there and it kind of just got things going for me," he said. "I've been riding it ever since."

That confidence was reflected in DeLaet's 2009 Canadian Tour results that include two wins, four top three finishes and six top-10's, numbers that bolster the opinion of some who believe he may be the next Canadian on the PGA Tour, although Calgary's Dustin Risdon and others on the Nationwide Tour may yet have something to say about that.

FLATTERED

"That's my main goal, so I'm flattered that Canadian golf fans think that, but at the same time, I'm not going to get too caught up in that," said DeLaet, who hopes to take the next step in his career during the second stage of tour qualifying school, Nov. 18-21 at Callaway Gardens in Georgia.

"I got a lot of confidence going (in 2009) and, hopefully, I can keep that going through Q-school and get to where I want to be," he said. "I really, truly believe that I can play with the guys out on the PGA Tour and that's where I want to be."

hutchgolf@netzero.com


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