Canadian Open fulfills Reavie's lifelong dream

IAN HUTCHINSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When last we saw Chez Reavie, he still was very much the awkward champion of the RBC Canadian Open more than three months ago at Glen Abbey.

Wearing an Arizona Diamondbacks logo on his shirt, Reavie shot a one-under 70 to finish the Canadian Open with a three-shot cushion over Billy Mayfair, another product of the Valley of the Sun in Arizona.

So anonymous was Reavie coming into the Open, his sixth consecutive week of competition, that he teed it up with a bunch of media hacks as part of his deal with Quagmire Golf, his Toronto-based apparel supplier. Nobody was particularly impressed at the time, except to say that Reavie was a nice guy.

Nice guys don't always finish last, so it actually was nice to see a wide grin cross the face of a young guy not yet jaded by the riches available on the PGA Tour when he discovered he had just won $900,000 for his first win, arguably the best day of his life.

"It's huge," said Reavie in his home town of Scottsdale, where he played the recent Frys.com Open and missed the cut. "You know, I always believed that I could win on the PGA Tour. It hasbeen a dream of mine since I was growing up here, playing Dobson Ranch and now, it's no longer just a belief by me.

"It's a fact that I'm a PGA Tour winner and I can come out and play well and win out here," added Reavie, recalling the sudden change in his life that began at Glen Abbey, but stretched all the way to Dobson Ranch that day.

"I heard guys were crying and having a great time and obviously drinking a lot and just really enjoying the moment," he said, adding that the well-wishers immediately filled up his voice mail.

"It was packed," Reavie said. "By the time I got to my phone, I had 150 text messages ... My voice mail box was full. My fiancee called me three minutes after I won and my voice mail box was already full."

Many of the well-wishers in the days following his win were of the high-profile variety, the ones more used to $900,000 cheques. "The guys out here are great," Reavie said.

"It was great the week after I won, having guys I've looked up to and watched play golf on TV come up and congratulate me on winning and telling me I played great on Sunday, that they watched it -- guys like Ernie Els and Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson, all those guys.

"I've watched them growing up my entire life and for them to know who I am and come up and congratulate me was special," he said.

A three-time all-American at Arizona State, Reavie never did win in university golf, but he was victorious at the 2001 United State Public Links Championship, which earned him a trip the next year to the Masters, where he missed the cut as an amateur.

Reavie earned his way to the PGA Tour by finishing 18th on the 2007 Nationwide Tour money list. At 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, one thing he is not small on is work ethic.

Reavie had 21 tournaments under his belt by the time he got to Canada, with seven missed cuts at that point, although he did have a tie for fifth at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Since his win at the Abbey, his best finish is a tie for 33rd at the BMW Championship in September.

Had it not been for the win in Canada, his story would have been a lot different as the tour's Fall Series winds down with players scrambling to keep their cards.

"The pressure is gone," said Reavie, who is now finished for the season.

NO PRESSURE

He says that lack of pressure allowed him to play more comfortably in the final weeks of his schedule, adding that he didn't have to worry about making a big mistake with each shot that might cost him his card.

"When you've got a chance to win, but then you need to make sure you finish third to make enough money to keep your card, you can't fully go out and give it your all to win because you can't play aggressive.

"So, you need to make birdie the last hole to win, but then, if you make bogey, you're not going to lock your card. Guys out here, they're not going to go for it. They're going to secure their job first," he said.


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