Poor start for Canadian Open champ

IAN HUTCHINSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

The RBC Canadian Open is still about seven weeks away and Chez Reavie is in town today, not to defend the 2008 title he won at Glen Abbey, but on a goodwill tour for Quagmire Golf, his Toronto-based apparel supplier, that seems such a perfect fit for an upstart such as himself.

As it is with Reavie, 27, on the PGA Tour, Quagmire is in the early years of its existence and projects a young, fresh look into the traditionally conservative world of golf. Both player and company have tasted success, but agree there are bumps in the road ahead with the potential to derail them, at least temporarily.

So, work ethic and a few laughs go a long way for both. In Reavie's case, he is looking to shift into high gear after an admittedly shaky start to the season, which began with a tie for 12th at the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii, followed by a tie for 23rd at the Sony Open.

"I started playing well," said Reavie, who was 151st on the money list last week, prior to the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on the weekend, where he tied for 71st.

"I played those two weeks in Hawaii and the wind was blowing 20 to 30 miles an hour every day and it seemed to wreak a little bit of havoc on my golf swing, so I started missing a few cuts here and there," said Reavie, adding he adjusted his swing in Hawaii to keep the ball low.

"I'm just trying to shorten my backswing and make sure I get a full turn going back and that seems to be helping," said Reavie, who also was preoccupied earlier this year in the weeks leading up to his wedding on March 21.

Going into the Colonial, Reavie had missed 10 cuts in 15 tournaments and definitely had reached a rough patch. "I definitely know I can play. It's just a matter of getting it down on the scorecard," said the three-time all-America from Arizona State and 2001 U.S. Public Links champion.

Reavie hadn't missed as many cuts last year before traveling to Canada for the Open, but his rookie year on tour was mostly middle to lower half of the pack finishes, with seven missed cuts. Before arriving at Glen Abbey, the only time he had made it into the top 25 was a tie for fifth at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

"I was seeing improvement in my game every week and I just happened to really like the way the golf course set up for me," he said of the Abbey.

"I was hitting the ball exactly where I wanted to and I had a great feel on the greens and I was making a lot of putts and I was able to roll with it," said Reavie, whose wire-to-wire finish earned him his first career win.

A repeat of his 65-64-68-70 scores at a soggy Glen Abbey would be just the tonic for what's going on with his game in 2009, if it doesn't happen before then.

"It's going to be great to get back there. I have a lot of great memories," Reavie said. His grandfather was Canadian and he still has family in the Toronto area who came to see him play last year.

Reavie thought it was pretty cool to be on top of the Canadian Open leaderboard with another ASU Sun Devil in Billy Mayfair, who finished second, three shots back.

"I've known Billy for a long time since I was a junior in Arizona growing up," Reavie said. "Billy and I are friends and it was nice to see him play well and it was nice to see myself play just a little bit better so he can finish second and I can finish first."

Reavie hopes to have turned his season around completely by the time he returns to Canada next month. The only Quagmire he wants to be in by then is the brand of apparel he wears. Either way, he's hoping the magic of the Abbey returns when he defends his title.

"Hopefully, I can build on those good vibes and keep it going," he said.


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