ANCASTER, ONT. - He’d be Canada’s best chance to win on the PGA Tour if it weren’t for the injuries.
No, we’re not talking about Mike Weir.
Heading into the weekend at 2-under par, Graham DeLaet has plenty of work to do if he hopes to catch the leaders at the RBC Canadian Open this weekend, but the bigger picture looks good for the Weyburn, Saskatchewan native.
Coming off back surgery that made his 2011 season a write-off, DeLaet has two top tens this year and has already met the requirements of his medical extension. That means he can concentrate on staying in the top-125 on the money list and securing his card for next season.
It would be great to report that DeLaet is in tip-top shape and the injuries are behind him, but he was seen removing tape from his wrist on the 18th fairway Friday at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.
“I’ve got a little bit of tendonitis in both my wrists and my back is still probably not quite 100%,” DeLaet said after his round. “But, there’s not many guys out here that are 100%.”
Despite the nagging injuries, DeLaet is pretty satisfied with the season he is having.
“If you would have told me at the start of the year that I’d be in this position, I’d probably take it,” DeLaet said. “I definitely feel comfortable out here, I feel like I belong. I’m just enjoying it.”
DeLaet certainly looks like he belongs on the PGA Tour. He’s a ball of muscle, he hits the ball a mile, and his outfit on Friday could have given John Daly’s a run for its money.
He might not fit the image of a mild-mannered Canadian, but the 30-year-old fits right in with his contemporaries on tour.
DeLaet has nearly 10,000 followers on Twitter and has posted more than 1,000 tweets. This week’s gem from @GrahamDelaet was valuable travel advice.
“It's totally acceptable to lie to the annoying guy beside you in a plane and tell him you’re on the way to a funeral to end conversation.”
On Wednesday, the lead story on pgatour.com was an in depth interview with DeLaet -- but not Graham. It was his wife Ruby, who authored the website’s latest installment of “My Husband the Tour Pro.”
Although DeLaet’s appearance might be more stereotypical PGA Tour pro than stereotypical Canadian, Ruby -- who was raised in Idaho, where the couple now lives -- cleared up any doubts about her husband’s proud heritage:
“His favorite meal to cook is "Kraft Dinner" (his specialty is to add ketchup). If you are from the United States, that is translated as Mac n' Cheese. He will not buy the generic brands!”
“From age 8-10 he had a mullet so his long hair would "flow" out of the back of his hockey helmet. It was very popular back in the day.”
It looks like DeLaet’s Canadian passport is not in jeopardy.
Add in the fact that his back problems stem from an old hockey injury and DeLaet might even catch Don Cherry’s attention.
DeLaet ranks 12th on the PGA Tour in driving distance, averaging 303.9 yards per drive. He’s 31st in greens in regulation and 18th in approach shots from inside 200 yards.
After reading those numbers, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where he needs to improve. Ranked 173rd in putting, DeLaet has switched to a long putter this week.
“I had two weeks off here coming into this week, and just took it out just to kind of mess around and was shooting good scores, making a lot of putts, making a lot of birdies,” he said before the tournament began. “It's something that I actually will probably stick with for a little bit, but who knows. I mean it's putting. It's golf.”
Canadian golf has clamouring for its next big thing for a few years now and DeLaet understands what a win on Tour would mean to his fans.
“We’re all kind of waiting for the next Mike Weir and whether it’s me, or Hearn, or Hadwin, or some of the kids that are playing well here this week, someone is going to fill his footsteps eventually,” DeLaet said Friday. “Hopefully, it’s sooner than later.”