Canadian golfers talk hockey, heroes and playoff beards

Canadian golfer Graham DeLaet during the final round of the most recent Canadian Open. (QMI Agency)

Canadian golfer Graham DeLaet during the final round of the most recent Canadian Open. (QMI Agency)

TIM MCKAY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:45 PM ET

The playoffs is a special time usually associated with hockey in this country.

But with the players in the throes of a labour war with the NHL, it looks like the Stanley Cup playoffs could be in jeopardy this season. Take heart, sports fans, there's always the slightly less traditional FedEx Cup playoffs.

And heck, good old Canadian boys David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., and Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., have made it into the second round, both thanks to great finishes Sunday at The Barclays.

Hearn came in to the playoff opener ranked 108th but finished tied for 10th at New York -- and even beat playing partner Tiger Woods handily in the final round -- to get to 67th in FedEx Cup points. DeLaet closed with a stellar 65 at a tough Bethpage Black to tie for fifth and vaulted all the way from 106th to 44th.

DeLaet, a Calgary Flames fan, and Hearn, a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, already have done something their respective favourite NHL teams haven't managed to do for a while -- get into the playoffs and make it past the first round.

The Canadians are having fun with it, too, their playoff beards getting longer as they head into this weekend's Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston.

As their chase for the Cup and its $10-million prize continues, our Canadian contingent sharpened their blades and had a little playoff fun with QMI Agency on Tuesday:

Favourite playoff moment in hockey?

DeLaet: Probably in '89 when (Theoren) Fleury scored and was flying down the ice on his knees with his arms in the air.

Hearn: Growing up in Brantford, it was watching Edmonton win those Cups in the '80s. It was exciting to see Wayne Gretzky. I was young but I remember those Cups.

Favourite playoff moment in golf?

DeLaet: That shot that Bill Haas hit last year out of the water. That was pretty cool.

Hearn: Last year was pretty exciting with the (Tour Championship) playoff between (Hunter) Mahan and Haas. It couldn't have been scripted better, with that Haas up-and-down out of the water.

Favourite playoff beard/facial hair in hockey?

DeLaet: Lanny McDonald's moustache is pretty epic.

Hearn: It seems like the guys on the Red Wings can grow (a playoff beard) pretty quick. A couple years ago, the guys from Chicago were a little younger so their beards weren't as good.

Favourite playoff beard/facial hair in golf?

DeLaet: Lucas Glover had a pretty good (beard) going and I think the Tour asked him to tame it down. It was getting a little grizzly.

Hearn: I'm hoping Graham and I can get to the Tour Championship to set a new standard. Johnson Wagner's moustache has gained some notoriety.

NHL playoff team you'd most like to emulate?

DeLaet: What the Kings did last year was pretty awesome, coming into the playoffs as an underdog, like me. (Like in golf) the guys that are playing the best (at playoff time) move on. So, hopefully that's the case with me too.

Hearn: The Detroit Red Wings are pretty special. They're consistent and always in contention. I'd like to be like that.

Better trophy, Stanley Cup or FedEx Cup?

DeLaet: Stanley Cup.

Hearn: Stanley Cup, no question. It has been around for 100 years and the FedEx Cup hasn't been around too long.

Better prize, $10 million for FedEx Cup or share of Stanley Cup prize money?

DeLaet: $10 million.

Hearn: $10 million is pretty nice but everyone wants their name on the Stanley Cup. We don't make as much as those hockey players, so we could use the money.

Better playoff performance, Bill Haas or Jonathan Quick?

DeLaet: Going to go with Quick. I'd rather watch hockey than golf any day.

Hearn: Jonathan Quick. He was good all year, so have to go with Quick.

More likely to repeat as Cup champ, Haas or Kings?

DeLaet: Probably the Kings. It's one out of 30 (NHL teams) as opposed to one out of 125 (PGA Tour players).

Hearn: There's 100 left in the FedEx Cup and 30 teams in the NHL, so Kings, just looking at the odds.

Best hockey-playing golfer?

DeLaet: Jerry Kelly, James Driscoll, myself.

Hearn: I've heard Jerry Kelly was a decent player. I certainly wouldn't put myself in that category.

Best golfer among hockey players?

DeLaet: No idea.

Hearn: I've played with a lot of good ones. Chris Gratton from Brantford was good. Jeff O'Neill was good. Gary Leeman was in the Ontario Amateur when I was, in the mid-'90s at National Pines, and I think he was around a course record.

Which golfer would be the best NHL enforcer?

DeLaet: James Driscoll. He's a beast. He gets after it in the gym.

Hearn: That's a good question. Maybe Pat Perez. He has got a little attitude and he's chippy. He'd probably be good in a fight.

Best TV personality, Don Cherry or David Feherty?

DeLaet: I'll go with Cherry because I grew up watching him.

Hearn: Can I go no comment? Both are entertaining, that's for sure.

Who will make the playoffs first, the Calgary Flames or the Toronto Maple Leafs?

DeLaet: The Flames. I'm not a big fan of the Leafs.

Hearn: It's going to be a tough battle for both, but I think the Flames. I am a Leafs fan but they haven't made it to the playoffs in seven straight years, so they're not trending in the right direction.

tim.mckay@sunmedia.ca

Twitter@TimMcKayGolf

ON THE TEE

PGA Tour

Deutsche Bank Championship

TPC Boston (7,214 yards, par 71), Norton, Mass.

* The top 70 from the field of 100 in FedEx Cup points make it to next week's BMW championship next week at Crooked Stick.

European Tour

European Masters

Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club (6,822 yards, par 71), Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland

* The pressure is off as Jose Maria Olazabal already has made his captain's picks for the European Ryder Cup squad.


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