Odds were against Graham DeLaet claiming first PGA title

Graham DeLaet entered the final round of the Travelers Championship tied for the lead....

Graham DeLaet entered the final round of the Travelers Championship tied for the lead. (Reuters/Files)

IAN HUTCHINSON, For QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:28 PM ET

When Canadian Graham DeLaet held the lead all by himself at 10 under in Sunday’s concluding round of the Travelers Championship, there were 19 players within three shots of the lead, including Justin Rose, fresh off his U.S. Open victory, and Bubba Watson.

Under those circumstances, the potential for monstrous mayhem was massive for a guy still hunting his first PGA Tour win, but DeLaet stayed solid, leaving the fireworks to the 2012 Masters champ when Watson triple bogeyed the par three 16th hole.

There were blemishes for DeLaet with bogeys on six and 16, but his three birdies on the day left him with a one-under 69 for the final round and 11-under for the tournament for a solo third place finish at an event that saw him post a couple of 65s.

The Travelers was destined to be won by a first-timer and former Canadian Tour player Ken Duke finally got his at the age of 44 after a playoff with Chris Stroud. Don’t expect DeLaet, 31, to wait that long.

With four top-10 finishes this year, DeLaet looked comfortable in the mix all day and even if he didn’t get it done on Sunday, he sent a message his time is coming quickly.

WHAT TOOK SO LONG?

When CBS coverage of the Travelers Championship came on Sunday afternoon, DeLaet was leading at 10 under, but it took 14 minutes, three looks at Watson, two at Duke and a commercial break before we saw DeLaet. There was more of DeLaet as time went on, but CBS couldn’t quite get it right when they called him “De-Lay” as he finished his round on 18 ... By my estimation, DeLaet’s donation to Calgary area flood relief will be $9,000 after he announced that he would donate $1,000 per birdie and $2,500 per eagle on the weekend. DeLaet finished the final two rounds with nine birdies in total. PGA Tour Canada has promised to match DeLaet’s donation ... Memo to colleagues in the media: Please lay off the “phenom” tag for 15-year-old Brooke Henderson when she plays in this week’s U.S. Women’s Open ... The USGA is staying consistent. As it was at the men’s U.S. Open, where the top three players in world rankings at the time — Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott, respectively, were grouped together for the first two rounds, so it will be at the U.S. Women’s Open where Inbee Park (one), Stacy Lewis (two) and Suzann Pettersen (three) will play together for the first 36 holes ... To his credit, Woods didn’t use his elbow injury, which has been bothering him since the Players Championship and will keep him out until the British Open, as an excuse for his brutal showings at the U.S. Open and the Memorial, but his play at those events bring into question whether he can maintain the pace he set earlier this year in winning four tournaments. Barring an unforeseen surge by Matt Kuchar or somebody else, Woods seemingly has Player of the Year locked up, but we thought that last year before Rory McIlroy won three towards the end of last season, including the PGA Championship ... Looking ahead to the British Open, Muirfield has been lengthened by 158 yards with new tees on seven holes. Muirfield will play at 7,192 this year with par at 71. There has also been some reworking of the bunkers ... Ernie Els won the last Open at Muirfield in 2002 and comes in as defending champion after tying for fourth at the U.S. Open last week and winning the BMW International Open on the European Tour on Sunday in Munich. It would be a feel-good story for Els to successfully defend for his fifth major championship after last year’s win was more about Adam Scott losing it than Els winning it.

FROM MERION TO MOP-UP

Ryan Yip left the U.S. Open outside Philadelphia last week, stopped off in Ohio, then flew to his home town of Calgary for the ATB Financial Classic, but the PGA Tour Canada event was cancelled Friday due to the devastating flooding in that city and surrounding area. He spent much of his time pumping water out of the family home’s basement. “Just seeing pictures of downtown Calgary and High River and what’s happening there just kind of reminds you a little bit of (Hurricane) Katrina, obviously not to that scale, but it just kind of reminds you of what happened there,” said Yip, who expects the flooding to impact golf courses in the area. “I can think of probably at least 10 golf courses that probably won’t be open this year because of what has happened. If they are open, it’s not going to be 18 holes.” ... “I’m a born and raised Calgarian and never have seen such disaster! Peoples homes flooded, the downtown core shut down and currently flooded, many communities evacuated and schools closed,” wrote seven-time Canadian Long Ball champion Lisa Vlooswyk on her Facebook page. “The Calgary Stampede is to start two weeks today. As you can see the grounds are flooded. Knowing Calgary we will rally together and rebuild. Love you Calgary!” ... Woods may not be in the field at Congressional for this week’s AT&T National, but Stephen Ames, DeLaet, Brad Fritsch and David Hearn are the Canadians who will be present.


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