Weeks: DeLaet's round of 62 almost didn't happen

Bob Weeks
9/2/2013 10:37:08 AM
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Graham DeLaet's great round of 62 on Sunday almost didn't happen.

I'm not talking about how he may not have dropped so many putts or hit so many fairways or greens. It's that he almost missed his tee time.

DeLaet's sizzling round at the Deutsche Bank has him tied for third place, three shots back of leader Sergio Garcia. He'll go off in the second-to-last group with Steve Stricker.

On Saturday, however, with the tournament in a weather delay, he decided to drive his wife, Rudy, to the airport. He got the new starting time just as he arrived at the airport and it was far earlier than he was expecting.

"I was in kind of a mad rush to get back to the golf course at that time," he stated. "So at that time I was just kind of hoping to get out here and not miss my tee time.  Because I was driving back in some pretty heavy rains going about 30 miles an hour on the freeway."

DeLaet got to the course about an hour and a half before his was slated to tee off, which is plenty of time, but not quite as much as the two hours he generally allows himself.

"I'm kind of a routine guy," he said, "so I definitely would prefer to be here on my regular time and go through everything how I always do.  But at the same time, like I said, I wasn't in panic mode.  Once I got to the golf course I knew I had enough time."

On the course, DeLaet bogeyed his first hole and never looked back. He made 10 birdies on the next 17 holes for the lowest score in his brief PGA Tour career.

"It was an incredible day. It's one of those days that it doesn't come along as often as you'd like."

In addition to his colourful Sligo pants, DeLaet is sporting a beard these days. He said it's natural for him to leave the facial hair at this time of year.

"I'm Canadian, that's what we do in the playoffs, you don't shave until you're done."

DeLaet's performance has put him once again in a position where he has a chance to win his first PGA Tour stop. He'll try to become the first Canadian winner on the Tour since Stephen Ames captured the 2009 Children's Miracle Network Classic.

Even without a victory, the Weyburn, Sask., product has locked up a spot in the Tour Championship in three weeks, and a place on the Presidents Cup team, which will be finalized this week.

It's the latter of those two that really excites DeLaet; it was one of his goals at the start of the year. He was 10th on the list starting this week with the top 10 being named to the team. Tim Clark, 11th, missed the cut at the Deutsche Bank while 12th place Tongchai Jaidee finished 26th at the Wales Open.

"It would mean the world to me to be on that team, there's no question," said DeLaet. "But at the same time when I've been on the golf course I've been focused on what I need to do and I'm proud of the way I've handled it because there is a lot of pressure on the outside."

First, there's a Labour Day finish on tap and you can be sure DeLaet won't be late for his starting time.

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