HOYLAKE, England - Only one Canadian will play the weekend at Royal Liverpool and he'll do so possibly wearing my jacket.
David Hearn started well and survived a bumpy patch in the middle of his round to finish at 1-under for the first 36 holes.
While he's more than excited to be teeing it up on Saturday at the Open, he wasn't fully prepared for the weather that is supposed to hit Liverpool. Depending on which forecast you listen to, it ranges from horrendous to Start-building-the-Ark. The R&A has taken the rare step of moving up tee times and having players go off both tees in threesomes.
It's not a big deal for Hearn – he's just glad to be playing – but he didn't come prepared. All his rain gear has short sleeves, which may not be suitable for what's supposed to blow in.
So he's borrowed my rain jacket, which certainly isn't worn out from good swings being taken in it.
Hopefully, the jacket will propel Hearn to good things but it's likely he can do that with or without it. His play so far this week is impressive, especially for a guy who had never teed it up on a links course.
"It feels great for me," said Hearn. "This is my first Open Championship and I'm super excited to be playing four days. I'm obviously 11 shots back so I'm not that close to contending, but I think with two solid rounds I can move up the board nicely and still give myself a really nice finish."
This is the second consecutive major for Hearn in which he's played well. At last year's PGA, he was on the leaderboard early in the week before sliding down on the weekend. But he believes that's not just a coincidence, that he has the tools for majors.
"I have the patience to be able to play away from a lot of pins," said Hearn. "I also have the patience to shoot par and know it was a good day. A lot of players on Tour, I think they really get used to making birdies. I'm the type of player who can grind out a good day. I like playing in majors; I like the challenge of playing a hard golf course. I think most of my good finishes this year have been on hard golf courses."
While Hearn is playing on, Graham DeLaet is heading back to Canada after a difficult second day. He stumbled from the gate with a double and a bogey on the first two holes, and had a horrid eighth hole that shows everything that links golf can be.
His drive was just off target, ending up in the fescue on the right side of the hole. He extricated his ball only to watch it sail into the fescue on the left. The next shot ended up in a plugged lie in a bunker, which forced him to play out sideways. He finally got it on the green and put it into the hole for a triple-bogey seven.
"On the front nine I was just in bad shape off almost every single tee, it seemed," DeLaet said. "Even the couple of fairways I hit, I hit these spiny shots into the wind and I had so much club into the greens."
On the second nine, the Weyburn, Saskatchewan product rallied and looked as if he might just make it back to the right number. A birdie on 10 and then a chip-in eagle on the 16th gave him hope but that was dashed later when he fell one shy of the cut line.
"I just hit it so poorly on the front," he stated. "I don't know what it was on the back side, if I kind of almost stopped caring or stopped trying so hard or whatever it was, I was able to hit some nice shots."
When he left the course, still unsure of whether he'd make the cut, he declined to answer whether he would leave early for the RBC Canadian Open or hang around and jump on the charter flight. He was still hoping to get two more rounds on Royal Liverpool.
Instead, his next game will be at Royal Montreal.