Weeks: DeLaet recovering after nasty bout of the flu

Bob Weeks
8/5/2014 10:55:29 PM
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The post-round handshakes after a practice round at the PGA Championship were replaced by fist bumps and someone suggested that those in the scrum with Canada's best golfer should don surgical masks before chatting.

Clearly, whatever Graham DeLaet had, nobody wants to catch.

On Saturday night, after struggling through a difficult round at the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational, he went home and started to get sick.

"It was pretty bad," said DeLaet, recounting the past 60 hours. "On Sunday, I literally didn't get out of bed all day. . . except to go to the bathroom."

For the first time in his professional career he was forced to withdraw mid-tournament.

But clearly he wasn't in any shape to tee it up. He was so dehydrated that he needed two IV bags to replenish the fluids. He figures he lost 10 pounds as there was plenty more going out than going in. While he was well enough to play nine holes at Valhalla on Tuesday – and that might be debatable considering the rumpled, fatigued figure that was trudging over the fairways -- he was considering more IVs after he played.

"I'm a little tired, a little weak," DeLaet said. "I'm feeling better physically but it's just kind of taken its toll on me a little bit. But I should be ready to go physically, especially with a late tee time Thursday."

The illness that felled DeLaet came at an awkward time. After a mid-season slow patch in his play, he seemed to find his game at the RBC Canadian Open, tying the course record at Royal Montreal on Friday.

He also played well through the first two rounds in Akron.

Now he'll be playing Valhalla and a major championship with very little groundwork "The preparation will be a little bit different," he said. "Nine holes [Tuesday] and nine holes [Wednesday]. The main thing is just to try and be as physically ready as I can. There's no real expectations and that might be a good thing."

Indeed it could.

At the start of this season, DeLaet admitted that last year he built up the majors too much, putting some roadblocks in his own way. That won't be the case here.

He will rely heavily on the work of caddie Julien Trudeau who has been on several scouting missions around the course to pick out lines for tee shots and try to grab the nuances of the greens. Going in almost blind won't be entirely new for DeLaet. He's zipped around courses sight unseen and had some success in the past.

"I remember when I've gone and played Monday qualifiers, playing a course almost blind and end up shooting six or seven under so hopefully that's the case. We're going to do all we can to be ready but the main thing is to try and be healthy by Thursday."

Exactly because it's unlikely they'll allow him to play with the IV in his arm.

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