I was having a conversation with Scott Simmons, executive director at the RCGA today, and we finished with a discussion about how many Canadians could make the cut out of the 15 in the field. Seemed quite possible that up to nine have a good chance — and that seems to be the case after the opening round today.
Here’s my preview of the Canucks in the field, with a focus on Graham DeLaet, who has played on five tours this year — South African (Sunshine), Canadian, Nationwide, European and PGA Tour. Graham expects more than simply being a Canadian in the field — he expects to be competitive.
Here’s a taste:
Ask Graham DeLaet whether a Canadian can win the national open this week, and he’ll tell you there’s a number of possible players who could pull it off — and he’s among them.
“I have pretty high expectations of myself this year,” says DeLaet, 26, who won last week’s Canadian Tour event, his second win in four starts. “This year I’m coming to win the golf tournament. I understand I might not, even if I play great golf. But that’s what I’m here to do.”
Two years ago during the Canadian Open at Angus Glen in Markham, Ont., DeLaet opened with a strong first round before fading. He admits his first time at the tournament was overwhelming. But he returns full of confidence, having played well on four tours “ the European Tour, the Sunshine Tour in South Africa, the Canadian Tour and the Nationwide Tour. This week he adds his fifth tour in a calendar year to the mix, and he’s prepared.
“I’ve been playing some really good golf,” he says. “Since March I’ve had only one or two rounds over par. There are expectations of me and I feel I’ve earned them.”