Sympatico’s Saturday ticket is now live. I interviewed Mike Weir, Adam Hadwin, Graham DeLaet, and Richard Scott for the story about the struggles of PGA Tour qualifying school, which can be found on Sympatico’s site.
Here’s a tidbit to get you interested:
“It wasn’t a dream – it was more like a nightmare.”
That’s Graham DeLaet’s perspective on the PGA Tour’s qualifying school, the gruelling six-round tournament that is currently underway in California.
DeLaet knows how hard the tournament is, and how steep the competition is for one of 25 tour cards the PGA Tour will hand out to those with the lowest scores. After all, DeLaet went to qualifying school four times before finally making it through. Along the way he had a series of mishaps that would make one question whether fate had it in for him.
The big-hitting DeLaet, who hails from Weyburn, Sask. and is currently preparing for a return to the PGA Tour after sitting out a year following surgery on his back, remembers getting a flat tire on the way to the course during the first stage one year, and narrowly making it to the course for his tee time. And then during second stage in 2009, the car DeLaet and his caddie were traveling in hit a deer on the way to the course. Once again he narrowly made his tee time and was still getting past the experience while playing the opening holes. He finally made it through qualifying school that year, and had a fine rookie season on the PGA Tour before his progress was derailed by an injury.
“It is so nerve-wracking,” says DeLaet. “It might be easiest the first time you go because you don’t really know what to expect and you have the confidence to think you’ll make it. But if you miss, you end up thinking time and again about whether you’ll ever make it.”