My latest Sympatico column coincides with Graham DeLaet shooting 5-under through 17 holes at the Shell Houston Open before it was stopped for weather. Good timing I guess…
Here’s a taste:
Graham DeLaet has a lot to figure out. After spending a year largely away from pro golf due to back surgery, the Weyburn, Sask. native is trying to become acclimatized to the challenges of the PGA Tour. But beyond that, DeLaet’s homemade swing – a move that’s made him among the longest hitters on tour – isn’t quite cooperating.
“Right now it is a little bit of everything – it is missing it everywhere,” says DeLaet, who is in this week’s field at the Shell Houston Open. “If you have one miss it is usually pretty easy to fix. But I’m not a mechanical player, and it is hard when you can’t see the shot and let it go. You can’t trust your feel and instinct.”
Trusting his instincts is something DeLaet had to do last year after he commenced his comeback after surgery on a problematic back at the end of 2010. Though he’d retained his spot on the PGA Tour, and played exceptionally well in the final tournaments of his rookie year, DeLaet’s back worsened over time. Surgery became unavoidable, though he expected to be back a few months into 2011. That didn’t go as expected.
DeLaet came back for a PGA Tour event in Memphis, even making the cut, but it was clear to him that all was not right. He played in another PGA Tour event less successfully and then a Nationwide Tour event in his adopted hometown of Boise, Idaho, before shutting it down for the year to continue to rehab his back, which he says is now vastly improved.