He’s Canadian, and because he came from a Hockey background, 31 year-old Graham DeLaet is growing his playoff beard. It must be working, because the Boise State grad started the playoffs in 34th position, and now has sole possession of fifth place. That coming on the strength of a second place finish at the Barclays Championship last week, and a sole third at The Deutsche Bank on Monday.
DeLaet is currently guaranteed a spot in the Tour Championship that tees of in Atlanta a week from next Thursday, but if he can continue the hot streak, things could get better. The top five making it to the Tour Championship control their own destiny in pursuit of the number one prize. The point system is reset after the BMW Championship, somewhat like NASCAR does when the Chase starts.
For a guy who missed the last two cuts of the regular season at the PGA Championship, and the RBC Canadian Open to go with an 83rd place finish at the Open, he has found the right time to get hot. He certainly has been off the radar, and hasn’t gotten much press throughout the year. You can be assured that everyone now knows who he is, and how good he is.
Graham DeLaet has never won a PGA Tournament, but did have seven top ten finishes in 2013, to go along with 12 top 25′s. He missed five cuts during the season, the first coming at the Sony Open in January. His best finish for the year before the playoffs started was a third at the Travelers back in June.
I was impressed with the youngster on Monday when he hung in there against veterans like Henrik Stenson, and Steve Stricker to carve out his third place finish. I think he knew that he was never going to catch Stenson, but he finished birdie-birdie to stay out of the logjam tie for fourth place. Jordan Spieth had put up an early 62 to nail down the 17 under par clubhouse lead, and Delaet was able to get to the 18 under number, and secure sole third place.
I look forward to seeing the young Canadian play next week in the Chicago area. Being from Weyburn Canada, I don’t suspect any of the Blackhawk magic to rub off on him, but I’m sure he will use that Hockey toughness to nail down a nice berth when he gets to East Lake. Maybe when it’s over, he will shave. If he doesn’t he has a new look.
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