Can you imagine the pressure on American golfers if a native of the United States had not won our national title in 59 years? While Canada certainly doesn’t produce professional golfers with at the same prolific rate as America, that’s the pressure that faces natives of our neighbor to the north at this week’s RBC Canadian Open.
There are 18 Canadians teeing it up this week at Glen Abbey Golf Club – each of whom is looking to be the first of their countrymen to win this title in nearly six decades. Graham DeLaet, who hails from Saskatchewan, has probably the best shot of any of the Canucks in the field – and he feels he’s primed to win. “Coming into this tournament the previous four times that I’ve played it, I always came in wanting to play good, and I believe this year that I can play well,” he said. “Whether I do or not, that’s going to be found out on Thursday through Sunday, but I really feel like my game is in a good place, my confidence is high.”
The 31 year old is ranked 25th in the FedEx Cup standing and 67th in the world. He has 10 top 25 finishes on the season, which include a third place finish at the Travelers Championship in addition to four more top 10 results. He’s first on the PGA Tour in hitting greens in regulation, second in total driving and 18th in scoring average. The fact that he hasn’t picked up a win already this year is quite shocking, actually. Looking strictly at the stats, he should probably have multiple wins in 2013.
DeLaet clearly has the game to compete at the highest levels of professional golf. His main hurdle this week is going to be the pressure associated with trying to win his national open after such a long drought. If he can put that out of his mind I really like his chances this week.