Canada's Graham DeLaet worth a look at Phoenix Open

 

 
 
 
 
Graham DeLaet of Canada hits his tee shot on the 16th hole during the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on January 29, 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
 

Graham DeLaet of Canada hits his tee shot on the 16th hole during the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on January 29, 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Photograph by: Scott Halleran, Getty Images

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - It doesn’t matter to Graham DeLaet that most of the mob that will break every attendance record in golf this week at the TPC of Scottsdale is here to see someone, or something, else.

To catch a glimpse of Tiger, or just to drink and party and be part of the PGA Tour’s most raucous event.

But DeLaet, the 33-year-old from Weyburn, Sask., whose golf season has limped off to a slow start hampered by a series of injuries, fired a four-under-par 67 Thursday to sit in a tie for ninth place after the opening round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

He might be worth a look.

In the first group off the tee at 7:30 a.m., DeLaet made five birdies and a single bogey, at the second hole, and was signing his scorecard just about the time Tiger Woods was hitting his final practice shots at the range.

“I didn’t quite putt as well as I’d like, missed a couple of short ones, but I’m happy with my ball striking,” said DeLaet.

“I felt like I’ve played well the last couple years, obviously what’s missing is a win. With the injuries and stuff in the fall, I got off to a slow start, so I’m a little bit behind the eight-ball here, so to speak. But I believe I can compete out here, and I’m not worried about it.”

DeLaet, currently ranked No. 65 in the world, has a lot of work to do, but hopes to make his second consecutive International Team for the Presidents Cup later this year in South Korea.

“It’s obviously on my mind, but the only way to do that is play good golf,” he said.

And the Olympics, next year in Rio?

“Same thing. If you play good golf, that’ll take care of itself, but it would be one of the most proud moments of my life if I could make that Olympic team and it’s definitely something I’m shooting for.”

A total of six Canadians are in this week’s field.

Monday qualifier Cory Renfrew of Victoria was the best of the others, having completed 17 holes of his round at one-under-par before darkness intervened.

Veterans Mike Weir and David Hearn and Tour rookie Nick Taylor of Abbotsford all shot even-par 71s, while

Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, who teed off on No. 10, struggled coming in and was five-over-par with two holes to play when the horn sounded.

ccole@vancouversun.com

 
 
 
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Graham DeLaet of Canada hits his tee shot on the 16th hole during the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on January 29, 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
 

Graham DeLaet of Canada hits his tee shot on the 16th hole during the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on January 29, 2015 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Photograph by: Scott Halleran, Getty Images

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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