Sunday, June 28, 2015

Saskatchewanian Summertime Blues

On what could've been a potentially historic Sunday June 28.2015 on the PGA Tour in reference to a Canadian breaking through in the winners circle again, and this time not any Canadian but a Canuck who hails from a province who's pastures only allow golf four months in a calendar year, that being Graem Delaet. Delaet, who's birth place is a community that before his rampant success on golf's biggest stage claim to fame was being the home of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey Red Wings of Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Btw, Weyburn I'm sure has many more noteworthy accomplishments than being the home an above average junior A hockey organization, but the hockey guy is coming out in me.

Delaet's penchant in his young golfing career is being somebody that unfortunately can't get past this aura of putting together one stinker of  a round in a four round consummation. He's that talented, he's Bubba Watson long, has the demeanor of a laid back but savvy Corey Pavin. but somewhere along the line he is missing that pre 2009 Tiger  Woods killer instinct(on the course, not with the ladies as I'm led to believe he's a happily married man). I harken back to his debut season on the tour of 2010 when he chased down the anomaly also known as Anthony Kim. There's no doubt that after watching that Sunday clinic albeit in a losing effort the average Canadian golf fan including myself thought to ourselves that come year 2015 that Graem Delaet would have multiple trophies and a dreamer may of even foreseen a Major Championship with his name engraved with the past and present greats. It just hasn't materialized that way, but why you ask? I revert back to that point I made about him not having that "killer instinct" in his repertoire. I am of the what some consider a baseless theory that once you win in golf, you'll be able to package that ability to a multitude of wins. This theory also comprehends to other sports as  evidenced by the 2015 Chicago Blackhawks who have now won for the third time in six years. Back in 2010, which happened to be the Blackhawks first triumph, team leader and Captain Serious himself Jonathan Toews who was only 22 at that time but got a taste of what winning the Stanley Cup symbolized and felt like and sure enough he's been able to lead the Hawks to two more since. I appreciate this is an isolated example of phenomenal athletes meshing together to form something great whilst realizing that golf is a game of individual contractors so feeding off teammates is simply not an option  but the brass tacks are that Delaet has been knocking on the door more then Sheldon Cooper does in an entire season of the "Big Bang Theory" that sometime very soon he'll have Penny finally answer the door.  The game is definitely there, it's a matter of making a few more puts and stop blowing up with one of his aforementioned bad rounds.

I tend to ramble on, so let's finally get to the why, why and what does Delaet need to do to reach this sports pinnacle? Watching what Bubba Watson does to win such tournaments as this weekend's Travellers Championship not withstanding his two Masters titles, I feel like Delaet can take a few pages out of this playbook to enhance potential solution. Let's call them the "Bubba Rules"

1) Constantly berate and scream at your caddie(How about no, I suggest Graem takes after Bubba's golfing ability, and not mimick his personality because he has the tendency to come off as a complete jackass, one of the tour's all time poor sports ranking right up there with Rory Sabbatini).

2) Work the Golf Ball! -Bubba is known as being one of the most creative players pertaining to his ability to work his golf back, left, right, left right, weaving draws and fades consistently as the hole sees fit. Delaets a bomber off the tee as is Bubba but just because you can hit the golf ball 600 yards doesn't necessarily mean you have to every hole. On  a 350 yard par four with water lurking to the right, the potential is there to drive the green but Graem, take out a 4 iron, push it up there 230-240 and have a comfortable wedge onto the green; This will allow more birdeable opportunities.

3)Perfecting the putter-Everybody lauds Watson for his driving ability, but what Bubba doesn't get nearly enough credit for is his work on the greens. The way he reads puts for being is Brad Faxon like, who as a post-cursor to this article was awfully impressed by his golf analysis on last week's US Open golf coverage. You can't score if you can't put and Graem should sit down and watch the tapes of Watson on the greens because he led a few statistical categories around the greens at the Travellers.

4)Fire under your belly-Bubba is a jackass, said it once already but have to repeat a second time to paint a clearer picture. As bad as this for Bubba's PR, conversely it's that same jack-assery that burns his competitive desires because when Bubba's upset, television cameras will vividly hear exactly how he is feeling. When he misses a makeable four foot putter, he may pull a Happy Gilmore and throw it in the lake. Watching Graem who understandably has more of a laid back demeanour. but I need to see some hurt and frustration on the course to get his emotions flowing. It's ok to be agitated at times because golf can be a very frustrating game because as it's essence, it's a game of perfection as you are never truly satisfied. I recall listening to an interview with Vijay Singh years back after he fired a away a respectable 65, and he told who I believe was Peter Kostis that he was kicking himself for missing two very makeable putts earlier in the round. Being content with your game is the demise for lot of golfers, it's time for Graem to get out of this losing funk and show some determination and care.

Graem Delaet came close, but in the end coming close is just about the same accomplishment of finishing T-47 for golfers who are in the upper echelon. I think Graem has tournament titles calling him in the very near future, that's what I think but it's time for Graem to have this same belief.


Brett Murray


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