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July 22, 2014

Graham DeLaet


THE MODERATOR:  Welcome, Graham DeLaet, to the media center, the highest ranked Canadian in the Official World Golf Rankings, and it's always a pleasure to have you here playing for the national championship, and I'm sure it means a lot to you.  Maybe start off by telling us what it means to be playing for your national Open.
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Exactly.  This is a tournament that I'm always excited about at the start of the year, and it's great, Montreal is one of my favorite Canadian cities.  It's good to be back here, and the Canadian Open is just a special event for me, so I'm excited about the week.

Q.  I know you have some special memories from Montreal, as well.  I think it was five years ago this year you won on what was then the Canadian Tour, now PGA TOUR Canada.  Maybe some good vibes for you this week from that win?
GRAHAM DeLAET:¬† Yeah, hopefully.¬† I mean, I was just down the road on the island here, so yeah, I mean, in order to win a golf tournament you have to play well no matter where it is or what level it is, but hopefully this is a week‑‑ my game feels a lot closer than it probably looks compared to my results, and you always know that deep down when you're playing well, and hopefully I can just kind of clean it up a little bit and this can be the breakout week.

Q.  When you won in Montreal on the Canada Tour, what year was that?

Q.  If I remember correctly, that was a year where money was tight, where you hadn't played particularly well heading into that, and was it here that sort of turned things around because things sort of spiraled from there?
GRAHAM DeLAET:¬† Yeah, 100 percent.¬† This was kind of the jump start that I needed back then.¬† Times were tight financially.¬† I wasn't playing with much confidence at all, and I took some time off before that week, and I knew that I had to finish that season strong or I wasn't going to have a job, and I didn't know exactly what I was going to do. ¬†But I was able to kind of put it together that week.¬† I was fortunate enough to win in a playoff, and from there everything just kind of snowballed and I grew some confidence, and I guess I was able to‑‑ I guess it was the next year I was able to get my PGA TOUR card, and it was a big step in my career for sure to win here.

Q.  When you say money was tight, how tight are we talking about?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  I mean, a few thousands probably at the most is all I had in the bank account, and my sponsorship had kind of dried up, so it was kind of all or nothing at that time.

Q.  You talked about that win in Canada sort of jump starting the rest of your career.  What about last year's Presidents Cup?  That had to give you quite a bit of a boost, as well, because you played very well in that.  Your recognition must have gone up as you go around playing the PGA TOUR this year.
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, that was a great week.  Obviously being part of that team was phenomenal, and being able to play well was just kind of icing on the cake.  It did give me a lot of confidence.  I got some real kind words from Nicky Price, who's a guy who I really, really respect now even more than I did before because he's a great guy as well as a great player.  Mr.Nicklaus gave me some nice, kind words, as well, that week, and I was able to kind of parlay that into some good play throughout last fall over in Asia and then at the start of the year.
The last couple months has been a little bit difficult.  I haven't really been getting much out of my golf game, but that being said, I've been through lows before, and I've always seemed to be able to dig myself out of them.
And like I said, I really feel like I'm playing a lot better now than my score indicates.¬† I got a little bit of a tough draw there last week and I played 7‑over for nine holes.¬† The other 27 I played at 4‑under on the tough side of the draw.¬† You know, my game‑‑ I feel pretty good inside about how I'm playing.

Q.  In this country a goal scored in hockey will tell you there's such a fine line between being able to put the puck in the net and not being able to buy one.  How does that equate to golf?  When you are in the zone and when the ball is being struck properly and the putts are dropping and so on, how fine a line is it between that happening and just not being able to get it done on the day?
GRAHAM DeLAET:¬† Yeah, sometimes it's just seeing the lines and that comes with a lot of confidence, and being able to really trust it, both with ball‑striking and around the greens.¬† It's like the chicken or the egg; you can't play well without confidence, but you can't really gain confidence without playing well.
Like I said, every player knows you can sometimes have a decent finish but you don't really feel great about your game but you were able to get it around somehow, and other times you feel like you played really well and you might have had a couple little hiccups here and there or an unlucky break or whatever it may be, and all of a sudden you miss the cut and you're playing well.
It's just kind of getting a little bit of confidence rolling, and I think one good round of golf could do that for me right now and just seeing a few more putts roll in and just kind of take ing it from there, but I'm excited about the week, and like I said, I feel like I'm playing pretty well.

Q.  How well suited is Royal to your game?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, I love the golf course.  It's a good, traditional layout, everything is pretty much right in front of you.  There's nothing quirky or tricky about it.  It's in great shape, and I think if you can drive it well out here, you can have a lot of cracks at birdie.  If you're missing fairways and hitting in some of the fairway bunkers, it's going to be a little bit more difficult.
I think that's one of the keys around here is to be hitting the ball in the fairway, and the fairways are pretty generous and they're pure, and you can kind of take on some pins if you're hitting a mid‑iron out of the fairways.

Q.  Shaw put up some money for a couple of guys this week, they've got the hat; you've got the Shaw hat on.  How important do you think that financing is for young pros?  You talked about how times were tough for you in '09.  How important is the ability to sort of have money when you're just kind of starting out chasing this?
GRAHAM DeLAET:¬† Yeah, I mean, well, Shaw has been a great partner.¬† This is the first year hopefully of many with them.¬† We're on board on the same things kind of across the board.¬† But when it comes to money, I mean, that's one of the most difficult things for a struggling or early professional player is not having to play for checks and to see money going into your account so you can play the next week.¬† That's really one of the most difficult things of playing mini‑tours or lower level tours of golf is that there's just so much added pressure on trying to make money so you can keep your head afloat.
For Shaw and for other big companies to be able to step up and support some of our young Canadians, I think it's great.

Q.  Secondly, there will be a lot made of it's been 60 years since Pat Fletcher's win.  I think Mike Weir once said for a Canadian to win here this week is sort of like lightning in a bottle.  It's asking a lot.  You've got a lot of demands on your time and so forth.  Is there added pressure when you come here to perform well or do you put more pressure on yourself to perform well?
GRAHAM DeLAET:¬† Yeah, I think‑‑ the fans across Canada, I know that no matter how we play, they're still going to be fans of us and they're going to cheer us on.¬† I don't think we're going to let anyone down by not winning or not playing our best golf, but all we can do is really try our best, and I guarantee every single Canadian in the field is going to give it all that they have this week, and that's really all that you can expect or ask of them.
I think that we have as strong of a group of Canadian players here this year as we've had, and I think this is my sixth or seventh Canadian Open that I can remember.¬† Obviously Mike is starting to show some form.¬† David is playing‑‑ he's had a nice, solid year.¬† And with Hadwin and Sloan with a couple of wins on the Web.com TOUR, I think the future is bright, and hopefully it's an exciting week and we can make some noise on the weekend.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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