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July 24, 2014

Graham DeLaet


Q.  Here with the highest ranked Canadian in the world, Graham DeLaet.  You started with a couple early bogeys and then you caught fire beginning on 8 with four birdies in your next seven holes.  Tell me about what led you to give the crowd a charge here in the second half.
GRAHAM DeLAET:¬† Yeah, I hit one kind of errant tee shot on 3 and missed a short one on 4, and other than that I felt like I was playing pretty well, just wasn't able to make birdie.¬† I hit one in there close on 8.¬† I just wasn't seeing any putts go in.¬† I made like a 40‑ or 50‑footer up and over on 11 that seemed to kind of jump start me a little bit, and then had a couple birdies the next few holes, as well.¬† A little disappointed to finish with bogey, but I was pretty happy to be under par after today.

Q.  How have your galleries evolved as you've risen up the World Golf Rankings?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, it's great.  The support that I get across Canada is amazing.  I mean, we're a proud country.  We really cheer on our athletes, and I think every year the Canadian Open gets a little bit bigger and a little bit bigger, and I was playing with two great players today, which didn't hurt.

Q.  This is one of those days when the round started and could have got away from you, but you battled back.  Even though you had the bogey at 18, that was a nice comeback.
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, it was.  I had a couple of loose swings.  I really missed a short putt on 4 and then other than that I felt like I played really well all day, just couldn't really seem to get any birdies going, but made a nice putt on 11 that sort of jump started me and was able to birdie a couple of the next three or four.  I'm really happy with my finish after the start, because you're right, I want to play well so badly here, and to be a couple over through four holes, I had to kind of dig deep and make it happen.

Q.¬† That was, by the way, 53 feet at 11 if you were wondering what the distance was, and then the up‑and‑down at 16, you drove it way right, short, I know you weren't happy with the chip shot, but the putt was right in the middle.
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, that was nice.  I mean, that was kind of one of those holes I felt like I knew after the tee shot I was going to have to battle hard to make a 4, and I hit a really good second shot in there and had a relatively simple up and in and didn't hit a great shot, but I holed that putt, and it's just kind of one of those things that keeps the round going and keeps the momentum going.  But an unfortunate bogey there at 18.

Q.  The entire group seemed to play well, along with Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar, you were all under par.  What about the conditions out there?  I know in the morning it was very soft.  Did it firm up out there for you guys?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  No, it was still pretty soft, but I mean, Golf Canada and the PGA TOUR did a pretty good job setting those pins.  I thought there were some great pins out there, some tough ones to get to.  Even with the soft conditions you really had to take really aggressive lines if you wanted to hit them close because there was a lot tucked close to the edge.  But I think it was very scorable today.  We had a little bit of wind here in the afternoon, but hopefully we'll get out in the morning and get some nice conditions.

Q.  Tough bogey on 18, but you didn't play too bad.
GRAHAM DeLAET:¬† No, I was happy after my start to get it back into red figures.¬† It's always a little disappointing bogeying the last hole, but I fought hard kind of all day, and it was one of those rounds that could have gotten away from me, especially after my start, but I was able to‑‑ I made a nice putt on 11 to really kind of get things going, and a little disappointing after bogeying the last, but I was happy with the round.

Q.  Well, it's the first round, so you're still in it, that's for sure, but at the same time a lot of people were saying Graham DeLaet could be one of the top because of the way you drive and everything.  How did you find the course?
GRAHAM DeLAET:¬† It was soft.¬† It was scorable, but there were some great pins out there, especially for a Thursday, making you think, and with a little bit of blustery winds, we never quite knew exactly‑‑

Q.  Especially in the afternoon the wind was more present in the afternoon than this morning.
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, and it always is, so I'm hoping tomorrow morning being off early we'll get a nice calm day and hopefully be able to post a good number.

Q.  You had about seven or eight pins that were only three or four feet from the fringe, so that's pretty tough.
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, it was.  They did a great job setting up the course, even as soft as it was, you still had to hit great shots in to make birdies.

Q.  Notwithstanding the bogey on 18, do you feel pretty good with your bounce back after a tough start today?
GRAHAM DeLAET:¬† Yeah, I hit a loose tee shot on 3 and missed a short putt on 4 and I was a couple over early, and it was tough.¬† I knew it could get away from me pretty quickly if I didn't start making some birdies, and I just wasn't able to hole any putts.¬† But I hit one close on 8 which was a tap‑in which kind of got things going a bit, and then a great putt on 11.¬† It was nice to see one go in, especially from that distance.

Q.  When you grind out a round like that, does it almost feel somewhat more rewarding than if it was easy to get under par?
GRAHAM DeLAET:¬† Yes and no.¬† At the end of the day it's a 1‑under par, but I'm happy with it, especially after my start.¬† It wasn't the easiest of conditions.¬† I think they had some great pins out there today.¬† Even as soft as it was with the wind kind of bouncing around a little bit, it was still tough to get them close and have good birdie looks.¬† Hopefully we'll get out tomorrow morning and it'll be a nice calm morning and we'll try to post a number.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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