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July 24, 2012

Graham DeLaet


NELSON SILVERIO:  Welcome, Graham DeLaet to the interview room at the RBC Canadian Open.  Graham, you've had two Top 10s so far this year.  Just kind of get us started talking about your year so far and then maybe what you're looking forward to at the Canadian Open.
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, I think all in all it's been a decent year.  In golf you're never really 100 percent satisfied.  You can always do better you feel.  But I think if you'd have asked me in January after not playing for a full year, if I'd take the position I'm in right now, I probably would have said yes, but I still have some work to do, but at the same time a decent finish a couple weeks ago put me in a position where it took a little pressure off, and I fully believe I'm a good enough player to compete.  And I just want to be in the hunt.
NELSON SILVERIO:  Your fourth start at the RBC Canadian Open as a pro, first start here at Hamilton.  Have you had a chance to look at the golf course?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  I played 18 yesterday in Mike's charity thing and played nine holes today, and the course is in fantastic shape.  It's a little soft from the rain Sunday, but the rough is definitely up.
Puts a premium on hitting fairways and hitting greens, and there's some variance in some of the slopes out there on the greens, so not only just hitting greens, but hitting to the right spot.  Sometimes you're better off missing a green, having that uphill chip as opposed to a 15‑footer above the hole, especially on 18 or a couple of the other greens.  It's super fast coming down the slope.
NELSON SILVERIO:  Great.  Thanks.  Questions?

Q.  How different a week is this for you and what are the specific things that are different compared to say two weeks ago or five weeks ago?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  First of all, the Canadian Open is special to me.  It's my national championship, or our national championship.  And it's one that I mark on the calendar at the start of the year that I'm always excited about.
It's amazing how fast the year goes by.  We're already in mid July and at the Canadian Open.  Apart from the golf there's more stuff on the side that I have to do, but it's once a year for me.  I don't know some of the big guys do it every single week, kind of being pulled inform different directions.
But I appreciate all the support in Canada, and I know I got a lot of fans and people cheering for me, and it's part of the job, I guess, but I enjoy it at the same time and I'm looking forward to the week.

Q.  Graham, you used to use a long putter.  Are you still using that?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  I just switched back.  This week will be the first week back with a long putter.  It's been about a year and a half, maybe two years or so with the shorty, and just kind of been inconsistent.  And you know, I went home, I had two weeks off here coming into this week, and just took it out just to kind of mess around and was shooting good scores, making a lot of putts, making a lot of birdies, and figured ‑‑ you know, like it doesn't feel like I'm putting poorly.  It's just that if I make a couple of five, six‑footers early in the round, I putt well for that day, and if I don't, I kind of lose my confidence and sometimes struggle.
So just kind of switching it up here, and you know, it's something that I actually will probably stick with for a little bit, but who knows.  I mean it's putting.  It's golf.

Q.  How long did you use it before?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Off and on a little bit, but I had a stint for probably two full years I was using it.  And I made it through Q‑School with it, so I know I can kind of ‑‑ under the gun I feel like I'll have the confidence in it.  But at the same time it's definitely different.
But like I said, I just want to see the ball go in the hole, so if I can do that with the long putter, belly putter or short putter, whatever it is, that's what I want it to be.

Q.  You are aware of the controversy that's going on right now with the USGA and R&A talking about not so much getting rid of long putters, but the way you use them.  Does that concern you at all?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  You know, they have been talking about it for a while, and if it does get banned or outlawed or anything like that, I mean we all grew up using short putters, so I think it won't be that big a deal to switch back to it.  I can see the argument both ways, but right now I'm just trying to get the ball in the hole.

Q.  Do you think it does give you an advantage?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  I don't know.  I don't know.

Q.  Graham, just you talked about how special a week this is for you.  How much did it hurt not playing at Shaughnessy last year?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, a lot, actually.  That's the one that I really, really missed, and I had my sights set on coming back for that week, especially at Shaughnessy.  I'm a western guy.  I love that golf course, but I just knew inside that it was just too early.  But like I said, it's so nice to be back, and I'm really looking forward to the week here.

Q.  Graham, a quick peak at the PGA TOUR stats have you in the Top‑25 to 50 players of 200 yards and in, and this golf course seems to have a lot of 200‑yard‑plus par‑3s.  So what's going to be most important to you this week, your long irons or accuracy with the driver?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah.  Probably a little bit of each.  But I really do feel like the strength of my game is my ball striking, you know, and I actually wasn't really sure of that stat.  I didn't really know much about that.  But I feel good with a 4, 5, 6‑iron in my hand.
And yeah, no matter what this week, you have to be in the fairway if you're going to score, but if you are in the fairway with it playing as soft as it is, if it doesn't firm up, guys are going to shoot some numbers out here, which is great, so matter which way you look at it, whether you're a ball striker, a putter or a short‑game guy, I think everyone's got pretty much the same advantage out here this week.

Q.  Mike Weir characterized that being successful at the Canadian Open for a Canadian is like catching lightning in a bottle.  Is it unfair to expect that your game comes together for one week and it happens to be this week and people look at it, they go, Graham or David or Mike or Stephen or whoever in the past.  There's a lot of other expectations placed on it?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah.  I mean even for I guess Tiger Woods to come here, he wins three, four times a year and he plays 15, 20 events or whatever.  So even for him to be on his best and win at this time would be a bit of a coincidence, I guess.
And like I've never won, David's never won, a lot of us haven't.  So I guess maybe it would be fair to say that, but I think with myself and David and Adam, I can't really speak for everyone, but I think we all believe in ourselves that it can happen this week and I think a lot has to come together at the right time.  We gotta make some putts, maybe get a few lucky bounces here and there, but that's the plan.  That's what we're all shooting for this week is to get the win and kind of break the curse or whatever it might be.
But more than anything we just enjoy this golf tournament so much, and it's just a pleasure being back on home soil and playing golf.

Q.  Do you spend any time with David when you're out on TOUR?  You play a lot of the same events as him.
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah.  We'll go out for supper.  You know, our wives are friends as well, and play practice rounds periodically together, so yeah, we get along very well out there.

Q.  The media was getting some opinion this morning on the range from different guys about talks going on with the R&A and the USGA about anchoring the long belly putters and that sort of thing.  What do you think will happen, what do you think should happen?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, I really have no idea what's going to happen, and you know, personally I've putted both ways.  I've putted well both ways.  I've putted poorly both ways, so I think more than anything it's the mental side of putting that gets the ball in the hole.
You know, I think no matter what happens, I think everyone will adapt, and you know, if we all have to go back to the short putter, I don't think ‑‑ I'm sure there's going to be some guys, especially the guys who have been super successful with the anchored putters, that aren't going to like that, but at the same time we all pretty much grew up using the short putter and it wasn't until 10, 15 years ago that those were kind of introduced.  So I think no matter what, guys will adapt and make it work.

Q.  Graham, just wanted to get your reaction.  Apparently Thursday and Friday are supposed to be pretty much waterlogged.  How do you think that's going to change the course setup for you?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Sounds like a pretty standard Canadian Open.  (Laughs).  Yeah.  It's unfortunate.
I mean when we get into delays and stuff like that, it definitely makes for a long week for players, and you know, sometimes, especially depending what side of the draw you're on, if you're sitting out here at the golf course for sometimes eight, ten hours while the other guys are in a hotel or at their house kind of relaxing on the couch, I guess it can be a disadvantage, but at the same time when you're ready to go, you gotta kind of get back in the game mode and get a proper warmup and just try to do the right things while you're in down time, I guess.
NELSON SILVERIO:  Any other questions?  All right.  Graham, thanks.
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Thank you.

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