David Hearn is playing in his first PGA Championship at Oak Hill this week.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- David Hearn considers himself a pretty patient man.
He's 34 years old, after all, and this week's PGA Championship is just his fourth major appearance. And the Canadian didn't even make the field until Brendan Jones withdrew last week.
But Hearn has wasted no time making his presence known at Oak Hill -- firing a 66 in the first round that left him one-stroke off the lead. His solid performance continues an impressive stretch that saw Hearn narrowly miss earning his first PGA TOUR title last month when he lost on the fourth hole of a playoff at the John Deere Classic.
"My career has always had a certain progression, and I've always found a way to get competitive at the next level that I've been to," Hearn explained. "For me right now, it's just a matter of trying to continue that on, and as I've been on the PGA TOUR for a few years now, I've gotten better at playing well in the bigger events.
"So to be in this position here is going to be a great learning experience for me, and I'm excited about the next three days."
That said, Hearn's first round in his first PGA didn't get off to the best of starts, and it didn't end well, either. But between those two bogeys, he was nearly flawless, making six birdies as he steadily climbed the leaderboard.
Hearn ended up hitting 10 of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens in regulation. He used just 25 putts, as well.
"I did a little bit of everything well," Hearn reported. "Drove it well. My only bad tee shot of the day was on 18, a little bit of a surprise there. But I hit great iron shots and I made a few clutch putts when I needed to on the back nine with some par putts to keep the round going. Overall, I think I did everything pretty well."
Hearn said he was proud of the way he played at the John Deere Classic, although he was certainly disappointed with the outcome. He felt he handled the pressure well, though, and the playoff with Zach Johnson and the eventual champ, Jordan Spieth was another building block.
"The John Deere was a step forward for me in my career at this time; to be in contention on the biggest stage, maybe not the biggest tournament on the Tour, but definitely, in the playoff with Zach and Jordan," Hearn said. "Jordan is going to be a great player and Zach is one of the better of our generation. I took a lot of positives.
"I think when I do get in that situation again, I'll be able to pull from that and I'll look back at it as a great learning experience."
David Hearn shot a Sunday 73 to hold on as low Canadian. (Martin/Getty Images)
By David McPherson, Special to PGATOUR.com
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- No matter how old you are, you want to make your parents proud.
David Hearn certainly did that with his T2 finish a couple of weeks back at the John Deere Classic, where he lost in a five-hole playoff. With mom and dad, friends and family tagging along at Glen Abbey this week, Hearn hoped to keep this momentum going and give his hometown fans more to cheer about.
On Friday, he did. Hearn, 34, squeezed in on the cut line thanks to an unbelievable birdie-birdie-birdie finish. The highlight: holing a 47-footer on 18 that secured his Saturday tee time and received roars from the Canadian crowd.
“I said to my caddie, ‘Let’s run the tables here,’ and I did,” he told the media after this phenomenal second-round finish. “Any time you do that it feels good.”
While Hearn did not run the tables on the weekend, he felt good about his play this week. His third-round 68, followed by a 1-over 71 on Sunday, was also just good enough to take home some hardware – the Rivermead Trophy – as the low Canadian.
“I’ve been low Canadian once before, and it’s obviously proud for me to do that here in front of everyone at home,” Hearn said. “It wasn’t the finish I was looking for, but I had a nice chance today.
“I was playing pretty solid and had a chance to finish the round with a little bit of style,” he added. “But I’ll take away some positives this week, and I obviously appreciate the support from everyone … it always feels good to play at home.”
Hearn finished one shot ahead of Weir, who shot even-par on the final day to finish 3 under for the tournament. Sloan, the lone other Canadian who played on the weekend, was one more shot back at 2 under.
The one other positive Hearn takes away from this week is that he moved a step closer to securing his spot to play in the year’s final major.
“I was excited to get back in here and see if I could compete right away again,” Hearn concluded. “My game was close this week. It was just a little bit off. I just didn’t get it done on the greens. I’ll be looking forward to next week and another little rest for me and seeing if I can get playing well again for the PGA.”
By David McPherson, Special to PGATOUR.COM
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- When you are carrying the weight of the nation on your shoulders -- trying to end the 59-year-drought of a homegrown hero winning the RBC Canadian Open -- it helps to get paired with a friend and countryman who can share that burden.
That was the case in the opening round Thursday when Canada’s top two ranked players on the PGA TOUR -- Graham DeLaet and David Hearn -- were paired together in the morning wave.
Hearn was the steadier of the two, finishing with an economical 2-under 70. His playing partner struggled a bit to get anything going. DeLaet, still looked a little jet-lagged from playing in his first Open Championship last week, shot 72.
Both finished with a birdie on their final hole of the day (No. 9), however, which should give them a shot of confidence heading into Friday.
“It felt alright,” Hearn said. “I gave myself a lot of chances. I didn’t make as many of those putts as I would have liked, but overall, it was nice to finish with a birdie, and looking forward to maybe doing a little better tomorrow.”
For his part, DeLaet, described is even-par round as up-and-down. “It was pretty Jekyll & Hyde out there,” he said.
The 31-year-old didn’t blame his schedule, which includes five straight tournaments, for his erratic play. He hit only hit six of 14 fairways, and for someone who leads the PGA TOUR in greens in regulation managed just 11 greens hit Thursday. All things considered, he was happy with his opening round.
To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here .
2013 PREVIEW: David Hearn is coming off a career year in FedExCup points and earnings, as well as top-25 finishes. Building on that momentum and contending for his first TOUR title will be key for the Canadian in the new year.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: Hearn, who grew a Playoffs beard with fellow Canadian Graham DeLaet, prospered during the four FedExCup events. He tied for 10th at The Barclays to move from No. 108 to 67th, then reached the third leg of the Playoffs for the first time when he tied for 26th at the Deutsche Bank Championship. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: I got to interview David after a 10th-place finish at The Barclays. Some players are nonchalant about a good tournament … but not David. He was all smiles after qualifying for Deutsche Bank and went on to play at the BMW Championship as well. You have to admire a person who is able to enjoy his success. Hearn is a very good wedge player and scrambler. He's seventh on TOUR in getting up and down from 30 yards or less.-- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: Unlike his long-hitting fellow countryman, Graham DeLaet, this Canadian gets the job done with accuracy, deft touch and strong putting. Hearn survived 19 cuts in each season since returning to the PGA TOUR in 2011. Among those paydays were 14 top 25s, the majority of which on tracks that match up well with his skill set. At 33 years of age, he's in his prime and continues to bloom. You'll find more dynamic value in salary games, but he'll serve as a suitable investment for any rotisserie owner. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
SOCIAL MEDIA: Find him on Twitter
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finishes||T10||Sony Open, The Barclays|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 19
Rounds played: 95
Top-10 finishes: 2
Money List rank: 97th
Driving distance: 124th
Driving accuracy: 72nd
Greens in regulation: 63rd
Strokes gained-putting: 43rd
Scoring average: 49th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
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By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM staff
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Canadian native David Hearn played on the Canadian Tour from 2002-04. In his final year, he finished No. 5 on the Order of Merit.
"The PGA TOUR getting involved with the Canadian Tour is obviously going to be a great thing for the Canadian Tour,” Hearn said. “The PGA TOUR has done a great job with the Web.com Tour and everything that they've really touched -- Champions Tour, the FedExCup. They're doing a lot of really good things. So for them to get involved with the Canadian Tour is really going to help elevate the level of that tour to where it should be.
“It should be a very good developmental tour. It has been for years. It's struggled a little bit in the past couple of years, I know that. But the PGA TOUR coming in, I really hope that it helps push them over the edge and makes them a top developmental tour again."
In 2008, the former Masters champ had filmed a PGA TOUR commercial with Wayne Gretzky where the man they call "The Great One" suggested Weir grow a "playoff beard" like hockey players do during the road to the Stanley Cup.
In a case of life imitating art, so to speak, Weir did -- although by the time his wife and children arrived for the Deutsche Bank Championship the beard was gone. Weir went on to finish sixth in the FedExCup that year, posting top-10 finishes in three of the four Playoffs events.
Earlier this week, DeLaet and Hearn tweeted about resurrecting the playoff beards.
Time to get these Playoffs going! Bethpage is awesome! Got the beard ripping, didn't cheat and start 2 weeks ago like @HearnDavid though. @GrahamDeLaet
@GrahamDeLaet had to start early so people could see it!! Haha. Go get em today and lets grow those playoff beards long! #FedExCup #playoffs @HearnDavid
Hearn started The Barclays ranked 108th while DeLaet was two spots higher. Both made the cut on Friday but remain below the top 100 eligible for the Deutsche Bank Championship so they need to play hard this weekend.
David Hearn is the low Canadian at the RBC Canadian Open at the moment -- he’s even through his first three holes in the third round and 4 under for the tournament, seven shots off the lead.
After missing the cut in his first four RBC Canadian Opens (2002-05), Hearn, a native of Brantford, Ontario, who played collegiately at the University of Wyoming, has played on the weekend in five of his last six RBC Canadian Opens, with his tie for 20th in 2006 his top finish.
In addition to David Hearn, there were 22 Canadians in this week’s field. Five made the cut: Hearn, Albin Choi, Matt McQuillan, Graham DeLaet and Matt Hill.
The last Canadian to win this tournament was Pat Fletcher who carded a 280 in 1954 at Point Grey.
Here's who is appearing in the media center at Hamilton Golf and C.C. this week. All interviews will be streamed live on PGATOUR.COM.
Wednesday, July 25
Ernie Els, 2 p.m. ET
Hunter Mahan, 3 p.m. ET
Jim Furyk, after pro-am
Sean O'Hair, after pro-am
Mike Weir, after pro-am
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
HONOLULU -- When David Hearn checked his messages following Thursday's first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii, he started seeing some good-natured ribbing.
"I got a few texts from some guys saying you're not the top Canadian, that I needed to work harder," Hearn said.
But Hearn, having entered the day three shots off DeLaet's pace, produced another 66 in Friday morning's second round. That made him the clubhouse leader at 8 under about an hour before DeLaet teed off to start his round.
"Canadians, like the Australians and all the other countries in the world, we kind of pull for each other," Hearn said after his second round. "So it was good to see him do well yesterday."
Unlike DeLaet, only now returning to form after back surgery a year ago, Hearn's play through the first two rounds here is a continuation of how he performed in the Fall Series last season, when he posted back-tob-back top 10 finishes and made the cut in all four events.
He was playing so well at the end of 2011 that frankly, he wouldn't have minded had the season continued.
"I feel like I played pretty steady most of the year last year, and I just wasn't quite getting the results, getting those top 10s and those finishes," Hearn said. "You know, I don't know what it was that clicked, but something obviously did."
What's clicking for Hearn thus far is his accuracy -- he's hit 68 percent of his fairways and 75 percent of his greens in the first 36 holes.
"There's a lot of doglegs out there and I've always been pretty good off the tee," Hearn said. "Any golf course that you have to put the ball in play I tend to do well at."