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October 1 2013

7:16 PM

DeLaet carries Canada's torch

Cannon/Getty Images
Graham DeLaet is the lone Canadian on the International Team.

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

DUBLIN, Ohio -- When Graham DeLaet thinks about the Presidents Cup, the first thing that comes to mind is Mike Weir beating Tiger Woods 1-up at Royal Montreal Golf Club in 2007.

It was one of the few bright spots for an International Team that got crushed by 5 points that year, but the Sunday singles victory by Weir left an indelible mark on DeLaet.

"It was an unbelievable moment for golf in our country," said DeLaet, who was playing on PGA TOUR Canada at the time. "He's represented Canada so well for so long, and he's a great role model."

Now it's DeLaet's turn.

The 31-year-old is making his Presidents Cup debut this week but arrives at Muirfield having played well enough to earn a spot on the team.

In 26 starts on the PGA TOUR this season, DeLaet had seven top 10s, including a runner-up at The Barclays and a third-place finish the following week at TPC Boston. He also finished third at the Travelers Championship and ended the year eighth in the FedExCup standings.

"He's really come out of his shell this year and I think he's starting to believe in himself and his ability," Price said. "He's probably rounded off a few of the rough edges that he had in the first couple of years as a professional. He's learned how to play the game, and he plays it so beautifully."

So much so that there aren't many holes when taking a closer look at DeLaet's game.

He ranked first in total driving -- a combination of distance and accuracy -- and was third in greens in regulation. He was also 16th in birdie average.

If there is a weakness, it's probably his putting. DeLaet ranked 76th this season in strokes gained-putting and was 120th in putts from 10-15 feet.

But whatever he lacks in his short game, he might make up for it in crowd support.

"We really needed a Canadian on the team," Price said. "We are going to have a lot of support from the Canadians and I think we are going to have a lot of pep down here from Canada in the next four or five days."

That was evident even in DeLaet's practice round Tuesday.

"It's cool to have a lot of support," DeLaet said. "Hopefully they can be nice and loud and try to offset a little bit of the American noise."

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