Travelers Championship interview: Graham DeLaetJune 22, 2013
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THE MODERATOR: All right. We'll get started. Graham DeLaet, thanks for joining us after a five under 65 today Round 3, your second 65 of the week. Obviously things going well for you. Just some comments about the round today.
GRAHAM DeLAET: Yeah. I did play well pretty much all day. I hit it great. I had a lot of good birdie chances on the front nine, just couldn't really seem to find the hole, and Julian, my caddie, just told me to stay patient because I was rolling it well; and I got off to a nice little start on the back side, birdied 10, 11, 12, 13 and kind of settled the nerves a little bit and kind of got me going, and it was really nice to finish nice on 18 with a birdie.
THE MODERATOR: Word obviously got around quick about the unfortunate situation with weather at PGA TOUR Canada. That being said, you kind of stepped up. Can you kind of fill us in on what your intention is for the weekend here?
GRAHAM DeLAET: Yeah. Thanks. We decided, my wife and I, that we would donate $1,000 for every birdie I made this weekend as well as $2,500 for every eagle I make; and it's just a shame what's happening up there, and a lot of people affected, disaster situation. And we've got friends and family that live up there in that area, so we thought it would be a nice gesture. And all across Canada the support's been unbelievable for those in Alberta.
And like I was telling these guys earlier, it's a pretty small part what we're doing, but anything helps. There's a lot of help from everyone all across Canada, and I just feel super fortunate to have grown up in that country and now living in the United States, and you guys would do the same thing here. You saw with the Oklahoma tornadoes and that kind of thing. So it's nice to be able to help out.
THE MODERATOR: And we understand now that PGA TOUR of Canada is going to match you with everything.
GRAHAM DeLAET: Yeah. And that's a super generous donation by PGA TOUR Canada. That tour means a lot to me. I spent three years of my life out there trying to hone my game and that kind of thing, so for them to step up as well, it means a lot. And like I said, it's a really small part what we're doing, but we're happy to help out a little bit.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. Well, you made six birdies in the third round today, so you're off to a good start, and with that we'll open it up and take some questions.
Q. You had the bogey and you recovered for the birdie on 18. Just talk about facing the mental strain there at the end of the round.
GRAHAM DeLAET: Yeah. I mean actually I made a three putt bogey there on 16, but my first putt I left quite a bit short, but I felt like I hit a decent putt on my second one, just kind of ran it through the break a little bit. And same thing on 17, I hit what I thought was a perfect putt there and the ball just didn't really turn.
But super fortunate actually on 18 that my ball kind of stayed up on top and didn't fall over because that would have been almost an impossible up and down, and then to roll it in was a super bonus.
Q. Graham, sorry if you answered something like this already, but can you talk about your relationship with any of the Canadian players on tour and what it's like carrying the banner through Canada?
GRAHAM DeLAET: Yeah. Just like anything in Canada, we take pride in our athletics, and you know, our whatever it may be, anyone who's excelling at anything, whether it be business or sports. And same thing out here, we all stick together with Mike and Stephen and David. David is one of my best friends, and Fritzy is having a nice year as well as a rookie. And I mean we all cheer for each other. On the PGA TOUR leaderboards I have them all colored so I know exactly where they are all the time, and we're definitely rooting for each other every round.
Q. You didn't play for the two weeks leading into this. Could you just talk about your decision to take some time off?
GRAHAM DeLAET: Yeah, after Columbus I had played four weeks in a row and I was signed up for the sectional qualifier in Columbus the following Monday, and I just knew kind of mentally that I needed a break. And you know, I felt like I could have gone out because I was playing well, and qualified for the U. S. Open, but at the same time I thought the best thing for me going forward was to take the year as a whole and not as just one week.
And I'm super fresh again. I'm playing this week and the following two. And I feel like I'm in a good place mentally, and then physically I'm feeling good, too. I was able to go home and fish for a week and practice for a week and kind of get ready for Hartford here. It turned out to be a good decision. I still have 18 holes left to play, but I'm happy with where I am.
Q. You're up near the top of the leaderboard now, so what's your mentality going into tomorrow?
GRAHAM DeLAET: Pretty much try to do the same things I have been doing. It's probably going to take a hot putter for me tomorrow to win the tournament, depending on what the leaders do out there, but at the same time I feel like I'm hitting it well. I'm in control of my golf ball. I'm giving myself a lot of looks, and if I can make a couple early and get a little confidence going with the putter, you never know, but like I said, I might be six or seven back at the end of the day. I don't know what these guys are doing out there, but happy to be where I'm at and I'm excited about the opportunity tomorrow.
Q. With a good round tomorrow you could kind of move up into the periphery of condition for the Presidents Cup. Is that anything you've thought of lately?
GRAHAM DeLAET: Absolutely. It was one of my goals starting the year. I was definitely on the outside looking in, but we had Nick Price held a meeting for potential members of the team at Memorial on Tuesday, and Adam Scott poured his heart out that night, and it was super inspiring, and ever since then I wanted to be on that team. And after seeing how much it means to those guys, it would be an unbelievable opportunity, and I'm doing everything I can to try to make that team.
Q. I couldn't help but notice that your caddie is wearing a Hartford Whalers cap. I've covered that for like 20 years. Did you get much response out there? And I'm assuming you are a Calgary Flames fan. And second question that would be kind of heart breaking to read about the water is ten rows up at the Saddledome.
GRAHAM DeLAET: I definitely am a Calgary Flames fan. I carry the yardage book. Julian, my caddie, he supports a local sports team every week, and this week actually we were just talking about walking up 18 that he's got more "go Whalers," cheers like that than we have all year. So it's been a lot of fun. We enjoy it, and he has a lot of fun with it, too, and he has a pretty nice hat collection now as well.