Hardly audible with all of the buzz surrounding Tiger Woods and his no-show this year at Augusta National following back surgery is a healthy player looking to take one last shot at getting to the Masters.
“If I can play the way that I kind of see in my head, hopefully I will be at Augusta next week. I’ll see what happens there,” said David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., on a teleconference Tuesday to announce that RBC was taking sponsorship of the Canada Cup in Halifax this summer.
Winning this week’s Shell Houston Open to earn his ticket to Augusta is, admittedly, a long shot, but not out of the question either.
On one hand, Hearn missed the cut in Houston the past couple two years, but he did tie for sixth there in 2011.
He has yet to win on the PGA Tour, but came oh so close at last year’s John Deere Classic as part of a three-man playoff that saw Jordan Spieth emerge as champion.
With a tie for sixth at the Honda Classic in early March followed by a tie for eighth at the Valspar Championship a couple of weeks later, maybe momentum could lead to a breakthrough.
“I feel like I had a nice Florida swing last month and I definitely needed a week off last week (Valero Texas Open) to kind of recharge a little bit and if I can put together a nice week this week, I’ll give myself a chance to be at Augusta next week,” said Hearn.
The Florida Swing was in direct contrast to the results Hearn posted on the west coast, where Hearn missed three cuts, but he says the results did not illustrate the way he was playing.
“I felt all along this season I’ve had a solid game. I’ve been hitting the ball well. I’ve been chipping and putting it well,” he said.
“I just wasn’t seeing the results, so getting back into the Florida Swing, seeing some nice results and feeling a bit more competitive and giving myself some chances on the weekend felt great,” added Hearn.
“It just reaffirms that I am doing the right things,” he said.
He’ll need all of those right things to reach a goal that he says it at the top of his bucket list of career achievements.
“I feel like I got so close last year at the John Deere and now that the Masters has finally rolled around, I feel very motivated,” said Hearn.
“I’d like to be there as soon as I can. I know it’s something that I’ll achieve at some point in time in my career and I hope I can do it more than just once, but I’d love to get there for the first time (this week),” he said.
Time will tell, but as people struggle with the idea of a Masters without Tiger Woods, it doesn’t seem nearly as tough to imagine a Masters with David Hearn.