It’s unlikely that Hamilton Golf and Country Club will have a beef with David Hearn calling it home this week for the RBC Canadian Open, even if it isn’t his home course.
This year’s national championship is extra special for Hearn, who hails from just down the road in Brantford and expects to see a lot of familiar faces this week.
“I don’t think Brantford is going to be hosting a Canadian Open any time soon — too logistical. Great golf course, but it’s not going to host a Canadian Open,” said Hearn.
“This is as close as I’m going to get to a home game and I really do feel like it is,” he added. “It feels luke a home tournament for me. I’ve got a lot of friends and people, even in the practice days, coming out and talking to me and it’s going to be a lot of fun for me to play this week.
“I get to stay at home and stay in my own bed as well, so it really does feel like a home game to me,” said Hearn.
Of course, the Canadian Open is usually circled in red on the calendars of Hearn, Graham DeLaet and other Canadians, but playing in your own backyard makes it even more special.
Adam Hadwin, who hails from Abbotsford, B.C., took full advantage last year at Vancouver’s Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club, where he nearly became the first Canuck since Pat Fletcher in 1954 to win the Open, but Hadwin tied for fourth.
At a breakfast on Monday, Hadwin said he just breathed in the atmosphere and enjoyed it with friends and family surrounding him. His result last year is enough to make Hearn take notice with it being his turn to play on home turf.
“Adam had pretty good success (in Vancouver) last year, so it seemed to work. Maybe, that’s a formula I need to look into,” said Hearn, adding that he stresses not changing his normal routine too much with the Open so close to home.
“I feel like there’s going to be a lot of people out here this week that want to see me do well and I obviously want to play well, but I’m trying to treat it like I prepare for a lot of different events,” said Hearn.
“Obviously, being a Canadian and here at the Canadian Open, our time is a little bit more limited preparing for the event, but I feel like I’ve done a great job preparing leading up to this,” he added.
“I try not to treat it too differently,” said Hearn.
Consistency describes Hearn’s game this year. While he hasn’t been in contention much — he has just one top 10 finish — he has been efficient, if unspectacular, with seven top-25s in 20 events.
“This year, I got off to a great start with that 10th-place finish at Sony. I was just a couple shots off the lead going into the weekend,” said Hearn. “I thought I would be in contention more this year.
“I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress over my game last year. I’m getting a lot more out of my game, but I also feel like there’s room for improvement and I’d like to see myself get into contention here sometime soon,” he said.
There’s no place like home to do that.