Chez Reavie may have been swinging golf clubs last year at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ont., but he hit a home run for a Canadian apparel company with his wire-to-wire win at the RBC Canadian Open.
Reavie seemed like an unlikely Canadian Open champ when he teed it up for Quagmire Golf with a bunch of Canadian media types at the start of a week where all eyes would be focused on two-time tournament champ Jim Furyk.
That media day may one day be an event that every scribe or broadcaster will say they attended, even if they didn’t, but I must admit that I was absent that day due to other commitments. All reports that came back said Reavie was a pretty cool kid, not to mention a three-time all-American at Arizona State.
Still, the 2001 U.S. Public Links champ had hardly lit it up on the PGA Tour, which is to be expected of a rookie off the Nationwide Tour, so the odds against him going into the Open were huge, but everything fell into place.
“I was seeing improvement in my game every week and I just happened to really like the way the golf course set up for me,” said Reavie, 27. “I was hitting the ball exactly where I wanted to and I had a great feel on the greens and I was making a lot of putts and I was able to roll with it.”
On a soggy Glen Abbey, Reavie shot scores of 65-64-68-70 to finish three shots ahead of fellow ASU Sun Devil Billy Mayfair and, in doing so, generated an avalanche of unexpected publicity for Quagmire Golf, currently in its third season existence and like Reavie, a long shot in golf apparel at the beginning.
Geoff Tait and Bobby Pasternak are principals of Quagmire, sometimes seemingly better-suited for the high school principal’s office which, I expect, they visited quite often in days gone by.
The chilled, laid-back style is real, but only one aspect of Tait and Pasternak, who do take the business of introducing an edgy look while staying within the boundaries of the game’s traditions quite seriously.
I remember meeting a longshot who had the same idea back in 1997.
She seemed lost while wandering around the PGA Show in Las Vegas that year, but she did have a plan. Her name is Linda Hipp, whose Lija women’s line is now well-known in Canada, so Tait and Pasternak can use that as an example of what can happen when underdogs bear down.
Reavie is another underdog who defied the odds last year, so it seems that he’s a good fit for Quagmire after getting to know the company through his agent Peter Webb.
“My agent knew them somehow,” said Reavie. “He did a lot of work with the Canadian Tour, so he knew who they were and he showed me their clothing line and introduced me to them and that’s how the relationship got started.
“They’re very nice guys,” he added. “They’re hard workers and they like to have fun. They’re easy-going like me, but at the same time, they’re entrepreneurs and they want to do well.”
Reavie says they’re doing just that and there’s no reason that Quagmire won’t work in the future despite a tough economy right now. He believes Quagmire has discovered a gap in golf apparel that needs filling.
“It’s young-looking clothing,” he said. “The fabrics that they make the shirts out of, they’re very comfortable to wear and they’re very functional, yet they still have a good, young vibe about them.
“Even a lot of the older guys (on the PGA Tour), the veteran guys, they’re wearing younger looking clothing. It’s nice to see the game change a little bit.”
The game does evolve over time and the more that happens, the more the odds against young people such as Reavie, Tait and Pasternak decrease.
For more information on Quagmire Golf, see the website, www.quagmiregolf.com.