It was just a couple of months ago that Canadians were buzzing about the possibility of Graham DeLaet getting a captain’s pick for the International team at the just-concluded Presidents Cup.
In some quarters, however, there was concern with an abundance of Presidents Cup first-timers in the lineup, seven as it turned out, so would captain Nick Price go for experience or the hot hand of a newcomer with his captain’s picks?
It was all academic when it came to DeLaet, who earned an automatic selection to the team when he finished in the top 10, eighth actually, in what’s been a breakthrough season into the upper echelon of global players in 2013.
The only thing that’s missing is his first tour victory, but if seven top-10s, rising to 32nd in world rankings and finishing eighth in FedEx Cup playoff standings wasn’t enough to answer any questions, what DeLaet did in the past few days leaves no doubt what he’s capable of on tour and in future Presidents Cups.
The signature moment for Canadians at the Presidents Cup was Mike Weir’s 1-up singles victory over Tiger Woods at the 2007 edition at Royal Montreal.
Of course, beating Tiger is always going to grab attention and doing it on your home turf is extra special, but DeLaet’s performance this year was not only similar to Weir’s, it also had a generous supply of pizzazz.
Weir finished at Royal Montreal with a 3-1-1 record overall as did DeLaet, tying him for the best record on the International side with his partner Jason Day. Together, DeLaet and Day had a 2-1-1 record in foursomes and four-ball before each took their respective singles match.
DeLaet finished the team portion with this chip-in in foursomes that forced Keegan Bradley to sink a 10-footer to halve the match for him and Phil Mickelson,
The fireworks didn’t stop there. Check out this shot by DeLaet on the fifth hole of his singles match against 2013 PGA Tour rookie of the year Jordan Spieth.
Then, for the second time on Sunday, he holed out here, this time from a greenside bunker, to secure a 1-up win, the same score Weir beat Tiger by in 2007.
Both Weir and DeLaet finished their respective Presidents Cups with the exact same record. Both beat a player at the top of his game by the exact same score.
Not being able to decide the top Presidents Cup moment for Canada doesn’t mean you’re waffling. It’s that close, so why bother? They don’t come along that often.
In DeLaet’s case, however, he heads into 2013-14 with confidence and he’s sent a buzz through Canadian golf in anticipation of what he’ll do next.
However, as it was in Weir’s case, the Internationals lost again, this time 18.5-15.5 and the Americans possess a dominant 8-1-1- record, but if there is any consolation, it was the closest the Internationals have come since 2005.
With this being a team competition, individual success is secondary when looking at it from a global perspective, but the good news for the Internationals is that DeLaet and Day were an awesome team that looks to be around for plenty more Presidents Cups to come.
They came together like Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley did at last year’s Ryder Cup, so their performance is at least solace for the multitudes of hand-wringers who will be lamenting the Americans’ dominant record.