When Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Saskatchewan broke the news that he would bypass the Canadian Tour event in Saskatoon this past week, there was disappointment because prairie folk love to see their own achieve success. Especially at home.
Through four events, DeLaet was third on the Canadian Tour Order of Merit with $46,500 in earnings. With a scoring average of 68.86, he also sat in third place. His ranking on the Order of Merit had earned him the opportunity to play in the Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic presented by Samsung, a Nationwide Tour event in Ontario this past weekend. DeLaet made the cut, finished T31 and pocketed $5,121 USD for his efforts.
Meanwhile, back in Saskatoon at the Dakota Dunes GC, American Andres Gonzalez scorched the spiffy layout on Sunday, posting a final round of 63 to win the Saskatchewan Open by one shot over Hugo Leon of Chile. Gonzales, who resides in Las Vegas, eagled the final hole to finish at 14-under-par.
LPGA Tour…Another U.S. Women’s Open and another foreign champion. A quick glance at the leaderboard confirms the American gals couldn’t get it done again. Eun Hee Ji won her first major championship when she carded three birdies over the final six holes to overtake a struggling Christie Kerr and fellow Asian player, Candy Kung. (On a personal note, it was just a couple of years ago at the 2007 CN Canadian Women's Open in Edmonton that my old pal Lindsey Kotylak caddied for Ji at the Royal Mayfair G&CC. Kotylak is the head professional at the Leduc G&CC and knows the Royal Mayfair layout like the back of his hand. He has already been in contact via text messaging with Ji, a 23-year-old from Korea.)
And if ever there was an opportunity for the American gals to make a statement, it was during this past week. A number of the LPGA Tour stars have banded together over the past few weeks to build what appears to have been a successful case for the ouster commissioner Carolyn Bivens. These are the same ladies who simply have not won enough golf tournaments during Bevin’s tenure, a feat that most certainly would have increased the Tour’s bargaining power in the United States during these challenging economic times.
PGA Tour…A marathon final day at the John Deere Classic where the players endured 36 holes on Sunday. Steve Stricker outlasted the field, winning his second event of the season. A couple dozen players and their families then boarded a chartered plane for Scotland as the British Open begins later this week at Turnberry. Defending champion Padraig Harrington is gunning for his third Claret Jug in a row.
After the tournament, the chartered plane will depart Scotland for Canada as the RBC Canadian Open is the next event. The John Deere Classic and Canadian Open are sharing the cost of the charters in an effort to make travel more convenient for players. It’s all about attracting the strongest field possible.