Graham DeLaet earned a new career high after tying second place at The Barclays, the first round of the Professional Golf Association Tour playoffs.
The previous best for DeLaet, a former Weyburn resident, was a third place finish at the Travellers Championship earlier this season. His next goal is to win his very first PGA tournament.
"It would be nice to win the FexExCup playoffs. That's not really a shot in the dark, but it's a really high goal because I'm a long way behind the leaders," said DeLaet. "At the same time, I feel like I'm playing good enough to get a win and if I can do that, I can jump right into the hunt. Going into the playoffs, the goal was to get to the Tour Championship, but I think I can kind of aim a little bit higher."
DeLaet earned $528,000 by tying for second at The Barclays. He was one shot behind Adam Scott, and was tied with Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Gary Woodland. DeLaet's total earnings for the year is $2,105,300.
He remains in the hunt for the FexExCup, as he sits seventh in the playoff standings after The Barclays. Next week he will play in the Deutsche Bank Championship, where only the top 100 players for the FedExCup qualify to compete.
If DeLaet can stay in the Top 30 in FexExCup point standings through that tournament and the BMW Championship the week after, he will earn a spot at the Tour Championship, the final playoff round, which has no cut.
After round one at The Barclays, DeLaet was tied for seventh, ranking the same as Tiger Woods. DeLaet had absolutely no bogey problems during round one. He opened on the front nine, staying par for course until he shot a birdie on hole seven.
Then during the back nine, he scored birdies on holes 13, 16 and 17. His final score was 67, four-under-par.
DeLaet had a rollercoaster second round, which included three bogeys, a triple bogey, an eagle and two birdies. "The second round, sometimes you have bad days," said DeLaet.
"It wasn't that I was really playing poorly or anything like that. I just didn't get anything going, but I know that I was playing well," said DeLaet.
Starting on the back nine for the second round, DeLaet shot back-to-back birdies on holes 12 and 13. However, he then scored bogeys on holes 15 and 17, to bring his score down to even.
DeLaet ran into difficulties during the front nine, with a bogey on hole three and a triple bogey on hole four. He was able to salvage his score by shooting an eagle on hole six. DeLaet finished at 73, two-over-par.
With a two-day score of two-under-par, DeLaet was sitting ahead of the cut line, which was set at even par.
Returning to the course for the third round, DeLaet started on the back nine. He scored back-to-back birdies on holes 13 and 14, sunk a bogey on hole 15 and then shot another birdie on hole 16. Then on the front nine, he had a bogey on hole five, birdies on holes six and eight, and finished with a bogey on hole nine.
His final score for round three at 69, two-under-par. DeLaet entered the final round at four-under par, and then ended with one of the best rounds of his PGA Tour career, with a six-under-par 65.
Right off the bat on the front nine DeLaet sunk a birdie on hole one, then shot another birdie on hole six. He had his only bogey of the final round during hole seven, and shot another birdie on hole eight.
Everything fell in place for DeLaet during the back nine of the round. He scored four more birdies, scoring on holes 11, 13, 14 and 15. This pushed him up the scoreboard, and circumstances for other golfers helped edge DeLaet into second place.
"I stepped up on the first hole and I hit a great tee shot and I hit it pretty good all day. My putter was working really well pretty much all week," said DeLaet. "I had some really good chances coming down the stretch on 16, 17 and 18 that I wasn't able to convert. I hit really good putts on 16 and 18 that just didn't fall and on 17, I left one short, so it was there for the taking."
Justin Rose had a 25-foot birdie putt for the lead, ran it five feet by the cup and three-putted for a bogey for a 68 score.
Tiger Woods suffered a back spasm of the par-five 13th hole and hooked a fairway metal that landed in a swamp on the other side of the 15th fairway, leading to a bogey. Woods dropped another shot on the 15th, and then birdied the 16th and 17th holes to return to second place.
Gary Woodland also fell out of the lead when he hit driver on the 13th that ran into the water, leading to bogey. Woodland had birdie chances from inside 10 feet on the final three holes and missed them all.
Also important to DeLaet is being chosen for the President's Cup. After his second-place showing at The Barclays, his President's Cup standing is now at ninth place. There is still one week before qualifying ends, so DeLaet is in good shape to make the international team.
The automatic picks to the International team will be named right after the Deutsche Bank.
"I've had my eye on a lot of different things, but if you don't take care of what you have to do while you're on the golf course, none of that will unfold. I will have to keep going and doing what I am doing," said DeLaet. "I just feel like my game is in a really good place and hopefully, I can keep it rolling for the next three to four weeks."
According to the Official World Golf Rankings, DeLaet is now ranked 48th in the world. He is still the top Canadian player, with David Hearn in second and Brad Fritsch in third.