They both started the week outside the top 100 on the FedEx Cup list but both soared on to the second stage with brilliant performances.
Canadians David Hearn and Graham DeLaet are preparing for the Deutsche Bank Championship near Boston this week after climbing up the FedEx Cup points list. Hearn started last week 108th while DeLaet was two spots better. Only the top 100 moved on to the second stage, meaning they had some work to do.
And work they did. Hearn finished up in 68th spot after a tie for 10th while DeLaet was tied for fifth and now sits in 44th position. It was the latter's final round which caught a lot of attention, a 65 on a brutally tough Bethpage Black course, the best of the day.
"It was just one of those days," said DeLaet. "They don't come around too often so you appreciate them when they happen."
After starting slowly with two bogeys, the Weyburn, Sask., native went on a tear, going eight under on his next 14 holes to log the low round of the day.
"Before you know it, I lost track of how many under I was," he said. "It was an awesome day."
The payday for his week was $281,000, which pushed him over $1 million in earnings for the first time in his career.
"It's kind of neat," he stated. "I still kind of pinch myself. I remember the days on the Canadian Tour when I had a really good year and earned $96,000."
DeLaet is in good position to make it through this week where the low 70 move on. He'd love to advance even farther and possibly get to the Tour Championship. He's of the mind that there's always something to play for including getting into the top 70 which earns him spots in all the invitational events next season, or the top 50 in the world ranking which gets him into the World Golf Championship events (he moved to No. 155 this week), or even making the Presidents Cup team. That's something DeLaet has thought about even if he considers it "far-fetched" at the moment (he's currently 43rd on the International team points list).
Hearn also enjoyed a steady week at the Barclays that was keyed by his driver.
"I haven't felt like I've been driving it very well lately but something clicked last week," he stated.
It was good timing. Bethpage was long and featured punishing rough. Hearn was second in driving accuracy for the week. His putting was also solid. While other players seemed to struggle with the speed of the greens, Hearn was T-6 in the Strokes Gained category.
Of course his final-round pairing garnered him some attention; Hearn played alongside Tiger Woods, the first time he's done that in his career.
"It was a good experience," he said. "If you want to be a great player, you have to get in those situations and experience it."
He called Tiger a good guy to play with and despite the poor round the 14-time major winner was having, they chatted off and on throughout the day.
Hearn also said the large galleries that come with Woods didn't prove to be too much of a problem for him.
"It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be," he stated. "I think it's better if there's 100 people moving rather than just one. It's sort of like white noise, but the volunteers did a good job of handling everyone."
As with DeLaet, Hearn said his goal is to try and make the Tour Championship and then look at the rest of the season after that.
No matter what happens from this point on however, both players have had impressive 2012 campaigns.