Some of us are morning people while others are night owls. In golf some are early season performers and others wait until the fall.
So far in his career, David Hearn is most definitely not someone who enjoys the early part of the calendar. At least not when it comes to logging high finishes.
"For whatever reason, I've never had much success early in the year," said Hearn. "The West Coast just hasn't been good for me."
In the four tournaments he's played since the calendar changed years, Hearn as two missed cuts, a T58 and a T38. It's a slow but not unexpected beginning.
A year ago, in five West Coast starts, he missed three cuts. A year prior to that, he posted a tie for 10th at the SONY in Hawaii before missing the next two cuts.
"I'd like to be in a better spot, obviously," said Hearn from Florida where he was getting in some practice before heading to Los Angeles for his next start. "Hopefully that will happen at Riviera."
Hearn isn't worried about his spot on the money list just yet. In fact, he's quite optimistic about where things are headed. He says his game is coming together faster than in any previous years, adding there's no glaring holes in his performance - it's just a matter of tightening everything up.
There hasn't been much down time for the Brantford, Ont., product of late. He played four times before Christmas on the new wrap-around schedule and then teamed with Brad Fritsch to represent Canada in the World Cup in Australia in late November. There was a little time spent at the TaylorMade test centre dialing in his new gear as well as some family time back in the snow in Ontario.
And he made the trek to Ann Arbor, Mich., to watch his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs play the Detroit Red Wings outdoors at the Big House. But shortly after, it was back to work.
Hearn enjoyed his best year as a professional in 2013, earning more than $1.1 million. The highlight of his season came at the John Deere Classic where he lost in a playoff. That performance didn't surprise him in any way; he always believed he had the talent to play at that level. And it provided a taste of what he'd like to experience more often.
"That's what I'm trying to accomplish each and every week," he said. "You just want to put yourself in that position as much as you can."
Rather than being known as a long driver or a pure ball-striker or a great putter, Hearn's strength has always been his consistency with every club in his bag, his all-around game. It's something he's been focused on in the early part of this season.
"My stats are not that great but if I can just improve the numbers a little bit I'll be happy," said Hearn, who will continue to use his long putter this season. "It really just boils down to being competitive. I'm always trying to improve."
Hearn has always been an ardent flag-waver and senses an up-tick in the play of Canadian professionals on various tours. He thinks some of that is awareness caused by his best friend out on tour.
"I think Canadians are getting highlighted and inspired thanks to how well Graham [DeLaet] is playing," he stated. "It's fun to watch him play these days. It doesn't seem to matter what he does on Thursday and Friday, he just finds a way to get into contention on the weekend."
For Canadian golf, Hearn said, that builds momentum. It's something that's been missing for a while, since the days Mike Weir was seemingly in the hunt to win every week.
"When Mike was in his prime, I don't think people realized how good he was," Hearn stated. "It wasn't just the Masters win, it was major after major, week after week, he was in contention.
"That definitely inspired me and I think that's happening again. We have a lot of good players right now."
For the next couple of weeks, Hearn will be in the cheering section, watching Canada's athletes at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Obviously hockey will be at the forefront of his viewing schedule but he also said he'll follow almost any sport and is amazed at such endeavours as biathlon.
"It will be disappointing being in the U.S., though," he laughed. "I'll have to watch mostly U.S. athletes."
If his play continues to improve, two years from Hearn might be representing Canada at the Olympics in Rio rather than watching from a distance.