It's not often that a golf pro actually opens up his wallet and pays for golf equipment, but a recent purchase Graham DeLaet made could end up being worth millions.
A few weeks ago, the Weyburn, Sask., native put down $150 for a long putter that he put into play at the BMW Championship this week and that club guided him to a first-round 64 and a share of the lead. On his final hole, the ninth, DeLaet rolled in a 38-foot putt for an eagle, pushing him into a tie with Rory McIlroy, Bo Van Pelt and Webb Simpson.
Yeah, that was a nice way to finish for sure,” said DeLaet. “I mean, nonetheless I had a good round, I was kind of looking for a birdie there, but that was a bonus for sure.”
While it's only the first round, it did push DeLaet further down what has already been an improbable road. He began the FedEx Cup ranked 106th but a great finish on Sunday at the Barclays moved him to 44th. After missing the cut at the Deutsche Bank, he slipped to 60th, still good enough to play this week. Right now, he's projected to end up sixth, however, there are still three rounds to play and a lot of golf on a long and wet golf course that is surrendering plenty of low numbers.
“I know if the course stays this soft, you're going to have to keep shooting low numbers,” he stated. “That's the thing, you've got to always be in attack mode when golf courses are playing like this. It's a good start, but that's all it was; it was a start, and I've still got 54 holes to play.”
Still, it's hard not to look down the road just a little bit. A spot in the Tour Championship would not only mean a massive payday, but a spot in all four majors, all World Golf Championships and all the invitationals.
So that $150 putter? It really could be a million-dollar purchase.
“I bought it in a golf store in Boise a few weeks back,” DeLaet admitted. “It still had the price tag on it. Some guys were making fun of me, but it's been working so I'm not taking it off.”
And he also won't be shaving any time soon. He and pal David Hearn, who are playing the first two rounds together, are growing playoff beards just as if they were in the hunt for the Stanley Cup instead of the FedEx Cup.
Whether it's the putter or the beard, for DeLaet, it's working.