CARMEL, Ind. – Graham DeLaet is a 30-year-old journeyman who is one good week away from joining the game’s elite ranks.
With an 8-under-par 64 Thursday, DeLaet grabbed a share of the first-round lead at the BMW Championship. He closed spectacularly with an eagle at his last hole.
DeLaet started the PGA Tour playoffs ranked 106th in the FedEx Cup rankings. If he wins this week, he’ll jump to sixth. He only needs to move among the top 30 in FedEx Cup points to advance to the Tour Championship, and that can change a player’s life.
DeLaet, who grew up in Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan, Canada, and won three times on the Canadian Tour, is No. 164 in the world rankings. He has never played in a major championship or World Golf Championship event.
If he qualifies for the Tour Championship, he will earn invites next year to play in the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open, the Players Championship and the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
“Going into Sunday’s round at The Barclays, I was just trying to make it to Boston [for the Deutsche Bank] Championship,” DeLaet said. “I put a nice round together and it kind of catapulted me. I started thinking I’ve still got a chance to make it to the Tour Championship.”
DeLaet battled a back injury and played just two PGA Tour events a year ago. He started the year on a major medical exemption.