DeLaet goes from airport to taking off at Deutsche Bank

Graham DeLaet plays his shot from the 17th tee during the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Graham DeLaet plays his shot from the 17th tee during the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

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2:36:01 AM ET. 04/20/2014




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NORTON, Mass. – Graham DeLaet went from rushing to the TPC Boston in the rain to reigning over the place on Saturday.

The Canadian was just thinking about making his tee time. He made it, all right. He also made 10 birdies after an opening bogey for a day-best 62 in the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

It’s understandable that DeLaet was a bit harried. His original tee time was 11:55 a.m., but tee times and pairings were readjusted after play was suspended at 8:46 a.m. because of inclement weather. When he decided to drop his wife off at the Boston airport, he figured his new time would be around 2:30 p.m. and that he’d have plenty of time.

But while at the airport he learned his time was 1:05 p.m. That got his heart rate going as he drove to work.

“I was in kind of a mad rush to get to the course,” said DeLaet, who would end the day tied for third place at 16 under, three strokes behind leader Sergio Garcia. “I was just kind of hoping to get out here and not miss my tee time.”

But, Boston cops take note, he wasn’t speeding. He might have been sweating, though.

“I was driving back in some pretty heavy rains going about 30 miles an hour on the freeway,” he said. “But I was able to get back in ample time and prepare.”

He said he normally likes to get to a course two hours before teeing off. This time he arrived about 90 minutes prior, causing a “little bit more of a rush” but not “panic.”

First he warmed up after a quick meal. Then he heated up.

Little did he know he would beat Tiger Woods by 10 strokes on this day. Little did he know he would make 107 feet of putts.

“I was seeing the lines great and made pretty much every putt that I would expect to make, along with a couple of 20-footers,” DeLaet said. “When you start making a couple of those putts, the confidence keeps going, and I was giving myself a lot of chances with my irons.”

His terrific play is a continuation from last week, when he tied for second at The Barclays, his sixth PGA Tour top 10 of the year, a career high.

The best golf of his life comes at a good time because he dearly wants to make the Presidents Cup International team. The top-10 automatic qualifers will be determined after the final round here, and DeLaet is in great shape because he currently occupies the 10th spot.

“It would mean the world to me to be on that team, there’s no question,” DeLaet said.

He might have a different, clean-shaven look for the Oct. 3-6 Cup matches at Muirfield Village. But he has no plans to shave his beard stubble before he’s done with the FedEx Cup playoffs. That would be in keeping with a Canadian hockey playoff tradition.

“You don’t shave the playoffs if you’re a Canadian,” he said happily.

• DeLaet hardly was the only one who had a wild day at TPC Boston. While DeLaet went low, Webb Simpson went long. As in long day.

Simpson pulled into the course parking lot at 5:15 a.m. for a 7:35 a.m. tee time. He went 2 under through four holes before play was suspended because of dangerous weather. Because of a poor forecast, the PGA Tour rules staff then decided to wipe out early scores at that point and make new pairings and starting times, with threesomes beginning at 12:15 p.m.

“I was bummed,” Simpson said. “I was feeling good after a good start and wanted to keep going.”

As it happened, Simpson started anew at 1:55 p.m. and shot 67. His round didn’t end until almost 7 p.m. – or almost 14 hours after he arrived.

“It was a long day,” he said, managing a smile.

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