Golf-DeLaet provides ray of sunshine at Presidents Cup


By Julian Linden

DUBLIN, Ohio, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Graham DeLaet capped his incredible Presidents Cup debut with a magical moment on Sunday that left the galleries at Muirfield Village Golf Club whooping and hollering in amazement and his fellow golf pros nodding their heads at the arrival of one of the sport's freshest talents.

Playing alongside and against most of the world's best players in one of the most pressure-packed events in golf, the Canadian produced a stunning display that belied his standing as a Presidents Cup rookie.

In his five matches over four days, he lost just once, finishing with three wins a tie to earn three and a half points for his team.

His score was the best for the Internationals team, equalled only by Australia's Jason Day, who partnered DeLaet in the fourball and foursomes.

The only player from either team to score more points during the competition was world number one Tiger Woods, who finished with four points from five matches.

"I think everyone was very impressive," said Australia's Masters champion Adam Scott. "But to me, the MVP has got to be Graham DeLaet.

"I think (he was) phenomenal, he showed some real guts and determination in all his matches and holing shots on the 18th is amazing. That's when you know some guy has really got it and he wants it."

Despite having never won on the PGA Tour, DeLaet is regarded as one of the best ballstrikers in the game but showed during the Presidents Cup that not only has the composure to perform on the big stage, but the showmanship to go with it.

It was at the 18th hole, where the galleries are bigger and louder than at any part of the course, that Delaet showcased his talents.

On Saturday, during the fourth round of foursomes, he chipped in from just off the green to secure a secure a half point for he and Day against Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.

Then in his singles match on Sunday, DeLaet holed out from the bunker to win his match against Jordan Spieth 1-up.

"We're here as a team, and our main goal was to win, and it's slightly disappointing, but the friendships and bonds that we've made over the last week we'll carry on for a lifetime," he said.

"That's what we are going to take out of this, and I think we are going to be stronger coming up in two years in Korea.

"I definitely hope to be a part of that team. We've got a lot of young players and I don't think any of us could say enough about our four captains.

"It's just an absolute pleasure to be part of this team, and it's unfortunate that we didn't get the W."

(Reporting by Julian Linden, editing by Simon Evans)

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