Canadian Hearn feels ready for the bulk of season

Keeping it simple and staying focused remain the keys to success

Canadian David Hearn putting before his practice round at the Valspar Championship. Photo: Joe Narsa
Canadian David Hearn putting before his practice round at the Valspar Championship. Photo: Joe Narsa (Joe Narsa/Toronto Observer)

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – David Hearn wants to become the best Canadian on the PGA Tour.

The Brantford, Ont., resident is 86th in the FedEx Cup rankings, and wants to use a consistent approach to his game as the season heats up.

Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., is regularly the top Canadian at each tournament and Hearn knows that the key to catching up at bigger tournaments is sticking to the basics

“I just have to stay patient mentally,” said Hearn after coming off the practice green at the Valspar Championship held in Palm Harbor, Fla. “I’ve been doing everything great in practice and my game feels good.”

While fine-tuning certain fundamentals in a backswing or hip rotation are customary, there is one upcoming change that will affect a number of golfers on tour as the mandatory ban of belly putters comes into effect Jan. 1, 2016.

Hearn, who currently uses a belly putter, has plenty of experience with a standard sized putter and is confident the change will go smoothly.

“Fortunately for me I won on the Web.com with a short putter,” he said. “I got on tour first with a short putter as well.

“I’m hopeful, like a lot of guys like Webb (Simpson) and some of the other guys that have switched back already, that my transition won’t be too bad.”

Not surprisingly, Hearn’s focus remains on each tournament he enters, and while the belly putter is still allowed in his bag, he plans to take advantage of the opportunity.

“For now I’ve been working very hard with the method I use, and I’m going to keep trying to win tournaments that way,” he said.

Hearn is also keeping an eye on playing for Canada at the Presidents Cup. He’s using tournaments like the Valspar Championship for preparation and that can be a stepping stone towards representing Canada come September.

“At the beginning of the year we like to look at where we’d like to be by the end of the year, and that President’s Cup team has definitely been on my radar,” said Hearn.

Hearn only has one finish inside the top 10 so far this season, and has missed the cut in back-to-back tournaments at both the Northern Trust Open on Feb.19, and the Honda Classic on Feb. 26, respectively.

However, Hearn has plenty of time to focus on improving his game to make a push for the fall.

“I haven’t played great yet this year, but I know there’s a lot of time before that tournament.”

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