PALM HARBOR, Fla. – David Hearn says Canada has a prosperous future in the golf world.
The Brampton, Ont., native spoke about Canada’s standing in the sport and the future it has during a practice round Tuesday at the Valspar Championship.
Hearn believes the nation is moving in the right direction when it comes to developing more golfers.
“When I was a junior player, there were just a handful of golfers on the tour, period. Just two or three golfers at the most,” Hearn said. “We’ve had upwards of six guys from Canada on tour at one time now. We’ve got a lot of good talent coming up through the Web (Web.com Tour) and some of the PGA Canada events as well.”
For Hearn, there were three players he admired.
“When I was first going to the Canadian Open, I used to love watching guys like Freddy Couples and Tom Lehman,” Hearn said. “As a professional (Mike) Weirsy was someone I’ve looked up to a lot and he’s really set the standard for how Canadians should really approach the game and practice.”
Hearn gives a lot of credit for the growth of golf in Canada to Mike Weir’s longevity and success on the PGA tour.
“He’s been an incredible example of perseverance, to play on the tour as long as he has and to be successful is pretty incredible,” Hearn said of Weir. “I think (the Masters tournament) is certainly a highlight of his career and it’s a highlight of every Canadian.”
Weir won the Masters in 2003, beating Len Mattiace in a one-hole playoff. With the win he became the first Canadian to win a major and the first left-handed player to win the Masters.
“Most Canadians can remember watching that Sunday and watch the playoff,” Hearn said. “It’s pretty special to have the whole country pulling for you.”
The next event that might take Canada to the next level is the inclusion of golf during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August. This is something that Hearn wants to be a part of.
“It would be a tremendous honour if I end up being one of the representatives for Canada, Hearn said. “Since they announced it, it’s been a goal of mine to be a part of that team and I’m going to do everything I can to play my best golf to play on that team.”