PALM HARBOR, FLA. – As he prepared for his practice round at the Valspar Championship on Tuesday, David Hearn still had time to discuss Canada’s progress in golf.
Canadian golfers have made headlines recently, including Adam Hadwin’s historic 59 back in February, and Brooke Henderson’s victory in a Major last season, but Hearn believes there is more the country can achieve.
Where the 16-year pro especially sees the growth of the game is at the development level.
“We have so many good young players in college and on the development circuit, whether it be the Mackenzie Tour, the Webb Tour or anywhere else around the world,” said Hearn, heading for the practice green. “There are so many good young players right now, its just a matter of time before we see more success out here.”
Some of that success has come from young players like Hadwin and Henderson.
In January, Hadwin became the first Canadian to shoot a sub-60 round when he finished with a 12-under 59 in the second round of the 2017 CareerBuilder Challenge.
Henderson became the youngest female to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2016 and was second on the LPGA World Rankings.
Despite the accomplishments made by Canadians on tour, Hearn still gets questions about Canada’s future.
“I have talked about it for a long time. I remember when it was just a couple of Canadians on tour and there was always media that would say to us, ‘What does Canadian golf look like?’ And I always felt like it was pretty strong despite (the fact that) there were not a ton of guys at the top of the leaderboard.”
Last year, Hearn was preparing for the opportunity to represent Canada at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and while he did not have the result that he wanted, he still took a lot out of the experience.
“We are used to being with golfers and it was an amazing experience to share it with other athletes who are training and continuing to get better” Hearn said.
“I have certainly adopted some things from the Olympics and try to apply them to my game now and I can keep getting better myself. ”