Hearns turn­ing cor­ner

Cana­dian falls short but be­lieves he’s play­ing best golf of ca­reer

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY STEPHEN WHYNO

David Hearn came painfully close on a hand­ful of putts that could have won him the Cana­dian Open. In­stead, he fin­ished third, two shots back of Jason Day.

De­spite that loss, Hearn is on some­thing of a roll. He has topthree fin­ishes in two of his past three events and picked up a cou­ple of valu­able ex­pe­ri­ences in fall­ing short at the Green­brier Clas­sic and then on home soil at the Cana­dian Open.

“It’s got to be the best golf I’m play­ing,” Hearn said. “I think I turned the cor­ner on some of my ball strik­ing. It’s re­ally show­ing. I think ev­ery­one can see it. I’m hit­ting a lot of re­ally qual­ity golf shots, and I give my­self those chances for birdies when the heat’s on.”

Even af­ter play­ing in the Bri­tish Open, the heat was hottest on Hearn on Sun­day at Glen Abbey as he tried to snap a 61-year drought since a Cana­dian last won the Cana­dian Open. With gal­leries cheer­ing him on ev­ery hole, the 36-year-old Brant­ford, Ont., na­tive felt the weight of big ex­pec­ta­tions on his shoul­ders.

Hearn missed some birdie chances that would have made a ma­jor dif­fer­ence but came away feel­ing good about hang­ing in there with Day and third-ranked golfer Bubba Wat­son, who was also in con­tention.

“I played great golf,” Hearn said. “I gave my­self a chance right un­til the very end, even though I didn’t quite have my best stuff.”

Hearn said he “could get used to” fin­ish­ing in the top three so of­ten. He earned US$394,400 for his third-place fin­ish in the Cana­dian Open.

Less than a month af­ter los­ing in a play­off at the Green­brier, Hearn got to ex­pe­ri­ence sleep­ing on a 54-hole lead and the pres­sure that cre­ates.

Now he’ll take some time off to pre­pare for the mid-Au­gust PGA Cham­pi­onship at Whistling Straits in Wis­con­sin. That ma­jor is on his mind, but so is try­ing to qual­ify for the In­ter­na­tional team ei­ther through his play or as a se­lec­tion by cap­tain Nick Price.

“When I get back to the PGA, what will be on the top of my mind is play­ing well to get on that Pres­i­dents Cup team,” Hearn said. “That was a goal of mine start­ing the year.

“I’ve cer­tainly played my way into a po­si­tion where another good tour­na­ment or two I can play my way on to that team. I’m just very happy that I have that op­por­tu­nity right now.”

CP PHOTO

David Hearn fin­ished as the top Cana­dian at the Cana­dian Open in Oakville, Ont., Sun­day.

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