Curse of Pat Fletcher: DeLaet and Hughes fall short at Canadian Open
OAKVILLE, Ont. — Graham DeLaet joked about the “Curse of Pat Fletcher” after he and Mackenzie Hughes were the only two Canadians to make the cut at the RBC Canadian Open on Friday. Two days later and the 63-year drought for Canadians at the national men’s golf championship continued.
Hughes, from nearby Dundas, Ont., fired a 4-under 68 to tie for 32nd at 10 under at the Canadian Open on Sunday as the low Canadian. DeLaet, from Weyburn, Sask., shot 1-under 71 for the fourth round to place 48th at 8 under.
Fletcher, from Victoria, was the last Canadian to win the national championship in 1954, finishing at 8 under with a four-stroke lead at Vancouver’s Point Grey Golf Club. Since then, not only has no Canadian won, but only Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., has been a runner-up. Every year at the tournament Canadian golfers are asked about replacing Fletcher in the history books.
“You know, I don’t know if the curse is real but I just know it’s really hard to win a golf tournament, especially on the PGA Tour,” said Hughes shortly before being handed the Rivermead Cup as low Canadian. “That’s what I attribute it to and the fact that we’re trying to win this one and only one in Canada every year, there’s a lot of things that have to go your way.
“I don’t want to call it a curse yet but once I play in about 15, I’ll let you know.”
Fletcher moved to Montreal after his playing career to become the head professional at Royal Montreal Golf Club. His sons Allan and Ted Fletcher were in attendance at this year’s Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club for the first few days of the tournament.
Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum spoke Saturday morning about wanting to fly them back to Oakville to hand the RBC Canadian Open Trophy over to either Hughes or DeLaet, while both were four shots back of second-round leader Martin Flores.
But by the end of play Saturday there was no need for airfare. DeLaet shot a 73 and Hughes a 74 in the third round, taking them out of contention.
Graham DeLaet, of Canada, looks out from the bunker on the 13th hole during the Canadian Open golf tournament at Glen Abbey golf club, in Oakville, Ont., on Saturday.