Graham DeLaet, Brooke Henderson and Team Canada embrace Olympics as top male pros pull out of Rio
(July 19, 2016) – As Graham DeLaet sat on a stage next to the first tee at Glen Abbey Golf Club, there was definitely something about him that was missing, and I’m not referring to his beard.
Yes, that beard, mercifully, is gone. The giant furry mess that made him look like Unfrozen Caveman Golfer was removed from his face recently because, DeLaet says, his baby twins couldn’t properly snuggle him. Also they tugged on it a lot. Who could blame them? That thing was just asking to be tugged.
But no, the other thing that was missing, as DeLaet sat next to teammates David Hearn and Alena Sharp — with Brooke Henderson joining the announcement via satellite from Calgary — was the hat. Golfers always wear hats. Or visors. Or something that allows them to promote a sponsor, which is why they always put their sunglasses on the back of their hat so that “Titleist” or “Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino” is not obscured.
But these golfers were hatless. They sat there in their CANADA shirts and then when they were formally introduced, Team Canada’s Curt Harnett, the chef de mission for Rio, handed them a CANADA jacket. Golf is a tremendously capitalist sport, but here was a group of pros, stripped down for just a moment to represent their country. And they were quite pleased about it.
For all of the sour attitude that has prevailed in recent weeks about golf’s return to the Olympics after 112 years, driven largely because the best male golfers in the world have chosen not to go, Team Canada can be said to have embraced the opportunity quite fully. It’s kind of refreshing.
“It should be a privilege to represent your country and not a chore,” DeLaet said on stage. “I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.”
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