It’s been a while since Canadians had a true golf star to root for. I’d say the last one was Mike Wier, and that was really mainly because he won the Masters in 2003.
I mean, sure, the past few years we’ve had Graham DeLaet and Adam Hadwin (and to a lesser extend David Hearn), and while those athletes have been performing admirably on the professional tour, they aren’t what anyone would call a “superstar.”
We thought it was going to be DeLaet. When he broke onto the scene on the PGA Tour as a rookie in 2010, the Weyburn, SK native finished in the top-25 of both of his first two events, then continued his year and had a T-3 at the Shell Houston Open, a T-5 at the Viking Classic and a T-6 at the Frys.com Open, easily securing his full-time PGA card for the following season.
That season, however, saw DeLaet hampered by injury. He only played in two events that year (and missed the cut in one of them).
He played the 2013 season on a medical exemption, played 26 tournaments and made over $600,000, but he never really shined like he did his rookie year, and he still hasn’t.
He’s a good, solid player, but he’ll likely never live up to the expectations we had for him back in 2010.
Adam Hadwin still has time to get into the “superstar” discussion, but it’s doubtful he’ll get there. He won the Valspar Championship this year, and he’s only been on tour for a couple of seasons, but he’s not in anyone’s discussion about the being the “next big thing” in golf the way guys like Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy have been.
Then there’s Brooke Henderson.
This 20-year-old from Smith Falls, ON is only in her third year on the professional tour and already has four wins, including one major championship.
In 2016, she played in 31 events and made the cut in 30 of them, had the second most top-10s on the tour and finished third on the overall money list.
The year before she played in 14 events and only missed one cut. She won her first LPGA Tour event by eight shots, the largest margin of victory on tour that year, and finished T-5 in her first major championship – and her second.
She also seems like one of the nicest people in the world. Her professional team is her actual family (dad and sister), she’s gracious with fans and the media alike and … she’s just super likeable – especially considering it would be really easy to become pretty high-and-mighty as one of the best in the world at what you do.
In fact, she was just put on a list of the world’s most marketable athletes, which ranks athletes based on their marketing potential using a number of factors, including value per sponsor dollar. She came in at #32 on that list, well ahead of Eugenie Bouchard, who all Canadian sports fans would put in the “superstar” category.
Heck, she came in ahead of Rory McIlroy on that list.
Oh, did I mention she’s only 20 years old and is only in her third year on Tour?
Anyway, I guess I wrote this thing just to say, “Go Brooke!”
See you on the links.