Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Golfer DeLaet Overcomes Back Pain for Strong PGA Championship

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Golfer DeLaet Overcomes Back Pain for Strong PGA Championship

Article excerpt

DeLaet overcomes back pain in strong performance

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A sore back left Graham DeLaet unsure if he'd even be able to tee off at the PGA Championship. Instead, he recorded one of the best performances of his career.

DeLaet, of Weyburn, Sask., finished Sunday's final round tied for seventh at Quail Hollow golf course in Charlotte, N.C. It was his best result in one of golf's four majors and just four shots back of winner Justin Thomas.

DeLaet said he was competing despite suffering from an ongoing back injury that flares up a couple of times a year, but the 35-year-old rallied to shoot 68 and 69 over the tournament's final two rounds, the same weekend score as Thomas.

He said focusing his health rather than his score actually helped him.

"When I was out there, I wasn't really thinking about where I was at on the leaderboard, I was just trying to get through. From a mental standpoint it was actually kind of beneficial," he said Monday. "Physically obviously I would have liked to have been healthy, but I kept my mind in a pretty good spot."

Although DeLaet was in one of the final groups Sunday at a major for the first time in his career, he felt as though he belonged.

"There was a weird calmness about me, even on Saturday night," he said. "If I could shoot 5 or 6 under, which was possible, but difficult (on Sunday), I would have had a chance to win a major. Even knowing that, I felt good."

Physically, DeLaet felt better thanks to the efforts of Dr. Craig Davies, a Canadian conditioning coach and trainer who is based out of Orlando and has been working with DeLaet since 2011.

Davies said they did some acupuncture, dry needling, cupping, muscle adjustments, soft-tissue work and applied a new product called a Luminas patch that uses electrons from natural anti-pain compounds, prior to Thursday.

"Truth of the matter is, all of what we did would have been for not if it wasn't for the fact that Graham has this playoff-hockey mentality where he can play through a lot of pain that a lot of players wouldn't be able to play through," said Davies. …

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