Hearn heads into PGA home stretch

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The key to David Hearn’s success as a golfer may lie in Louisiana.

But finding that key and unlocking everything behind the door is easier said than done.

“I wish I knew,” Hearn answered when asked why he’s been able to enjoy so much success over his PGA Tour career at TPC Louisiana for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

“Sometimes courses just fit your eye for some reason. That golf course is definitely long and challenging in spots. It shouldn’t necessarily be my No. 1 choice but for some reason I tend to manage my way around there and have had some good weeks there.”

Hearn’s most recent result at the Zurich was a 32nd place finish late last month. Over the course of his career, Hearn has played 11 times at TPC Louisiana and he’s never missed the cut.

Included in his results are seven top-25 finishes with three of those resulting in top-10s.

One big difference between the Zurich and other events on the PGA Tour is its format. The Zurich features players paired in teams of two using an alternating round four-ball and foursome format.

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“I would like to see them maybe introduce another format into it because it’s a lot of fun,” said Hearn.

“I know it’s different from what we’re used to watching but from a fan perspective it’s interesting, entertaining and exciting.”

It doesn’t even seem to matter who Hearn is paired with.

In the recent past at the Zurich, Hearn has partnered with Ireland’s Seamus Power. However, when Power had to withdraw this year due to a positive COVID-19 result, Hearn was teamed with the tournament’s first alternate, American Zack Sucher

“It’s kind of an interesting week because you don’t know what to expect,” said Hearn, noting he had played practice rounds with Sucher before.

“It’s not all in your hands or control. You just don’t know how things are going to work out until you get out there and do it.

“Zack is a great guy and he played very well that week. I was struggling with a few things myself in New Orleans.”

Currently 148th in the FedEx Cup standings, Hearn hopes to move up in those rankings with a strong result this week at the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Golf Course in Charlotte, N.C.

“Not much has changed,” Hearn said of his game.

“I feel like I continue to be close but just not quite squeezing the results out yet. I’m plugging away and I feel very optimistic and positive about where things are at.

“I just have to keep grinding.”

The last three times Hearn played Quail Hollow, he missed the cut. However, from 2012-14, he made three straight cuts.

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For his career, he has one round out of 20 in the 60s.

Next week, the Brantford Golf and Country Club member moves on to the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. Hearn has not played TPC Craig Ranch as it’s a new stop for the Byron Nelson.

Looking even further into the calendar, Hearn will play the Palmetto Championship, June 10-13, in Ridgeland, S.C. That was supposed to be when Canadian Open was played but that event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m going to miss it tremendously,” said Hearn, who held the 54-hole lead at the 2015 Canadian Open before finishing third.

“I miss being back in Canada in general and being home and seeing family and friends.”

With just over a dozen events remaining that Hearn can play in before the playoffs begin in August, he’ll be pushing hard over the next few months to make it inside the top-125 so he can continue playing.

If he’s looking for inspiration, he need look no further than this past weekend when Canadian Mike Weir captured the PGA Tour Champions title at the Insperity Invitational, his first win on that circuit. Weir, the 2003 Masters champion, battled John Daly down the stretch before earning the victory.

“I couldn’t be happier for Mike,” Hearn said.

“The amount of work and time and effort he’s put in is truly incredible. It was just a matter of time for him to win.

“It was incredible to watch.”

Hearn said this week and the ones that follow will be no different for him – there’s always pressure but nothing extra he’ll put on himself.

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“It just takes one really good week or a couple of good ones,” he said.

“There’s no time like the present to start playing well. Hopefully I start off with a good one this week.”

DIVOTS . . . Hearn’s home course, the Brantford Golf and Country Club, has approved a master plan that will see golf course architects Whitman, Axland and Cutten making changes to bunkers, greens and their surrounds, mowing lines and angles of play and tees. There also will be irrigation upgrades. The Nicol and Stanley Thompson designed course was established in 1879, making it the fourth oldest course in Canada. “I like it,” Hearn said of the plan, which will be executed over the 2021 and ’22 seasons. “Everybody has their two cents. I like the fact the club is committed to doing something to try and improve (the course). It’s going to be good for the club.”

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