Great vibes for return to RBC Canadian Open

Click to play video: 'Brantford’s David Hearn shoots 2-over 74 to begin RBC Canadian Open'
Brantford’s David Hearn shoots 2-over 74 to begin RBC Canadian Open
WATCH ABOVE: Brantford, Ont. native David Hearn shot a 2-over 74 to begin play at the 2016 RBC Canadian Open on Thursday – Jul 21, 2016

Throughout the season, Canadian golf stars Adam Hadwin, David Hearn and Graham DeLaet will check in with to provide readers with candid insights as they compete on the PGA Tour.

There’s always a lot of emotion when a Canadian golfer returns to the RBC Canadian Open, and I was really excited coming in this year after finishing third in 2015.

Heading into the tournament this week I hadn’t returned to Glen Abbey since that finish. Truthfully, I don’t need to see the course like I once did—because I know it so well. I’ve been coming to Glen Abbey for years because I grew up in Brantford, which is only a short drive away.

When I came to the course as a junior player Glen Abbey was one of the longest courses on tour. How times have changed. At the time there was only one par four under 400 yards and that was a big deal on the tour. Now we play 500 yard par fours all the time, which shows you how things have changed. Glen Abbey is now one of the shorter courses on tour, and I don’t really think it favours any particular type of player.

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READ MORE: Loving the spotlight at RBC Canadian Open

There’s always a lot of demands on your time when you’re a Canadian at the RBC Canadian Open, but I’ve gotten a lot better at managing it over the years. Since I’ve been out on the PGA Tour for a while, I know the courses and don’t have to spend as much time learning them as I did when I first got out on tour. And Glen Abbey is so familiar that it isn’t an issue. So I don’t spend as much time preparing on the course, and that means I can take added time off the course, where there are a lot of demands.

That said, I was really excited to come back to the course. The scene at Glen Abbey last year on the final day was something I’ll never forget.

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When people ask me if I was surprised at playing in the final group last year on Sunday, I must admit I expected it would happen at some point. I was playing some great golf last summer and came close at both the Greenbrier and RBC Canadian Open. What does surprise me is that I haven’t been back to that position since. But changing from a long putter to a short putter takes a lot of time and work, and now I’m back on schedule. The past few months my game is trending in a nice direction, and I can see having a great out week pretty soon.

But truthfully it is really hard to get yourself in contention—there are so many great players on tour. Guys like Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, and Jordan Spieth make it look easy, but it isn’t. When I go back to the Canadian Open I want to get the good vibes going and just hope to roll it into a great week.

What was the key last year? I putted really well last year and gave myself some great chances. I hit a ton of greens last year as well. Any golf course, regardless of how long it is, can be bettered if you hit a lot of fairways and greens. It was firm and fast last year, just like this year, and that helps bridge the distance gap.

It is always hard to have your game peak at any one time. Few players can do it. Getting back to the top of the leaderboard at the Canadian Open is a challenge—but one I’m up for.

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WATCH: David Hearn chats with Global’s Rob Leth as he gets set to play in the 2016 RBC Canadian Open.
Click to play video: 'Canadian David Hearn hungry to win the RBC Canadian Open after last year’s close call'
Canadian David Hearn hungry to win the RBC Canadian Open after last year’s close call

David Hearn tees off at 1:35 pm at Glen Abbey on Friday.

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