David Hearn has been a mainstay on the PGA Tour since 2011. He has qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs for five consecutive years and reached the final stage a year ago. He primarily competed on the Web.com Tour from 2004-2010 and won the 2004 Alberta Classic at Redwood Meadows Golf and Country Club. Hearn, 37, a graduate of the University of Wyoming, represented Canada at the 2013 World Cup. He was voted 2015 Canadian Male Professional of the Year by the Golf Journalists Association of Canada after finishing third at the RBC Canadian Open and losing in a playoff at the Greenbrier Classic.
What are your thoughts about qualifying for the Olympics?
It was on my mind. I thought that it would be something I would be very proud to do and represent Canada in that way. It has been on my mind since they announced it. I’m very excited to be representing Canada.
How important was it for you to make the team?
I think it is a big deal. Everyone is making decisions based on what personally is most important to them at this time. I respect the decisions they make; for myself I think it’s a big deal. I’m very excited about it.
Do you think golf will be helped by its inclusion in the Games?
We play each week on the PGA Tour, and there’s a lot of respect from golf fans about what we do here. But the Olympics is a whole other stage. It’s a world stage, and I find myself watching sports I don’t follow on a regular basis with the Olympics. I think worldwide you’re going to see that eventually it will benefit the game, and I’m very excited to represent Canada. Every time I’ve had a chance to do that in the past, you have a different feeling when you play for your country and it comes with a lot of pride and honor.
What are your plans for the week in Brazil?
I’m excited to get down there and be a part of the Opening Ceremonies, try to relax a little bit and adjust to Rio for a couple of days, but when Monday rolls around it’ll be into game mode, and I’ll go into my normal routine. Hopefully I’ll be ready to play some good golf.
I’m not sure how many Olympic opportunities I’m going to have a chance to be involved in for Canada. I’m going to be able to go down and have a chance to walk the Opening Ceremonies. Fortunately I’m in a good enough spot on the PGA Tour this year that I can take a week off and do that. I’m excited about taking in some of the Olympic culture.
What will be the difference in the level of competition at the Olympics?
On the PGA Tour we have 40 great events every year. The athletes that are competing in the Olympics, this is absolutely the pinnacle of their career. It will be interesting and fun to watch them compete on a stage where they get one shot. It’s a little different for us. Obviously we’re interested in competing for medals and having the pride that goes along with being a gold medal champion, but we get to come back to the PGA Tour and continue to play great events. To take in some of that atmosphere will be exciting.
Canada is a big favorite in many of the sports included in the Winter Games. Are people at home getting excited about the Summer Games?
In Canada, as a country, we are better at the Winter Olympics as a whole, so the country probably follows those a little more closely. We’ll see what we can do about putting the Summer Games back on the map in Canada.
You’ve had a nice run the last year, almost winning twice. What are your goals for the Olympics?
Last year at the RBC Canadian Open was a highlight of the season, and I came close at Greenbrier as well, so hopefully I can get on a stretch like that again this year and play some good events. I’ve been playing really well the last couple months. I’ve playing consistently nice rounds; I haven’t been in contention as much as I’d like, but I think a lot of guys would say that. I’ve had some nice steady results and a nice foundation.
Have you ever played in South America?
I’ve played in Panama and Colombia. It will be an interesting and fun experience playing in Brazil.
Canada also had two women qualify for the games. Do you know them?
Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp will be going. Alena grew up in the same club (Brantford Golf and Country Club in Ontario) I did, and we played golf together as juniors. That’s kind of neat to have two players from the same club.