Exactly one year since he was last in contention, Bo Van Pelt was the unlikeliest of movers Saturday at the RBC Canadian Open.
This season, the 47-year-old has only made one PGA Tour cut (a T-24 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am). Last week, Van Pelt played in the Korn Ferry Tour's Rex Hospital Open, making the cut but finishing last with a solo-72nd, his best finish in four KFT starts this year. However, it was there that he finally felt his game was turning a corner.
"It was nice, I had two weeks off where I didn't hit a ball, the week of the [PGA Championship] and the week after," Van Pelt said after his round Saturday at the RBC Canadian Open. "Last week I played a Korn Ferry, my coach Mark Wood caddied for me. Kind of squeaked in — made the cut on the number. I think I finished dead last. But it was just good to play four rounds. And me and him, we spent a lot of time on the range, just some stuff I needed to clean up."
Van Pelt carried that momentum north of the border this week to St. George's Golf Course. He made his second Tour cut of the year and then fired a 5-under 65 on Moving Day to slide up 34 spots on the leaderboard after his round.
Despite many lackluster results the past year, Van Pelt just playing on Tour again is remarkable. A slew of injuries forced him into a hiatus of 1,321 days (from 2016-19) between Tour starts as he contemplated retirement, but he made an inspiring comeback.
Van Pelt, whose lone Tour win came at the 2009 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, was last in contention on Tour when he finished T-2 at the 2021 Palmetto Championship at Congaree — his first top-10 since '15. That event replaced the RBC Canadian Open last year on the Tour schedule due to international COVID travel restrictions.
Fifty-two weeks later, Van Pelt was just happy to make a cut again.m, but with last week's clean up, the world No. 505 was able to do much more.
"All in all just, look, man, it's been a long time since I made a cut out here," he said, "so I was happy to get to play today. So to play good today, you feel like you're game's getting better but you just never know. So it was nice to put a good one together."