The regular PGA Tour makes a rare trip outside of the USA this week for the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ontario. Sean O’Hair was the winner in 2011 at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club in Vancouver.
Less than a week after the conclusion of the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes, a number of competitors in the Canadian Open will have had only a short time to recover.
The winner at Lytham, Ernie Els has made the journey back across the Atlantic for this event. So too have Hunter Mahan, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker.
This is an historic tournament that began life back in 1904. Since that time, there have been many famous winners of the event. In fact, the roll call of champions reads like a who’s who of golfing legends: Tommy Armour, Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Bobby Locke, Arnold Palmer, Bob Charles, Lee Trevino, Tom Weiskopf, Greg Norman, Curtis Strange, Nick Price, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk have all been winners.
Last season, Sean O’Hair defied a poor run of form to secure the victory in a playoff against Kris Blanks. Coming into the event, O’Hair had missed 10 of 17 cuts on the PGA Tour and he played poorly in the week-opening pro-am. But he found his game during the tournament proper and claimed his fourth PGA Tour victory.
Hamilton Golf Club is one of Canada’s most renowned and respected. The course here is a Harry Colt design and the club has played host to its national open on four previous occasions
The first of those was way back in 1919 when J. Douglas Edgar was winner before Tommy Armour took the Canadian Open title at Hamilton in 1930. But it was then 73 years before the tournament returned. In 2003 Bob Tway won here, then Jim Furyk took the most recent championship at Hamilton in 2006.
Venue: Hamilton G&CC, Ancaster, Ontario
Date: Jul 26-29
Course stats: par 70, 6,966 yards
Purse: $5,200,000 Winner: $936,000
Defending Champion: Sean O’Hair
Thurs 26 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 27 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 28 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 8pm
Sunday 29 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 8pm
Matt Kuchar – He’s one of the most consistent players in world golf having made 22 consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour. He was tied ninth in the Open last week and can adapt to whatever playing conditions he faces. It’s high time he picked up a win and this could be the week.
Brandt Snedeker – He looked imperious through two rounds at Lytham only to fade on the weekend. But, he still finished tied third and he’ll look to build on that performance here.
Graham DeLaet – It’s 58 years since there was a home winner in this event: Pat Fletcher in 1954. DeLaet provides, probably, Canada’s best chance of victory this week. He was 12th on his last PGA Tour start and will surely be buoyed by the home support.
Key hole: 18th. A testing par-4 of 446 yards, this hole ranked as the second toughest on the course last time the Canadian Open visited in 2006. The tee is elevated but Ancaster Creek crosses the fairway some 285 yards out so driver will not be the best play for most in the field. Playing short of the creek leaves a 180 yard shot from a downhill lie into a sloping green protected by bunkers all around – intimidating stuff.
Skills required: A quick recovery. The top players were in Lytham for the Open last week and they’ll need to bounce back from the rigours of the links quickly if they’re to contend here.
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