The regular PGA Tour takes a rare trip out of the USA this week for the RBC Canadian Open at St George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto. Australia’s Nathan Green defends the title.
This will be the 101st running of the Canadian Open. Since it was first played in 1904, the tournament can boast an impressive list of winners. Bobby Jones, Tommy Armour, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Greg Norman and Tiger Woods have all claimed this historic title.
Many of the field have had less than a week to recuperate following the 139th Open Championship at St Andrews and, for some, it could be a battle to re-align their games to PGA Tour golf after a week of golf over the links.
As always on the PGA Tour, there’s an international feel to the start sheet. Paul Casey, Brian Davis and Luke Donald will be there representing England while Australia can boast no less than 11 men in the field.
Last year it was an Australian who took the title. Nathan Green came through a playoff against Retief Goosen to win in a Monday finish at Glen Abbey Golf Club.
The tournament returns to St George’s Golf and Country Club for the fifth time but the first since 1968. 42 years ago it was New Zealander Bob Charles who took the last Canadian Open to be contested at the famous Toronto layout.
Venue: St George’s Golf & Country Club, Toronto
Date: Jul 22-25
Course stats: par 70, 7,046 yards
Purse: $5,100,000 Winner: $918,000
Defending Champion: Nathan Green (-18)
Thursday 22 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 23 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 24 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Sunday 25 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Retief Goosen – He lost in a playoff in this event last year and has finished in the top 10 on his last two PGA Tour starts. He’s looking increasingly like he’s on the brink of a return to his best form (as long as his putting holds up.)
Sean O’Hair – The young American was jointly best placed American as St Andrews last week and has been enjoying a supremely consistent season. This could be the week he finally secures a victory.
Luke Donald – This course should suit his game. It doesn’t require massive length and, with five par 3s, Donald’s skills as a scrambler could come to the fore.
Key hole: 14th. A 480 yard par 4 demanding a long and accurate tee shot to a fairway that slopes from left to right. The approach must be precise to an angled green guarded by a stream and clever bunkering. Par here is an excellent score.
Skills required: Iron play. This is a long par 70 course where good ball striking will be rewarded. The five par 3s measure between 210 and 225 yards long and scoring on these will be key to success. Anyone who averages par on the short holes over the four days will have stolen a march on the field.