Fascinating to see the story out of Vancouver by writer Brad Ziemer noting that Masters champ Charl Schwartzel is apparently coming to Shaughnessy for the 2011 RBC Canadian Open — this according to British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen’s sister-in-law. Yep, that’s how we find out who is commiting to a tournament these days:
Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and three-time major winner Ernie Els.
How’s that for a South African threesome?
It’s an intriguing trio that organizers of the RBC Canadian Open might want to throw together in the same group at this summer’s tournament at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club.
We have known for quite some time that Els will be playing at Shaughnessy, but the additions of Schwartzel and Oosthuizen are a big bonus for a Canadian Open field that is shaping up to be the best in many years.
Oosthuizen’s sister-in-law, Kamloops resident Susanna Swart, confirmed their participation in a phone interview on Wednesday. She and her family just returned from the Masters, which Schwartzel won in dramatic fashion by birdieing the final four holes on Sunday.
“They are both coming to play,” said Swart, whose younger sister, Nel-Mare, is married to Oosthuizen.
Swart said Oosthuizen and Schwartzel, along with their families, will be joining she and her husband Servaas and their children at a lake-front home in the Okanagan for a vacation right after the Canadian Open.
With Els, Schwartzel, Oosthuizen, Luke Donald, Anthony Kim, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk and maybe even Fred Couples all in the field (many through connections to RBC), the Canadian Open is shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory — and that’s before Golf Canada parades any names out that it has managed to attract.
The Telus Skins game is being played immediately following the Canadian Open at Banff Springs, so one has to figure that some of the players — Schwartzel? Couples? — will come from that field. Interesting to see Fairmont involved in the event again; it would be even better if they spent some money to restore the bunkers on what is otherwise a great golf course.
I wonder if the inverse could also be true regarding Skins — could it draw a player to the Canadian Open that might not otherwise be coming to Vancouver? Maybe a Sergio Garcia? Right now the players haven’t been announced, but I’d be surprised if Stephen Ames wasn’t in the field, considering he lives down the road from Banff.