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Canadians at Q School, Tiger's World Ranking Jump, and Golf Architects and the Olympics

Hadwin during a better week of golf.

So none of the nine Canadians at PGA Tour qualifying school nailed down one of the coveted 25 spots on the PGA Tour. Sounds like a disappointment, I suspect, but I wonder if it is really that bad. After all — basically none of the Canadians who’ve advanced by Q School manage to hold onto their cards the following year, with the notable exception of Graham DeLaet. That despite the fact that Ryan Yip came very, very close, missing by a single shot.

“I don’t think people realize how gruelling it is. Mentally, it just takes so much out of you,” Yip said after Monday’s final round. “Right now, I just feel like I don’t even want to touch a golf club for a month. I don’t even want to think about golf right now.” (source)

To miss by a single shot is exceptionally tough. Over a single round every golfer can think of ways they could be one shot better; multiply that by six rounds and it would be maddening. Still there were several Canadians who moved into a regular spot on the Nationwide Tour, including Stuart Anderson and Brad Fritsch (who has been there before).

However, it was a disappointing year for Adam Hadwin, who everyone expected to breeze through after his showing on the PGA Tour.

It’s very difficult because I thought I was so close,” said the 24-year-old pro from Abbotsford, B.C., after finishing the six rounds at 1-over par and tied for 100th. “I battled out there but there was something missing.

“I know this was probably going to be a long journey but I thought I could skip a few steps. I still feel I belong (on the PGA Tour). I’ll just have to go about it a different way now.” (source)

Hadwin should get some starts on both the PGA Tour and the Nationwide next year given his standing on the PGA Tour money list, so not all is lost. However, he has the charisma and game to have made Canadian golf sexy again — something it has not been in several years. Hopefully a recovery by DeLaet will help that along as well.

Oh, and what happened to Matt McQuillan, who dropped out of the tournament after a couple of rounds? Was he hurt or just stinking up the course?

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I’d say Tiger Woods’ win at the Chevron was impressive. But does he deserve to jump 30 spots on the World Golf Ranking simply by winning an event with 18 players? Hardly. However, if he’s recovered fully and the swing is clicking, is he really the 21st ranked player in the world? Hardly. So perhaps this has all balanced out.

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Interesting to see the final list of golf architects short listed for the Olympics course in Rio for 2016. The selection process was ridiculous  — why would an architect have to have an office in Rio? — and very short. In the end there were eight architecture firms selected: Greg Norman and Lorena Ochoa; Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam, Gil Hanse, Tom Doak, Robert Trent Jones II, Martin Hawtree, and Peter Thomson/ Ross Perret..

Now the decision to build a course had to be done some time ago, and the fee is nominal — $300,000 according to the figures I saw. Oh, and the firm will have to deal with typical Olympic bureaocracy and the issues of building the course in South America. This has disaster written all over it. Tom Doak apparently said it was like having the opportunity to build the TPC at Sawgrass. I guess that would be the case if the PGA Tour, which commissioned and owns Sawgrass, were also corrupt and hadn’t left enough time to get the course open. Assuming the project doesn’t start until next year, it leaves maybe a year or two of play on the course — will they allow any play prior to the Olympics? — to get it right. And while I’m sure Gil Hanse or Doak would do a great job, I’m far from certain about the others. This has the potential to be a mess.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • I am pretty sure that this process is being run by the Rio Olympic Organizing Committee, not the IOC. The IOC is surely corrupt – the Rio committee may or may not be corrupt I think it is unfair to automatically assume that they are corrupt. Brazil has improved a lot in this area in the last decade.

    It has been left way too late. I doubt that the course will be open 1-2 years before the games as they are only 4.75 years away. They will be lucky to have the course open six months before the games. I don’t think that building a course in Brazil takes longer than building a course in North America or Europe and it may even be faster.

    Gavea Golf Club, which is just outside of Rio, was designed by Stanley Thompson although it is likely to have been significantly altered since the Toronto Terror did his work. He also did a few other courses in Brazil.

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