RBC Canadian Open announces initial players

It seems a little later than normal, but Golf Canada has announced its initial batch of players and frankly, there are no surprises.

Nope, Tiger Woods isn’t coming — so let’s get that out of the way early. He never was and won’t likely until a new date is determined.

What was announced are those who have deals with RBC, including Ernie Els, Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar, Lukje Donald and Hunter Mahan. Now what do they all have in common? They are part of RBC’s golf marketing program — and the bank has smartly arranged to have all of them in Oakville for the tournament. Last year, you’ll note, Luke Donald didn’t come — and apparently the bank wasn’t happy about it. This year he’s in the field — not surprising as he re-inked his deal with RBC late last year.

Here’s the press release:

Among those confirmed today are three of the Top-10 U.S. Open finishers including Ernie Els (T4), Hunter Mahan (T4) and Luke Donald (T8).

In addition to Els, Mahan and Donald, Golf Canada and RBC are pleased to report that a number of notable names have indicated their intent to play the 2013 RBC Canadian Open. An interim list released today boasts names featured within the top echelon of the Official World Golf Rankings as well as the season long FedEx Cup point race.

Among the additional names confirmed are a number of Team RBC members such as World No. 5 Matt Kuchar, 2012 FedEx Cup champion and World No. 8 Brandt Snedeker, World No. 9 Graeme McDowell and two-time Canadian Open champion Jim Furyk.

Other notables include 34-time PGA TOUR winner Vijay Singh, three-time PGA TOUR winner Camilo Villegas and defending RBC Canadian Open champion Scott Piercy, currently the No. 40 ranked player in the world.

Defending champ Scott Piercy is back at the Canadian Open to the shock of no one.

I guess we all expected Scott Piercy to be in the field, though he wasn’t the most exciting champion in the world. But announcing Camilo Villegas is weak — he doesn’t even have full playing privileges on tour and is playing on sponsor exemptions. That said, he’s come to the tournament for the past few years and likely warrants use of one of the exemptions.

They also announced Brad Fritsch, Mike Weir, David Hearn and Graham DeLaet — but we knew they’d all be there.

What’s missing is any surprises. Where’s Jordan Speith? That would be interesting. Or Guan Tianlang? Now that would capture some attention.

Who is on my wish list? Lee Westwood (unlikely), Justin Rose (more unlikely), Webb Simpson (who was supposed to play last year), Jason Day (ditto) and Dustin Johnson.

I’m sure more announcements are forthcoming — and to be frank this isn’t a bad start. Just a predictable one.


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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.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Villegas is a fine use of an invite – he needs the break and often the Canadian Open can restart a career.

  • I would rather see the an exemption given to Mark Steffenhagen that bare witness to Guan playing in the Canadian Open…unless he qualifies of course. Honestly it would be a classless PR move that is getting old.

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