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RBC Canadian Open Day 2: SportBox, Canadians, Ogilvy at TGC, and Weir at Mississaugua

Jim Furyk talks with the Global crew yesterday at Glen Abbey.

Jim Furyk talks with the Global crew yesterday at Glen Abbey.

I’m working the week for Global television as a golf analyst and writing for their website. I’ve done a few things already, including:

TV is an interesting change of pace from what I’ve typically done at the Abbey — today I spent part of the day at press conferences or talking to players, and part running down potential subjects for Global’s TV shows, including the morning show that I’ll appear on tomorrow at around 8:40. Adam Hadwin is also on the show.

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Other interesting notes — Danny Fritz, the former head of IMG in Canada, today announced a coup of sorts. Not only has Fritz started a new agency, SportBox, but he’s also done a deal with IMG to continue to manage Mike Weir and Matt Hill, and finally he’s acquired Landmark Sports, which is home to Graham DeLaet, David Hearn and Adam Hadwin. Throw in his signings — Roger Sloan, Mike Gligic and Cory Renfrew — and he’s developed quite a roster almost overnight. The thought had been that Wasserman Media might dominate the Canadian golf space, but Fritz, with backing from Saskatoon businessman David Dube, has managed to vault to the forefront immediately. DeLaet called the announcement “good for Canadian golf,” and David Hearn said it could really help the golfers’ connection with corporate Canada.

The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix has a story on the news.

I think the most intriguing part is the pairing of Dube and Fritz. You won’t find much about Dube online — he’s not the type who runs high-profile publicly-traded businesses. Instead he runs under the radar — but is worth a fortune and is really passionate about golf. I spoke with him for a bit and he talked about his love of Pacific Dunes and Oakmont. Now there’s a businessman in golf I can get behind.

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I was hitting balls on the range this morning at Mississaugua G&CC when I noticed a guy with a tour bag walk by me.

“Hey Rob, how’s it going?” came a voice.

It was Mike Weir, preparing to spend the morning working with Grant Waite.

Speaking on odd sightings, Geoff Ogilvy spent the day at Toronto Golf Club, calling the Colt design “tremendous.” That Ogilvy spends almost as much time commenting on golf courses as he does playing them.

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TaylorMade had a launch event for its new SLDR driver after the range closed to everyone but Billy

The boys from TaylorMade  show of the SLDR driver tonight at Glen Abbey.

The boys from TaylorMade show of the SLDR driver tonight at Glen Abbey.

Mayfair (who was still hitting balls at 7:30.) The new driver is grey — not white — and has an adjustable slider that goes across the bottom, thus the name. We signed NDAs, so I’m not going to say more other than to suggest one of my colleagues smashed one 310 into the wind. Oh, and I hit it okay as well. I think I was more partial to it than Tmag’s R1.

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On the topic of golf courses, Stephen Ames says his Calgary project with Johnny Miller is moving forward. Ames was disdainful of modern golf architecture in his press conference, talking about his love of Riviera, so it could be interesting to see what Miller and Ames come up with. Ames would like it to host a Canadian Open, which means the course will be 8,000 yards long. No kidding.

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The National Post has a story on Jesse Smith, the golfer with connections to the Six Nations reserve near Brantford. I know this one has been done before, but it is solid writing.

The Star’s Dave Feschuk has a good Brad Fritsch story that talks about the golfer’s struggles with luxury courtesy cars.

Graham DeLaet was named an ambassador for Saskatchewan today. Oh, and he talked about the RBC Canadian Open. He brought the province’s premier with him for the announcement. Quick, name Saskatchewan’s premier. Didn’t think you could do it.

ScoreGolf Editor Jason Logan has a neat interview with Adam Hadwin and his brother who is caddying for him.

 

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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.

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