The RCGA held a conference call today with Jim Furyk about the [photopress:Furyk_Jim_Trophy.jpg,full,alignright]Canadian Open. I must admit I like Furyk; he’s a straight shooter, and there’s no BS when he speaks.
He admitted he came to the Canadian Open last year because it was being played at Hamilton G&CC, and is only at Angus Glen this year because he won. He added the tournament schedule, which sees him tee it up for eight of nine weeks, is hectic, but Furyk said he enjoys playing three or four weeks at a stretch. He wishes he had a longer break in the middle though.
Prior to the call, I spoke with Bill Paul who confirmed many of the names from this morning’s post. Camilo Villegas is expected to be there, along with Brad Faxon, Woody Austin, Chris Dimarco, John Daly, Brett Quigley, Hunter Mahan, Vaughn Taylor, Robert Allenby and JJ Henry. Paul said he’s surprised by the strength of the field, adding 23 players are coming to Canada from the British Open. In contrast, Milwaukee only had about a 12 players or less each year play the week after the Open Championship.
One thing is clear this year — Paul said Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have told him flatly that neither will be coming to Canada for the event. One has to wonder whether they’ll be in the field for the Presidents Cup.
There are currently 17 Canadians in the field, Paul added, and a press release from the RCGA named the past champions who are attending:
Furyk, who took home the title last September at Hamilton Golf and Country Club will be joined by fellow Canadian Open winners Mark Calcavecchia (2005), Vijay Singh (2004), Bob Tway (2003), Scott Verplank (2001), Billy Andrade (1998), Steve Jones (1997), and Dudley Hart (1996) as well as John Rollins, winner of the 2002 Canadian Open held on the South Course at Angus Glen.
I’m sure there will be some who jump on Paul for not getting the game’s biggest names, but the field doesn’t look too bad to me.
Interestingly, Furyk admitted he’s not a fan of Glen Abbey, making it less than likely he’ll return for 2008. This puts pressure on the RCGA to come up with a strong venue for 2009. According to my sources, Hamilton has said no to hosting that year. RCGA president Garry West recently toured St. George’s, but the logistics of holding the event at Canada’s best course would be tough.
Coppinwood, the new private Tom Fazio course outside of Toronto is also a possibility, and perhaps even Royal Montreal if the redesigned course is well received at the Presidents Cup.
Or, as one noted golf pro told me this week, “that’s if there is a Canadian Open in 2009.”