So the Canadian Open field was fully announced on Friday, though according to [photopress:canadian_open.jpg,full,alignright]the Toronto Star, the RCGA had some sort of computer glitch that complicated the process of getting all the names that have entered.
Canadian Open tournament director told the Toronto Star that he was “happier now than I was 12 to 15 months ago. Certainly you would want a lot of other people in the field, but I like the challenge and we’ve got a good field.”
Indeed, I think I’d call the field basically average to poor, and with the exception of Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk, I would call it pretty short on stars. It would be an exaggeration to call it strong. And Davis Love III, the fellow who reworked Angus Glen’s North Course for the tournament made his unofficial maybe official — he’s not coming, despite missing the cut at the British Open.
Given a cursory look at the list of players (and noting past winner Scott Verplank — 2001 — isn’t in the field), there are only two players in the Top 10 in the World Golf Rankings (Furyk and Singh) and only five total from the World Top 50 (including Ames, Weir and John Rollins). That’s actually a pretty weak field and in line with what the Greater Milwaukee Open (the event that has historically followed the British Open) has received in the past.
So much, I guess, for the great support the FedEx Cup was going to generate. The new event, with its $10-million payoff, was supposed to bring players to events like the Canadian Open. In truth, this might be the weakest field in recent memory. Imagine if Furyk hadn’t won and Singh didn’t have a corporate commitment in PEI the Monday following the Canadian Open. Imagine if we didn’t have two Canadians in the Top 50? Then your best player would be John Rollins, and he’s certainly a crowd pleaser.
Of course there are some interesting players in the field who haven’t played well lately, including Bob Tway, Steve Elkington, Justin Leonard and John Daly (as if anyone still cares). But there aren’t many young guns (no Anthony Kim, for example), and apparently very few intereted in scooping up the supposedly important FedEx points.
Interestingly PGA Tour exec Ty Votaw said we could talk about the role of the FedEx Cup once the Canadian Open was announced. but otherwise it was too early to consider the Canadian Open in trouble. I think it is time to have that chat.
From a Canadian perspective, apparently the exemption committee at the RCGA doesn’t pay much attention to the World Rankings list. Otherwise they may have looked at the Canadian list and offered recent Telus Edmonton Open winner Dustin Risdon an exemption — as he’s ranked 10th among Canadians on the list and ahead of the likes of James Lepp and David Morland, both of whom were offered places in the tournament. He has the right to be pissed, in my mind anyway. And what about Rick Gibson? I bet he would have come for an exemption and he’s currently our fifth ranked player in the world.
Which does make one wonder about the wisdom of handing out exemptions to Andrew Parr and Richard Scott, though I’m actually happy to see them both in the tournament.
According to the World Golf Rankings, here are the best players in the field (if I’m missing anyone, please let me know). According to my calculations, there are 18 of the Top 100 in the world in the field. And that’s not good.
Here’s the list of top players:
*Stephen Ames 34
Nathan Green 87
Hunter Mahan 77
Rocco Mediate 93 (though he didn’t even have playing privleges on tour earlier this year)
Pat Perez 91
Brett Quigley 79
Bubba Watson 78
Jeff Quinney 97
John Rollins 46
Vijay Singh 6
Mike Weir 40
Dean Wilson 81
So are any of these players enticing you, as a spectator, to come and see this year’s Canadian Open? Anyone out there fearful at what next year’s field might look like?
Here’s the entire field:
Tommy Armour III
*Victor Ciesielski (a)
Brendon de Jonge
Richard S. Johnson
Doug LaBelle II
Frank Lickliter II
*David Morland IV
Tom Pernice, Jr.
Bo Van Pelt
Jaco Van Zyl