It started with thunderstorms that cruised through Oakville on Tuesday night and let up enough to allow the pro-am to start on Wednesday morning. Then the skies opened up again at lunch, finishing the pro-am for the day and turning Glen Abbey into a swamp-like version of its former self, full of washed out bunkers and streams running down fairways.
Despite all of that, there was still some interesting news during the day:
- Mike Weir played St. George’s for the first time Monday and then the National on Tuesday. He apparently had six birdies (birdied 11, eagled 12, birdied 13 and 14) and an eagle at the National, shooting 66 and proclaiming the course could hold the Canadian Open tomorrow. Then he was informed it was a men only club and that derailed any further conversation.
- As for St. George’s, Weir proclaimed the course ready for a Canadian Open as long as a couple of extreme greens — namely the notorious third — are altered. “There’s some pretty severe greens that would be unfortunate if you couldn’t put the pins there if the greens were tour speed because there’s some pins you couldn’t use. No way. But I think it is going to be a great venue.” Weir concluded that he’d like to see the fourth — currently a par-5 that he hit 6-iron into on his second — turned into a par-4 and leave the 11th, another short par-5, at its current par.
- Weir added that he only relies on the good memories from his play-off loss to Vijay Singh in 2004. “When I play any hole I try to remember all the good shots I’ve hit. I remember the first time I played here when I shot 80 the first round and I shot 71 (the second). I think I made eight birdies the second round with a 71. … So when I go around, I say to Brennan, ‘Hey, remember when I chipped in here or I made this putt here?’ I don’t think about the missed one. I think about the things I’ve done well around the course.
- Stephen Ames’ press conference was a bit mellower than his typical sparring battle with the Toronto media. He spoke about his relationship with teacher Sean Foley, saying that they get along because, “We’re honest, open and frank. We speak out minds. We say it how we see it. And that’s always been a good thing with us. I mean when I ask, ‘What do you think of my golf swing, what do I need to work on?’ He’ll say, ‘These are the thing that we need to change,’ and off you go and start working with it.
- RBC CEO Gord Nixon was wandering around the course, apparently really enjoying himself before the rain came down. I had a good chance to catch up with him, and talked about his fondness for golf. He’s a member of some pretty exclusive clubs, one of which I was surprised to hear about (but told him I wouldn’t divulge.) Barb Stymiest, who is also at RBC, was at the pro-am playing with one of the guys from the Tragically Hip and RIM chief Jim Balsillie.
- A few names have withdrawn, including Ryuji Imada, Scott Verplank and Steve Lowrey. Interesting that the talk about Boo Weekley’s withdrawing from the event centered on why he’d tell the tournament he was coming in the first place. Why not say he might come but wasn’t certain?
- RCGA exec-director Scott Simmons spoke at a media briefing in the morning. The RCGA will lose about $2 million this year, down from $5 million last year. Break even is predicted at 2010. Simmons also said he hoped to name the tournament venues for 2011 and 2012 by the end of the year, clarifying that currently the Terrebonne project is scheduled for 2012. But unless the project starts, “about right now,” Simmons said it would be tough to have the course ready in time.