Canadian Open Final Round: Weir Strong, Kim Falters, and Reavie in a Quagmire

For once during this Canadian Open, it didn’t rain.

Thank God.

Let’s start with Mike Weir. Six shots back at the beginning of the day, I always thought Weir was a longshot. But there was lots of positive thoughts Weir could take away from his tie for fifth finish. He played a strong opening round and appears to actually enjoy playing Glen Abbey, a course he struggled with earlier in his career. Two top five finishes in his last two starts here suggest that any difficulties with the course are behind him.

In the past Weir has also appeared to be strained in the bubble of the attention of the Canadian Open. But this week he seemed to actually enjoy it. Following his round he seemed relaxed and very happy with the way he’d played:

“It has taken a long time,” he said. “But I do enjoy it and, like I said, I feel the momentum when things are going well and [the fans] pick you up when things aren’t going well. You have to use that to an advantage and that’s what I’ve learned to do “ use it to my advantage.”

What’s next for Weir? A beach in Mexico with his wife. He’s skipping the Bridgestone Invitational to go on holiday:

“I’m not going to be playing golf “ I’ll be sitting on a beach,” he said. “It has been an exhausting two weeks. I can’t believe it has only been two weeks. It feels like I’ve been on the road for a month.”

At the press conference, Score’s Bob Weeks asked Weir about receiving the trophy for low Canadian, a prize that was re-introduced last year. Weir seemed completely surprised and clearly didn’t know about the award, generally referred to among the media as the “tallest midget award.” It was a funny moment.

Interestingly, I bumped into Stephen Ames in the clubhouse on Sunday, eating a popsicle with his son. Ames said he was surprised by Mike’s decision, but that he understood it. I think Ames actually enjoys anonimity that he can’t get at the Canadian Open. The attention is overwhelming and he told a funny story about signing autographs at the LG booth on Friday night. But there was no thought about taking Bridgestone off: “It is just too much money,” he said.

The other Canadian who had a really solid week was amateur Nick Taylor from Abbotsford. Making the cut was a big accomplishment, but it looks like the kid is the real deal. But don’t expect to see him more regularly on the pro circuit. The sophmore and runner-up at the NCAA Championships will remain an amateur:

“I’ve always planned to go through four years of school and get my degree,” Taylor said. “You know, college life and college golf is pretty awesome. I don’t want to miss two years of it.”

My full wrap-up of the Canadians is here.

So Chez Reavie managed to win — something I think hardly anyone I spoke to Sunday morning expected. It was all Anthony Kim — especially after Kim posted nines of 29, 31, 33. Everyone expected Kim to shoot in the sixties, but he couldn’t put it together, and actually looked pretty sloppy on the final hole, taking little time and generally appearing like he’d just given up. I expected more — and it was a disappointing showing. It’ll be interesting to see whether he’ll be back in Canada — but there’s a chance since the tournament is at the Abbey again next year, and he credited his agent, IMG’s Chris Armstrong, for talking him into coming this year.

As for Reavie, he didn’t falter, as everyone expected, and he seemed stunned by his success after his round. When asked about the perks of winning (and considering he was ranked 362 in the world prior to the win), Reavie said:

“You know, I have no idea. As far as I’m concerned I have a 7:55 am flight to Reno, Nevada tomorrow morning. But I’m definitely going to go to tthe Bridgestone event. I’m just tired. This is the sixth week in a row. Now I can figure out a schedule. I’m not just playing when I get in. So I have to sit down with Peter Kostis, my coach, and just figure out where to go from here.”

So how have things changed for Reavie? Significantly.

I’m playing the Masters next year. I’m playing the PGA (Championship) as fair as I know. It’s amazing now that I’m going to get into larger tournaments anI can plan a schedule. I’m going to be out here for a few years now, so it’s just incredible.

Another group that is going to be thrilled by Reavie’s win is Quagmire Golf, the Ontario clothing company that sponsors the golfer. I wrote a note about it that didn’t make it into the paper:

Chez Reavie isn’t the only one celebrating his win at the RBC Canadian Open. Among those looking to benefit from Reavie’s newfound exposure is Quagmire Golf, a small ultra-hip Canadian clothing company that entered into a relationship with the golfer this year.

“We were looking through the roster and thought he was a cool guy,” said Geoff Tait, 29, co-founder of Quagmire. “It worked out great. We don’t even know what to do right.”

Reavie said he met the founders – Tait and Bobby Pasternak – for the first time this week.

“Hopefully they’re just as excited as I am about me winning here,” he said.

It turns out they are and Tait said people have already taken note as Reavie wore Quagmire-branded shirts all week.

“We’ve heard from a lot of people,” he said. “The orders have already started coming in.”

Of course, they also owe Reavie a bonus as per their contract, but Tait says they couldn’t have paid for the exposure they’ve received.

“We have to give him a little bit of a bonus,” Tait said. “But it is worth all the advertising.”

Other thoughts worth considering — I had a conversation with a source on Sunday about upcoming courses for the Open. The source was very aware that the Terrebonne project, which is controlled by Angus Glen owner Gord Stollery, appears dead in the water. That means there’s really no chance the course — if it is ever built — will host the Canadian Open despite assurances by RCGA COO Rick Desrochers that the event is scheduled there in 2012.

So where should we expect the tournament? There are no slam dunks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Scott Simmons is unable to announce 2011 and 2012 by the end of the year. Shaughnessy is apparently in negotiations to flip its course with the University Course in Vancouver, though it wouldn’t shock me if one of the years was held at Royal Montreal, especially if Terrebonne is history. Where else? There’s nothing in the east or in the Calgary area that can hold the tournament — so that leaves Toronto. Beacon Hall? Coppinwood? Either might be workable.

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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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