Daly in at CanOpen, Immelman out?

So John Daly, all garish pants with a thinner waste band, and apparently healthy despite his recent withdrawal on the European Tour, is coming back to the RBC Canadian Open.
That was the word today from the RCGA, along with several other names “ Canadians Graham Delaet, Dustin Risdon, Jon Mills, Chris Baryla and Ian Leggatt. Yeah, thats right “ Ian Leggatt, #92 on the Nationwide Tour money list with a combined $92,000 in earnings over the last three years.

Big JD

So John Daly gets an exemption. Big deal. Bet you he doesnt see the weekend. Whats his success at the Canadian Open? A tie for 22 in 2002 (oh yes, and a fourth some time before that). But let’s talk about now — not ancient history. In his other two recent appearances hes withdrawn both times. The first time at Hamilton in 2003, he claimed to have hurt his hand, though he was later seen drinking beer and selling John Daly crap merchandise in the parking lot of a local restaurant. In 2007 he showed up again, this time soon after claiming he had been assaulted by his latest ex-wife (I think they were still together at the time, but who can keep up with these things). He didnt last through the second round “ again.
Third times a charm? 
Interesting to see the canned quote from RCGA tournament director Bill Paul applauding John for his support of the event, which must be some sort of code for withdraws more often than a teenager in the back of a Honda Civic. And yes, Ive used that one before.
Heres the quote:

John has been a long-time supporter of Canadas national Open championship and I think Canadian golf fans will join us in welcoming him back to Glen Abbey for the 2009 RBC Canadian Open, Paul says.

Theyll also enjoy waving good-bye to his RV when it pulls out of town on Friday night, if he lasts that long.
For the record, the long-time supporter of Canadas national Open, has played exactly five times since 1995 (96,99, 01, 03, 07). Were usually critical of Tiger for not coming very often “ and hes come four times during the same period. Maybe hes not a long-time supporter though. More of a casual affair for Eldrick.
Leggo My Rutledge

Lets talk briefly about Leggatt. Theres no one better connected with the business  community than Leggatt (calling Mr. Balsillie, Ian Leggatt on Line 1), but lets be frank “ hes been barely competitive for the last five years. Everyone likes Ian — hell, he’s a really nice guy. And hes made the Canadian Open cut a few times in recent years “ but hasnt played on the PGA Tour regularly since 2003. Thats a long time ago for a guy who is 44 this year. And yep, hes won on the PGA Tour “ but that seems a lifetime ago. Interesting to see the RCGA and RBC pick Leggatt, with his strong business relationships, over Jim Rutledge, who is actually ahead of him on the Nationwide Tour money list.

At the moment, it looks like Rutledge might get in through the Canadian Tour money list “ where hes #5. Interesting to see Graham Delaet get an exemption “ and well he should “ even though hes all but guaranteed one through his ranking at #3 on the CanTour money list. I assume they get the exemption back should Delaet get in “ and if Rutledge doesnt, perhaps it can be extended to him.

Update: Rutledge apparently turned down a CanOpen invite, according to golf’s “man for all media,” Bob Weeks. Strange decision. Weeks also says Leggatt’s invite is a good one. 

Rising star

Former US Am champ Danny Lee is coming “ which I think is pretty cool. Id offer him an exemption over Daly any day. After missing a couple of cuts, the young phenom was 7th last week at the AT&T. Hes a good choice. Why was this buried in the news release from the RCGA? Let’s hope he comes back after he wins on tour a few times.


Nice to see Dustin Risdon, the Alberta native who made the cut last year, and Chris Baryla, who has been resurgent as of late, both make the grade. Paul Azinger will also be there —  hes made a single cut in six starts. Gotta think Trevor Immelman is out of the Canadian Open, especially after withdrawing from next weeks British Open.


The press release also notes:

Four additional spots into the field will determined on Monday, July 20 as 156 players will tee it up in the RBC Canadian Open Monday Qualifier at Heron Point Golf Links in Alberton, Ont.

Once again, this is oversubscribed and full of amateurs who will struggle to break 80 and only play the Canadian Open in their dreams. Where is the two-tier qualifying system that is in place at almost every other PGA Tour stop? Is this the best in class, we hear so much about from RBC and the RCGA? Get it together guys and fix this one.

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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.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Robert, while I don’t doubt there will be score in the 80’s and even some at 90+ at the qualifier at Heron Point, I think you are a little offside on your comments about this entry method being oversubscribed. This is the beauty of golf as it relates to “open” events, and something that separates it from most other sports. It means the likes of you and me can attempt qualify, persumaeably if you carry an index below a certain threshold. You will likely need -5 or better to get into the field (on one of Canada’s best courses, IMHO), so let the dreamers play and at the end of the day the cream will hopefully rise to the top.

  • RT….I suggest you take some anger management programs. This hate, bordering on rage, for Daly is not good for your health. I don’t know why you have to kick the guy in the face when he is down. It is really sad that you have nothing else to write about except an easy target such as Daly. I shouldn’t be surprised because you really don’t show any talent as a writer, so kicking Daly is the best you can do. That is why you are laughed at in the golf community.

  • Jimmy: I don’t hate John Daly. I might feel a bit sorry for him — or at least I did in the past. I hate very, very few people — and Daly certainly doesn’t qualify.

    And I’m glad you’re so in tune with the golf community that you know what gives them a good chuckle.

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