… Nope, not Tom Watson, but Bubba Watson. And given his recent win, he’s a strong addition.
Golf Canada and RBC announced several new names that have entered the Canadian Open field. Jim Furyk, twice a winner in Canada, is probably the most notable, and would have a good shot at winning at St. George’s:
Furyk, currently the 5th ranked player in the world and winner of both the 2006 and 2007 Canadian Opens, will be joined by long-hitting Bubba Watson, rising star Ricky Barnes, former Canadian Open champion Scott Verplank and fan favourite John Daly.
With a pair of 2010 PGA TOUR victories (Transitions Championship & Verizon Heritage), Furyk currently sits 4th on the FedEx Cup standing. Watson, winner of the recent Travelers Championship, currently sits 10th on the FedEx Cup ranking while Barnes and Verplank, a five-time PGA TOUR winner, sit 20th and 32nd respectively on the 2010 FedEx Cup ranking. Daly, a fan favourite throughout his career, is a five-time PGA TOUR winner and former British Open and PGA Championship champion.
Furyk, Watson, Barnes, Verplank and Daly will join a field that includes notables Anthony Kim Sean O’Hair, Rickie Fowler, Camilo Villegas, Hunter Mahan, Luke Donald, Retief Goosen, Tim Clark, Y.E. Yang, Matt Kuchar, Fred Couples, Paul Casey and defending RBC Canadian Open champion Nathan Green.
I have no fondness for John Daly, but apparently Golf Canada is prepared to look the other way at his petulant attitude. Last year, en route to missing the cut, Daly sulked, offered to hit a short iron off the 18th tee so his group could finish before dark and breezed past kids seeking autographs. I don’t know where his “everyman” image comes from, but I think he’s an embarrassment to weekend beer drinkers everywhere.
That said, good to see Ricky Barnes in the field — he’s been a bright light since almost winning the U.S. Open last year.
As for Canadians, only three make the grade, at least among those who haven’t turned pro recently (Matt Hill) or played well as amateurs (Nick Taylor and Eugene Wong, as well as Cam Burke):
Golf Canada and RBC also announced that Canadians Jon Mills, David Hearn and Dustin Risdon have earned exemptions into the 2010 RBC Canadian Open. Hearn and Mills sit 13th and 24th on the 2010 Nationwide Tour Money List while Risdon, who sits 70th on the Nationwide Money List is coming off a recent victory at the Canadian Tour’s ATB Financial Classic Presented by TELUS.
The group announced today joins exempt Canadian favourites Stephen Ames, Canadian Golf Hall of Famer Mike Weir and PGA TOUR rookie Graham DeLaet. Other Canadians set to compete include two-time defending Canadian Men’s Amateur champion Cam Burke as well as Team Canada teammates Nick Taylor and Eugene Wong. Former Team Canada member Matt Hill will also participate as a professional and will be joined by 2009 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Champion Dave Bunker and 2009 Canadian PGA champion Ben Boudreau.
That’s probably about right. There are lots of Canadians on the Nationwide Tour (Julien Trudeau, David Morland), but frankly if you look at the World Golf Rankings,a bunch of CanTour guys are ahead of them. Hearn, Mills and Risdon should be there — the rest should play better, frankly.
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That’s good news about Bubba. Not so great news about Daly. Thanks for the info.
I will start RT by qualifying what I say with the fact I have a personal friendship as you know with one of the Canadian players you mention not extended an invitation.
That player happen to miss getting their full tour card a Q school by one (that’s right 1 shot over 108 holes, not to mention getting through the 1st 2 stages).
I truly believe any Canadian players with full Nationwide tour status should be extended an invitation. Why not support our national talent as opposed to some guy who’s way down on the tour money list (+ the world rankings system you reference) & unlikely to retain status.
As a happy medium, why not extend an invitation to the top Canadian finisher(not already exempt) from our country’s only stop on the Nationwide tour, which just so happens to be going on right now near Collingwood.
PS. It’s a travesty how poor the attendance is at the event this week. While it is a gorgeous area near Blue Mountain, it’s probably time for the Gretzky Classic to be moved closer to a major city so it garners the media attention it deserves.