… 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.