Let me start by saying I’ll be on CPGA Radio this morning, talking about the Canadian Open, the British Open and our new website, the one you are reading. You can listen live between 10 am and 11 am this morning by going to the CPGA’s website.
The final Canadian Open field was announced late last night after all of the players confirmed, as they have to, on the Friday before the tournament starts. No real surprises — no Tiger, no Phil, not that they were expected. Oh, and no Anthony Kim, who is coming, but is still recovering from surgery. I guess he’ll hang about and drink beer with RBC clients. Nothing wrong with that.
In the press release, these are the players Golf Canada decided to highlight:
Sean O’Hair, Camilo Villegas, Luke Donald, Tim Clark, John Daly, Hunter Mahan, Paul Casey, Fred Couples, and Retief Goosen as well as Canadian PGA TOUR stars Stephen Ames, Graham DeLaet and Mike Weir.
Additional notables committing to play this afternoon include Trevor Immelman, Stuart Appleby, Charles Howell III, Paul Azinger, David Duval, Ryuji Imada, Rocco Mediate, Andres Romero, Jeev Milka Singh, Brandt Snedeker and Charlie Hoffman, bolstering an already strong field of talent set to take on the historic St. George’s Golf and Country Club.
Notice some missing names? As is the case every year, there’s a bunch of names that were previously announced that have disappeared. The most notable is Jim Furyk, the two-time Canadian Open winner, who told the tournament he was coming just last week, and then decided to drop out after missing the cut at the British Open. One Open insider says Furyk is still a class act, but I still think this is pretty poor form. Bubba Watson is also gone — apparently having withdrawn from the event the day after Golf Canada was told he was coming. Oh, and Rickie Fowler, the rookie who has been a bright light, is gone as well. That’s a loss, especially since he’s one of the names the event used to hype the field initially. So those are some pretty big names — but it happens every year. I think Fowler is the biggest loss, to be honest.
If you’re interested in the top names, here they are:
FEDEX CUP POINTS CHASE:
To date, 20 of the current top 50 on the FedEx Cup ranking have confirmed their intention to compete at St. George’s Golf and Country Club including Tim Clark (#6), Ben Crane (#7), Matt Kuchar (#12), Camilo Villegas (#13), Bill Haas (#19), Jason Bohn (#20), Ricky Barnes (#21), Hunter Mahan (#23), Luke Donald (#27), Retief Goosen (#32), Scott Verplank (#33), Brendon De Jonge (#34), Brian Davis (#35), Paul Casey (#36), Ryan Palmer (#40), Brent Snedeker (#41), Sean O’Hair (#42), Matt Jones (#46), Kevin Na (#47), Charles Howell III (#48).
This year’s RBC Canadian Open will feature a number of this season’s PGA TOUR event winners to date, including Ryan Palmer (Sony Open in Hawaii), Bill Haas (Bob Hope Classic), Ben Crane (Farmers Insurance Open), Hunter Mahan (Waste Management Phoenix Open), Camilo Villegas (The Honda Classic), Cameron Beckman (Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun), Jason Bohn (Zurich Classic of New Orleans) and Tim Clark (THE PLAYERS Championship).
OFFICIAL WORLD GOLF RANKINGS:
The field for the 101st playing of Canada’s National Open Championship will feature 10 of top 50 players on the official World Golf Ranking including, Paul Casey (#10), Luke Donald (#7), Camilo Villegas (#17), Retief Goosen (#20), Tim Clark (#21), Matt Kuchar (#23), Sean O’Hair (#24), Hunter Mahan (#27), Ben Crane (#41) and Scott Verplank (#45).
Who knew Scott Verplank was in the world Top 50? Clearly
BTW, Mike Weir, who missed the cut at the Old Course yesterday, is seeing is World Ranking in freefall, plunging to 79 in the world, now one spot behind Stephen Ames, who hasn’t exactly lit things up lately either. One has to wonder how much longer Weir’s streak of playing in majors — which goes back to 1999 — will continue. After all, Ames didn’t qualify for the British Open this week, and he’s now ahead of Weir in the world ranking. Weir was clearly a better player when using stack and tilt, though that isn’t to say he won’t come around. But his driving has been atrocious and you can’t play the game at a world-class level hitting his driver the ways he’s been. He won’t be a factor at St. George’s unless he figures it out — though his superb putting could make him a contender if he can figure out the Big Dog.
Here’s the entire field that was announced yesterday with some remarks:
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Stuart Appleby — a fine player who has played better of late
Tommy Armour III
Paul Azinger — strange to see he’s in the field
Aaron Baddeley — remember when Badds was a star?
Ricky Barnes — the Nuke LaLouche of golf
*David Bunker (a)
*Cam Burke (a)
Chad Campbell — once again, remember when Campbell was a star and on Ryder Cup teams? He almost won the Masters and the PGA…
Paul Casey — ranked highly, but doesn’t seem to have done much to deserve it.
Tim Clark — nice to see him coming.
Fred Couples — Puts the “boom boom” in the Boomer generation
John Daly — I’ll put money on Daly not playing the weekend. He’s not a St. George’s type of player.
Brendon de Jonge
Luke Donald — a legitimate world-class star
David Duval — maybe this will be the one tournament every six months that Duval plays well.
Brad Faxon — always thoughtful on golf courses, it’ll be interesting to see what he thinks of St. George’s
Robert Garrigus — all I can say is, 7-iron
Retief Goosen — should have won last year
Bill Haas — still has a beautiful swing. Should be a star.
Tim Herron — Lumpy!
Charles Howell III — remember when he was considered a star?
Trevor Immelman — Quality player and former Masters champ
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Jerry Kelly — one of the good guys in the game.
Hunter Mahan — a legit star.
Rocco Mediate — along with Faxon and Azinger, one of three television commentators in the field
Sean O’Hair — a fine player and real star
Tom Pernice, Jr.
Carl Pettersson — playing better these days.
Andres Romero — looked like a breakthrough star in 2008. Hasn’t done much since.
Jeev Milkha Singh
*Nick Taylor (a)
*Eugene Wong (a)