CanOpen Day Two Roundup

Let’s start with me, since it is really all about me anyway. My column for Sympatico on great golf coursesmaking for great golf, is now online, along with some videos shot at St. George’s last month.

Word is that Hamilton Golf & CC members are voting on whether to hold the 2012 RBC Canadian Open. Hard to imagine they will vote against it, but I’m told it is a close call. Vote will be made public this evening.

Stephen Ames told the Sun that more players have a shot this year given the move away from Glen Abbey:

“It’s a different location this year,” said Calgary’s Ames, of the US$5.1-million Canadian Open venue at the St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Etobicoke, Ont.

“It’s not the typical Glen Abbey, which everybody knows. It’s new for everybody on the PGA Tour, so it might be better for us Canadians, because a lot of us have played St. George’s. “Absolutely, it suits my game,” continued the Calgary golfer.

“It’s the kind of course you have to shape it off the tee and think about what club you want to hit. And then going into the greens, you can’t attack them because of the location of the pins. It could be a really, really good test for us.”

Ames himself admits to having an up-and-down season with just one top-10 finish on the tour. He was sixth at the Transitions Championship in March to pocket $187,650.

“Average year. Very average. I’ve played well in spurts but haven’t been able to put four solid rounds together,” said Ames, who ranks 67th on the PGA money list with $732,866 this season.

“But physically, I feel very good about my golf swing. The only thing that’s still lagging behind a little bit is the mind.”

 Chris Ross, son of former RCGA ED Stephen Ross, played his way into the Canadian Open at the qualifier yesterday (source):

Chris Ross of Dundas, Ont., and Montreal’s Beon Yeong Lee earned spots in the RBC Canadian Open field with near perfect golf in Monday’s qualifying round.

Ross and Lee fired matching 4-under par 68’s at The Club at Bond Head to earn exemptions into this weekend’s tournament.

Also earning a spot in the Canadian Open via Monday’s qualifier was American Lucas Lee, who fired a 3-under par 69.

After 18 holes of regulation play, four players were tied for the last of four Monday qualifier exemptions. Derek Gillespie of Oshawa, Ont., Jeffery Puska of Ladysmith, B.C., David Williamson of Halifax and Marc Bourgeois of Dieppe, N.B., played one hole of playoff golf before play was called because of darkness. Gillespie and Bourgeois were eliminated after failing to make par.

 Gord Holder at the Ottawa Citizen talks to David Hearn:

A 31-year-old from Brantford, Ont., Hearn will be making his eighth Canadian Open appearance since 2002, so he has figured some things out, starting with setting aside extra time for interview possibilities while practising at nearby Islington Golf Club.

“But it’s nice,” said Hearn, whose best Open finish was a tie for 20th at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in 2006. “It’s a lot of fun for us to play in front of everybody and hopefully compete for the championship.”

That’s a pretty lofty goal, given that no Canadian has won the Open since Pat Fletcher in 1954, and it has been 96 years since the last Canadian-born winner, Royal Ottawa head pro Karl Keffer.

Hearn though, isn’t quite ready to concede the 2010 Open title to one of the horde of 138 visiting professionals.

For one thing, few, if any, of the non-Canadian competitors have seen St. George’s, which hasn’t played host to the Open since 1968, but Hearn has had a handful of opportunities to play the course in central Toronto, including one earlier this year.

Secondly, as a full-time Nationwide Tour member playing in this Open thanks to a sponsor’s invitation from Golf Canada, Hearn values the opportunity to compete in an event back on the PGA Tour, where in 2005 he made 10 cuts in 24 tries and earned $197,453, which wasn’t enough to keep his playing privileges.

Graham DeLaet tells the Globe that he took a lot away from his play this past weekend in Reno:

“I take a lot of positives out of it,” he said. “I was in the hunt and had my first low score of the year. I feel bad about Sunday but good about my game.

“I go into every tournament trying to win, but this is a bit more of an exciting week. I’ve been looking forward to this all year. I’m somewhat familiar with St. George’s. I never played it set up with rough and slick greens like it will be for this week, but every time I’ve been in Toronto in past four or five years, I’ve made a point of playing it. As a rookie on tour, every course is new to me this year, so this is one I’ve actually played.”

And a couple of photos from yesterday’s celeb pro-am, which was played in humid conditions and seemed to go on forever:

Wine and Cheese: Leaf Dion Phaneuf talks to the so-called "Wine Ladies" at the celeb pro-am yesterday.


Mike Weir chips from the rought on 10 yesterday. He's in a pairing with Sean O'Hair and Fred Couples on Thursday at 1:15 pm.

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Jeff Lancaster

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Am I hearing correct its 4″ (and longer) rough on the course?

    Is the RCGA stupid? Cant have a roughed up course after the British, yorue going to scare the players away.. especially for next year.

  • I agree, even Tom Cochrane was on ther Fan saying they had better cut that rough, as it’s overly penal. WE want people to like the course and the open – not the opposite.

  • Keith Bartlett, the course super, said four inches is the number. Seems excessive to me, but we’ll see. He said specifically that the greens would stimp at 11 as well, a little slower because of the slope at St. George’s.

    W: You raise a good point — isn’t that what happened when Jack started monkeying around with Muirfield Village?

  • The better players on Tour will welcome the 4 inch rough which will provide a competitive advantage to the best ball-strikers and serve the tournament in the best possible way. The rough at Shaughnessy in 2005 was 6 inches and the only complaint in the whole field came for Robert Allenby… the rest of the field love it.

  • It seems to me that the first cut of rough is 4 ” tall.

    The rest of the rough looks to be 4″ too.
    That is if you count 8″ of grass lying on its side as 4″.

    Is that a problem for today’s professional golfer?
    Not really.
    After all, these guys are good ! (or so I’ve heard)

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