RBC Canadian Open field announced: Simpson in, Day out

Next week I’ll be spending a lot of time shuttling between Toronto and Ancaster for the RBC Canadian Open. The tournament announced its final field on Friday, which is quietly quite strong while still including some big names.

The stars:

No Phil or Tiger or Rory, but they weren’t expected. Instead you get the RBC gang, the group of golfers sponsored by the bank that also has the title to the tournament.

  • Jim Furyk
  • Ernie Els
  • Matt Kuchar
  • Hunter Mahan

Furyk, who won last time at Hamilton, is certainly a key golfer to watch this week, while Els played well in the first few days of the British Open. Kuchar would also seem to be a good pick for a golfer who could excel at Hamilton’s rolling fairways and tricky greens, as could be Mahan, one of the better drivers of the ball on tour. Interesting to note there’s no Fred Couples, who is also sponsored by the bank and has come to Canada in past years. Australian Jason Day was used in early marketing and was expected to be in the field despite the fact his wife recently had a baby — but his name wasn’t in the final group.

Others in Top 100

  • Webb Simpson
  • Sang-Moon Bae
  • Jonathan Byrd
  • Ben Curtis
  • Robert Garrigus
  • Retief Goosen
  • Ryo Ishikawa
  • Spencer Levin
  • Sean O’Hair
  • Jeff Overton
  • Ryan Palmer
  • DA Points
  • Rory Sabbitini
  • Charl Schwartzel
  • Vijay Singh
  • Kyle Stanley
  • Michael Thompson
  • Bo Van Pelt
  • Brandt Snedeker
  • Robert Appleby

A strong group of golfers in the Top 100, including rising stars like Stanley and Levin, and Snedeker who is leading the British Open as I write this. If he wins that’ll make for a great story for the tournament, which would then include the US Open winner (Simpson) and the British Open winner. Overall a strong list, even if they aren’t all immediately recognizable  by the average golf fan.

Notable Names:

  • John Daly
  • David Duval
  • Stuart Appleby
  • Ricky Barnes
  • Chad Campbell
  • Bud Cauley
  • Tim Clark
  • Trevor Immelman
  • Jhonattan Vegas
Daly continues to be a draw and actually played well last year, while Duval’s decade-long slump continues. At one time having Allenby and Appleby in the field would had added two top stars to the list — now one barely hangs on to the Top 100 and the other is out of it. Interesting to see how far Jhonattan Vegas has fallen after his hot start last year.
The Canadians:
  • Graham DeLaet
  • David Hearn
  • Stephen Ames
  • Mike Weir
  • Eugene Wong
  • Adam Hadwin
  • Brad Fritsch
  • Michael Gligic
  • Matt Hill
  • Brian McCann
  • Matt McQuillan
In past years this would have been Weir and everyone else. Now the focus is on David Hearn and the long-hitting Graham DeLaet. The course would seem to suit Hearn’s game. Hadwin is also back in the field after two strong showings in past years. Interestingly, despite a strong finish last year, Hadwin still needed an exemption to get into the field — there’s no provision for Top 10 winners getting back in the following year, which isn’t altogether surprising.
Overall: A good field with some prominent names, but missing the star power generated by a Dustin Johnson (who came for a Tmag event recently), Bubba Watson, Adam Scott or Rickie Fowler. Still a better field than many would give it credit for.


Related Articles

About author View all posts Author website

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.

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • With the Royal Bank being the second largest sponsor of the PGA hopefully the can use that influence to get a date that would be better for attracting more of the top names both from the U.S. and Europe.

    • What would that better date be? Given that we are talking Canada you wouldn’t want to have the tournament until June. That means that pretty much every date is either the week before or the week after a major championship. The one big improvement would be to get one of the early FedEx Cup playoff dates. In the past that seemed unlikely but given the improved economic performance of Canada (vs the US) and, more importantly, the strong performance of RBC vs its global peers then this might happen.

  • And the question is: will big Ernie be on the plane tonight? I hope he is, he has always been one to honour his commitments.

  • B Grade field unfortunately. If Ernie doesn’t show it slips to a C grade IMO. Pity because the course is Canada’s best.

Leave a Reply