Yesterday began bright and early, with my appearance with Leslie Roberts on Global’s morning show to talk about the Canadian Open. You can see it here.
I also wrote about Luke Donald, Ernie Els and others as they talked about Glen Abbey. They were all quite gracious — no bitching about the state of the course or how disappointed they were in it. In fact that’s largely disappeared in the last few years, which is nice.
Finally I wrote about Mike Weir’s continued comeback. He’s in a tough spot, especially with the FedEx Cup playoffs upcoming — which Weir isn’t it. That might force him into the Web.com qualifying tournaments — or decide to use his final all-time money list exemption. It is a tough spot.
I asked Weir about Laval, the course he created with Ian Andrew, and its chances of hosting the RBC Canadian Open:
That would be really cool. I hope it happens. I’m proud of the golf course. We had a grand opening in May there and came through the winter nicely, and a lot of the changes being made kind of came to fruition how I envisioned them happening, especially around the greens and the green complexes.
So to see it play kind of how Glen Abbey is playing right now, firm and fast, is how I envisioned it playing for a Canadian Open. We’ll see how the course would play. That would be great. I’d love to see it happen.
There’s been a lot of talk about Canadian Open venues beyond 2014, when it will head to Royal Montreal. I’ve seen discussion about Coppinwood, Shaughnessy and Laval — which makes sense.
However, any discussion is premature — largely because there could be a date change in 2015. The two dates that make sense would be the FedEx Memphis date and the AT&T July date, both of which come with issues. FedEx might not want to step away from Memphis and the AT&T often falls on July 4. That tournament struggles already to draw a field beyond what the Canadian Open has — so why would it be better? It would be a big bet just for a shot to draw Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson, with no guarantee either would come.
Truthfully I also wonder about the optics of picking Coppinwood, especially when owner Paul McLean will be the president of Golf Canada soon. Or maybe he’d donate the course as a service to golf in Canada — now that would be interesting. However, I suspect Paul and his partners, who reacquired the course recently, would like a return on their investment and doing the Canadian Open for free wouldn’t be part of that.
That said, I don’t know why other courses in the GTA wouldn’t be considered — namely Eagles Nest north of the city, Beacon Hall in Aurora and even Mississaugua G&CC near Glen Abbey. And what about heading back to St. George’s?
Needless to say I don’t think this is a done deal — despite what some are saying. And notice RBC hasn’t said anything about it? Their silence speaks volumes.
Ran into Geoff Ogilvy on course yesterday and had a good conversation about his round at Toronto GC on Tuesday. He loved the place, and had plenty of questions about Martin Hawtree’s recent redo. He’s encountered some of Hawtree’s work in Australia, where he currently has a design business with Mike Clayton. He says there is at least one really interesting design possibility for the pair — but like most new golf courses, there are some hiccups to overcome.