2016 RBC Canadian Open: Day’s star turn and RBC’s renewal

Big Hitter, small talker: Dustin Johnson gave some short answers to big questions during his interview at the RBC Canadian Open on Wednesday.

Big Hitter, small talker: Dustin Johnson gave some short answers to big questions during his interview at the RBC Canadian Open on Wednesday. Brian Decker of the PGA Tour watches in amazement. 

This is, by my estimation, my 20th Canadian Open, either attended as a fan or a journalist. Hard to imagine, really. This year has been interesting. Once again I’m working for Global News/Shaw Golf as part of their online and television team, and writing for Global Golf Post.

And while the early news was all about the Olympics, today’s news, to my way of thinking, is more significant. That’s because RBC’s long delayed renewal announcement came through, inking a deal with Golf Canada that will see the tournament have the bank as title sponsor through 2023. That allows Golf Canada and RBC to start actively looking for sites that won’t become houses (at least not in the next few years). I wrote about the deal here.

RBC’s renewal will likely put more pressure on Golf Canada. The way the deal works, RBC puts up a certain amount of cash, and that money is largely allocated to media buys in the U.S. that support the television deal. The price of that media has surely gone up—the PGA Tour will want more money—and that means the odd man out is likely Golf Canada, which will continue to struggle to make money off the tournament. In fact, breaking even in a bad year will become an achievement of sorts. So this is largely a good news story for golf—but probably not a perfect deal for Golf Canada.

However, it does mean there are some decisions to be made as to where the tournament will be held in upcoming years. I can’t imagine it’ll all be Glen Abbey, a course doomed to become houses. I’m betting on Glen Abbey for 2018, Hamilton in 2019, and St. George’s the following year. Other courses I hear are in the mix include Eagles Nest, while Golf Canada continues to hope against hope that ClubLink’s Rai Sahi will decide he’s in the golf business, instead of the housing business, and rebuild one of his courses.

Other stories worth noting:







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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.

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