With a month until some of the PGA Tour’s best players hit the fairways at Royal Montreal Golf Club, the talk is once again focused on which players will show up at the RBC Canadian Open.
Golf Canada, which runs the event, already announced last year’s winner, Brandt Snedeker, will be in the field. That appears to still be the case, despite Snedeker, who won last year at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont., undergoing tests on an ailing back.
Joining Snedeker will be a group of players with a connection to title sponsor RBC, including Matt Kuchar, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell, and Hunter Mahan.
“Certainly our field is shaping up to be outstanding,” tournament director Bill Paul said on Wednesday at a media gathering at Royal Montreal.
But it isn’t just RBC players who will be in the field. The tournament also announced Dustin Johnson, who finished fourth in the recent U.S. Open and contended at last year’s RBC Canadian Open, will be returning, as will past U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover and Masters winner Trevor Immelman. South African Charl Schwartzel, currently ranked 24th in the world, will also be in the field.
They’ll be joined by winners from this year, including Matt Every (Arnold Palmer Invitational), Steve Bowditch (Valero Texas Open), Matt Jones (Shell Houston Open), Kevin Stadler (Waste Management Phoenix Open) and Chesson Hadley (Puerto Rico Open). Past champions of the RBC Canadian Open who are expected to be in the field include Scott Piercy (2012), Sean O’Hair (2011), Carl Pettersson (2010), Nathan Green (2009), Jim Furyk (2006 and 2007), Vijay Singh (2004) and John Rollins (2002).
Canadians David Hearn, Mike Weir, Graham DeLaet, and Brad Fritsch, all regulars on the PGA Tour, as well as Stephen Ames, who splits his time between the PGA and Champions Tours, will also be in Montreal. Web.com player Adam Hadwin, from Abbotsford, BC, will also be given a spot in the tournament. Hadwin won on the Web.com Tour earlier this year.
It’s been 60 years since a Canadian last won the tournament. Pat Fletcher, who had a long connection to the Royal Montreal club, won in British Columbia in 1954. Since then Canadians, including Weir and Hadwin, have contended, but come up short.
Still Paul said he expects a Canadian will contend.
“Canadian golf has never been stronger with those out on tour, our amateur ranks and our national teams,” he said.
“I know we’ll see a Canadian host that trophy one day.”
Hearn, who was on the call and spoke to the media, said there’s a lot of interest on the PGA Tour about the event coming back to Montreal. Royal Montreal held the Presidents Cup in 2007, but last held the Canadian Open in 2001, incidentally the last time Tiger Woods appeared in the tournament.
Hearn, from Brantford, Ont., has not played the course, but says there’s a good amount of buzz about the event.
“It is a unique golf course in Canada, and I think a lot of the other guys are excited about coming to Montreal as well,” he said.
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