July 21, 2014 7:58 am

Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Graham DeLaet lead Canadian Open field

WATCH: A strong field led by 16 Canadians including Graham DeLaet tee it up at Royal Montreal this week

With a date following the British Open and just ahead of the PGA Championship, the RBC Canadian Open at times struggles to lure the best players in the world to Canada.

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That hasn’t really changed this year with the announcement of the tournament’s field, but there are still enough stars – from World No. 5 ranked golfer Matt Kuchar to bomber Dustin Johnson, as well as Canadians Graham DeLaet and Mike Weir – coming to Royal Montreal Golf Club this year to make the tournament compelling for spectators.

Players to watch

The RBC gang: Jim Furyk, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell, Hunter Mahan, Matt Kuchar and Ernie Els

RBC, the key sponsor of the Canadian Open, decided a few years ago that the easiest way of luring players to Canada for the tournament the week after the British Open was to enter into deals with them to make the golfers part of “Team RBC.”

That means you’ll see British star and former World No. 1 Luke Donald, multiple major winner Ernie Els and Matt Kuchar – the top-ranked player in the world – show up in Montreal.

Tour stars: Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel

Could Dustin Johnson’s second appearance in Canada have something to do with his relationship status? Johnson is engaged to Paulina Gretzky, the daughter of “The Great One,” hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. He had a near miss at Glen Abbey last year when he held a share of the lead on the 17th hole, but couldn’t close the deal. Royal Montreal should set up well for Johnson, one of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour.

Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters winner from South Africa, has also made a few appearances in Canada. He’s also among the top-ranked players who will tee it up in Montreal.

The Canadians: Mike Weir, Graham DeLaet, David Hearn, Stephen Ames, Brad Fritsch

Both Graham DeLaet and David Hearn played this past week in Liverpool at the British Open. Hearn made the cut while DeLaet’s struggles in golf’s major championships continue. They’ll be among a large contingent of Canadians at Royal Montreal.

Others to watch for include amateur Taylor Pendrith, PGA Tour Canada star Mike Gligic and mid-am champ from Victoria, Kevin Carrigan, who works as a financial consultant.

Notables: John Daly, Vijay Singh

Troubled John Daly remains one of the most noted names in golf, despite the fact he hasn’t been a competitive player in years. However, Daly did have one of his best tournaments on the PGA Tour in nearly a decade when he contended at Shaughnessy in Vancouver three years ago.

On the other hand you have previous Canadian Open winner Vijay Singh, who beat Mike Weir in a playoff in 2004. Singh now plays part-time on the Champions Tour, which features golf’s stars over the age of 50, and is involved in a high-profile lawsuit with the PGA Tour over allegations he used a banned substance last year.

If you go

  • What: RBC Canadian Open
  • When: Practice rounds start Monday; tournament starts Thursday
  • Where: Royal Montreal Golf Club, 25 South Ridge Road
, Ile Bizard, Quebec
  • Television: Pre-game show on Global Television at 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. July 26-27 – Tournament coverage follows until 6 p.m.
  • Online: Complete coverage on Globalnews.ca

© Shaw Media, 2014

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