WATCH ABOVE: Canadians are set to tee it up at the Canadian Open. Rob Leth reports.
For the first time in more than two decades, Mike Weir won’t be at the RBC Canadian Open. The Masters winner announced last week that he is taking an indefinite leave from golf for personal reasons.
Weir was unlikely to be the focus of this year’s Canadian Open anyway. His position as the country’s top golfer has been usurped in past years by Saskatchewan’s Graham DeLaet and Brantford’s David Hearn. In fact, there are six full-time Canadian golfers on the PGA Tour this year, including Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor and Roger Sloan.
Here’s a quick look at some of the Canadians in the field.
PGA Tour regulars
Graham DeLaet—the country’s top-ranked golfer played at the British Open, making the cut. That’s one of the highlights in a season that is just now rounding into shape. Having struggled with injuries for much of the year, DeLaet has started to play to his abilities in recent weeks. He hasn’t had a lot of success at Glen Abbey—he missed the cut the last time the Canadian Open was at the Oakville, Ont., course—but he has the length to overwhelm the course if he can recover from the jet lag from the flight Monday night from St. Andrews.
David Hearn—Hearn had a near-miss at the Greenbrier, losing the tournament in a playoff. But the second-place finish demonstrated that Hearn is often overlooked. Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t play a flashy game—instead focusing on hitting fairways and greens in workmanlike fashion. He finished in a tie for 44th the last time the Canadian Open was at Glen Abbey.
Adam Hadwin—The charismatic PGA Tour rookie from Abbotsford, BC, Hadwin’s season has been a mix of missed cuts and solid showings. Two weeks ago he was T18 at the John Deere Classic, one of five Top 25 finishes this year. He’ll need a strong finish to the year to retain his playing privileges for next year.
Roger Sloan—With limited status on the PGA Tour, Sloan has struggled to get into tournaments. He has made two straight cuts—including his best finish of the year at the John Deere Classic—and he made the cut at Glen Abbey the last time the tournament was played at the course.
Nick Taylor—Canada’s only winner this year, Taylor, the former No. 1 amateur in the world, won the Sanderson Farms Championship, his fourth start on the PGA Tour as a rookie. That guarantees Taylor will be out on tour through 2017. He’s missed four straight cuts coming into the Canadian Open, so hopefully returning to home soil will help his game.
- Brad Fritish—A former PGA Tour player, had his best finish on the Web.com Tour this past week. He played well at Glen Abbey two years ago before having to withdraw with a back injury.
- Adam Svensson—One of the rising stars of Canadian golf, Svensson turned pro in the spring and has played a mix of Web.com Tour and PGA Tour Canada tournaments this year with significant success.
- Austin Connelly—A dual citizen who lives in Dallas, Connelly represented Canada at the Pan Am Games, coming in fifth. He is heading to university in September, but plans on attending Web.com Tour qualifying school and will turn pro if he is successful.
- Garrett Rank—A part-time NHL referee and the winner of the Canadian Mid-Amateur Championship, Rank is a big hitter who also competed at the Pan Am Games last week, finishing 15th.
- Taylor Pendrith—Pendrith is one of the biggest bombers of the ball in golf, and had a breakout at the RBC Canadian Open last year at Royal Montreal where he played as an amateur. He’s since turned pro and played a mix of PGA Tour Canada and Web.com Tour events.