OAKVILLE, ONT. — There are still three Canadians in the field as the RBC Canadian Open comes to a conclusion this week, and despite a couple of big names missing the cut, there’s still plenty of top PGA Tour pros worth turning up to watch at Glen Abbey Golf Club.
While former world No. 1 player Luke Donald and Canadian Graham DeLaet struggled in missing the cut, there’s still plenty of the biggest names playing this weekend.
The Canadians – Mike Weir, David Hearn, Roger Sloan and Brad Fritsch
Eighteen Canadians started the week, only four remain. While a lot of attention will be on a resurgent Mike Weir, who is tied for 26th heading into Saturday, PGA Tour regulars David Hearn and Web.com player Roger Sloan could surprise some. Hearn, who nearly won two weeks ago at the John Deere Classic, will have to put together a good round amidst calm conditions early Saturday. The fourth player to make the cut, Manotick, Ont.’s Brad Fritsch, was forced to withdraw on Saturday with a back injury.
Hunter Mahan – The leader after two rounds, Mahan is exactly the type of champion the Canadian Open has been searching for. A Ryder Cup player and one of the best in the world, Mahan had contended at major championships with regularity. A student of Canadian Sean Foley, Mahan’s game is a mix of power and precision – and fits nicely with the demands of Glen Abbey.
Bubba Watson – Arguably the most exciting player in the field, Watson’s a basher with a homegrown game who is one of the longest hitters in the field. He’s certainly among the most interesting to watch, moving the ball around with his own idiosyncratic swing. Watch out for his pink driver, just another element that sets Watson apart.
Jim Furyk – A two-time Canadian Open winner, Furyk is a perennial star on the PGA Tour, one of the most consistent players in golf. He’s having an average year by his standards, but isn’t far off the lead heading into Sunday and is one of the players that could potentially move up with a low round.
Graeme McDowell – the Irishman’s game is either on or off these days – with little in between. He either wins or misses the cut in recent tournaments, leaving one to wonder what the last two rounds of the Canadian Open hold. A 7-under par second round moved him inside the cut, but he’ll need to put two more solid days together if he hopes to be near the top on Sunday.
Ernie Els – One of the biggest stars in the field, Els nearly missed the cut for the second straight year. Last year he showed up in Hamilton exhausted after winning the British Open. This year there was no excuse aside from a game that has been inconsistent for much of the summer. Still he’ll be out early and his silky smooth swing is stunning to watch in person. The Big Easy indeed.