First Look: RBC Canadian Open
July 18, 2014
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- Brandt Snedeker is the defending champion at the RBC Canadian Open. (Fiume/Getty Images)
• FIELD: RBC Canadian Open
• COURSE: Royal Montreal GC (Blue), 7,153 yards, par 70. North America’s first official golf club was founded in 1873, playing on a nine-hole layout in Mount Royal Park on the city’s outskirts. The club acquired its own property in 1896, where it played host to the inaugural Canadian Open in 1904. Four more Canadian Opens would be contested at the site before RMGC moved again in 1959 to its current home on 45-hole complex constructed by Dick Wilson. This marks the fifth Open played on the Blue course, which also served as the site of the The Presidents Cup in 2007.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
• CHARITY: Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada, which operates 14 homes in Canada that provide families of seriously ill or injured children with a place to live while their child is treated. Canada’s national open has generated some $45 million for charity over the years.
• FIELD WATCH: World No. 5 Matt Kuchar and defending champion Brandt Snedeker head a lineup that features five of the top 20 players in this week’s Official World Golf Ranking ... The field includes 24 players returning from the British Open at Royal Liverpool. Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel and Jim Furyk were among the top 11 after two days on the Hoylake links ... Graeme DeLaet, who represented Canada at last year’s Presidents Cup, and 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir head a contingent of 14 native sons in the field. The lineup also includes Adam Svensson, Division II winner of college golf’s Jack Nicklaus Award.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 263, Johnny Palmer (1952 at St. Charles CC), Scott Piercy (2012 at Hamilton G&CC). Royal Montreal record: 266, Scott Verplank (2001).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 60, Carl Pettersson (3rd round, 2010 at St. George’s G&CC). Royal Montreal record: David Morland IV (2nd round, 2001), Scott Verplank (2nd round, 2001).
• LAST YEAR: Snedeker stepped up when Hunter Mahan heard the call of fatherhood, taking charge on the weekend at Glen Abbey for a three-shot victory. Mahan led by two after 36 holes, but flew home to Dallas before Round 3 when word came that wife Kandi had gone into labor with their first child. Zoe Olivia Mahan was born the next morning. Snedeker pushed to the front with a Saturday 63, then kept his pursuers at bay with a closing 70. Dustin Johnson held a share of the lead with two holes left, but triple-bogeyed No.17 after driving out of bounds. He wound up tied for second with Matt Kuchar, William McGirt and Jason Bohn.
• STORYLINES: Mahan returns in hopes of taking care of last year’s unfinished business, though back and hip injuries have hampered his play in 2014. He arrived at Royal Liverpool without a top-20 finish since March. … Snedeker will try to become just the second back-to-back Canadian Open champion since 1951. Jim Furyk successfully defended his title in 2007. … Just four weeks remain in the FedExCup regular season, as jockeying starts to heat up for one of 125 spots at The Barclays playoff opener.
• SHORT CHIPS: With U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer taking a respite, there can be no “Triple Crown” sweep of the U.S., British and Canadian titles. Just two men have done it – Lee Trevino in 1971 and Tiger Woods in 2000 ... No Canadian has won his national open since Pat Fletcher in 1954. Mike Weir came close in 2004, losing a playoff to Vijay Singh. Last year gets honorable mention, though, as Snedeker’s caddie Scott Vail is Canadian ... Snedeker’s win also halted a run of four consecutive years in which the Open’s 54-hole leader has been unable to close it out. Chez Reavie had been the last, winning the 2008 edition at Glen Abbey.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
• RADIO: Thursday-Friday, 1-7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.COM.