David Hearn is the low Canadian at the RBC Canadian Open at the moment -- he’s even through his first three holes in the third round and 4 under for the tournament, seven shots off the lead.
After missing the cut in his first four RBC Canadian Opens (2002-05), Hearn, a native of Brantford, Ontario, who played collegiately at the University of Wyoming, has played on the weekend in five of his last six RBC Canadian Opens, with his tie for 20th in 2006 his top finish.
In addition to David Hearn, there were 22 Canadians in this week’s field. Five made the cut: Hearn, Albin Choi, Matt McQuillan, Graham DeLaet and Matt Hill.
The last Canadian to win this tournament was Pat Fletcher who carded a 280 in 1954 at Point Grey.
Since missing the cut at the U.S. Open and AT&T National, Scott Piercy has reeled off 10 straight rounds in the 60s, including a 62 and a 67 the first two days of the RBC Canadian Open.
During that 10-round stretch, Piercy is a combined 39 under (he tied for 12th at The Greenbrier Classic, was third at the John Deere Classic and has a share of the lead going into today’s third round).
Piercy’s best streak of sub-70 rounds prior to his current run came in 2009, when he played the last two rounds of the Bob Hope Classic and the first three rounds of the Waste Management Phoenix Open in the 60s. With 10 rounds under his belt in this event, Piercy has yet to post a score worse than par -- his even-par 72 he shot in the final round in 2009 his worst performance.
As for William McGirt, with whom Piercy shares the lead with, he earned a spot in the field this week thanks to a tie for fifth at last week’s True South Classic in Mississippi.
That was his best finish in 56 previous starts on the PGA TOUR.
After enjoying four under-par rounds at Annandale Golf Club in Madison last week, McGirt added his fifth and sixth consecutive under-par rounds with his 63-66 start at Hamilton Golf and Country Club.
The two will play in the final group of the day at 12:38 p.m. ET, along with Robert Garrigus, who is a shot back. How do you think they will fare? Discuss below.
There are 77 players already qualified for next week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
More could qualify at the RBC Canadian Open.
After Sunday’s final round, anyone who moves inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking who is not otherwise qualified, would earn a spot in the field at Firestone. Also, if a player wins the RBC Canadian Open who is not already in the field he will gain entry into the third World Golf Championships event of the year as well.
The last time the RBC Canadian Open was played at Hamilton G&CC, in 2006, it ranked as the third-most difficult course on the PGA TOUR.
What a difference six years, and soft conditions, can make.
Tim Clark was the latest to tie the course record, shooting a 62 Friday to enter the weekend near the top of the leaderboard.
“Obviously being soft you’re able to go at a lot of flags and make a lot of birdies,” Clark said.
Earlier this week, Scott Piercy tied the course record with a 62 in the opening round.
For Clark, it matches his career low on the PGA TOUR. It’s also a sign of things heading in the right direction after his last two years were derailed by wrist surgery in 2010.
In his first six starts this season, Clark missed the cut four times and was disqualified from another event.
“The only way to get better was to come out here and play tournament golf,” Clark said. “I could feel I was getting better every round I played.”
It’s showed. Clark tied for 19th at Colonial and last month finished in a tie for fourth at the Travelers Championship.
“I don’t think I came back too soon,” Clark added. “I think it’s what I needed to do.”
This cut will go deeper than most for Mike Weir.
For the 11th straight start, the Canadian failed to make it to the weekend -- this time at the RBC Canadian Open.
“I don't know,” Weir said when asked to put his second straight 2-over 72 into perspective. “I need a little time to think about it, and see what I can draw on it and see what we can get ready for next week.”
Pat Fletcher, who was born in England, was the last Canadian to win this event. Carl Keffer is the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914.
Weir, who has yet to make a cut this season, has failed to break par in his last seven rounds on the PGA TOUR. He has struggled since tearing a ligament in his elbow in 2010.
Other Canadians were more fortunate this week. David Hearn, Matt McQuillan, Albin Choi, Matt Hill and Graham DeLaet all advanced to the weekend.