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July 19 2013

10:10 PM

First Look: RBC Canadian Open


Scott Piercy won this event a year ago at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.

FIELD LIST: RBC Canadian Open field

By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Contributor

• COURSE: Glen Abbey GC, 7,253 yards, par 72. Jack Nicklaus’ first solo design opened in 1977 as a long-term home for Canada’s national championship, hosting 22 editions before the Royal Canadian Golf Association opted to rotate venues again. This edition will be the 26th Open held at Glen Abbey. The back nine features the “Valley Holes,” starting with a tee shot at No.11 to a fairway some 60 feet below, then following Sixteen Mile Creek for three holes before eventually climbing out at No.16. Glen Abbey also is home to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.

• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.

• CHARITY: Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada, which operates 14 houses 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: Reigning FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker and outgoing British Open winner Ernie Els highlight a list that features seven of the top 16 players in this week’s world rankings. No.6 Matt Kuchar is the highest ranked participant. … The field includes 29 players who teed it up at the British Open in Scotland. Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel and Bubba Watson were among the top 19 after 36 holes at Muirfield. … Web.com Tour pro Adam Hadwin, low Canadian at the 2010 and ’11 Opens, and Graeme DeLaet head a contingent of 13 native sons exempt into the field. The lineup also includes Vancouver’s Eugene Wong, 2010 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). Glen Abbey record: 266, Tiger Woods (2000).

• 18-HOLE RECORD: 60, Carl Pettersson (3rd round, 2010 at St. George’s G&CC). Glen Abbey record: Leonard Thompson (2nd round, 1981), Andy Bean (4th round, 1983), Greg Norman (3rd round, 1986).

• LAST YEAR: Scott Piercy matched the oldest tournament scoring record still on the books, needing every bit of his 17-under 263 to hold off Robert Garrigus and William McGirt by a stroke. Four straight birdies helped Piercy make up a two-shot deficit to begin the final round, though he didn’t gain a share of the lead until McGirt’s three-putt bogey at No.15. After Piercy finished off a third consecutive 67, McGirt hit his approach at No.18 into a deep bunker right of the green. He wound up missing an 18-foot par save that would have forced a playoff. Piercy notched his second PGA TOUR win in as many years, alongside the 2011 Reno-Tahoe Open.

• STORYLINES: Piercy, who has played all 12 of his RBC Canadian Open rounds in par or better, seeks to become just the second back-to-back champion since 1951. Jim Furyk successfully defended his title in 2007. … Snedeker, Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Billy Horschel, Brian Gay and Scott Brown will be in quest of their second PGA TOUR victory this year; Kuchar seeks a third. … 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 Justin Rose sitting this one out, there can be no “Triple Crown” sweep of the U.S., British and Canadian Open titles. Just two men have pulled it off – 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. … In each of the past four years, the Canadian Open’s 54-hole leader has been unable to close out a victory. Chez Reavie was the last to do it, winning the 2008 edition at Glen Abbey.

• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 4-6 p.m. EDT (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (CBS).

• RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m. EDT (SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).

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