The First Look: RBC Canadian Open
May 31, 2019
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- May 31, 2019
Dustin Johnson wins by three at RBC Canadian
The RBC Canadian Open embraces a new early summer date while returning to a classic course, and Dustin Johnson returns to defend the title he won by three strokes last year.
FedExCup leader Matt Kuchar and second-ranked Brooks Koepka will both be seeking their third wins of the season. Koepka is making his first start since winning the PGA Championship. He’ll go for a U.S. Open three-peat the following week at Pebble Beach.
A dozen Canadians will seek to end a 65-year drought in their national championship.
FIELD NOTES: Jim Furyk, whose back-to-back wins in 2006-07 helped him stand No.1 on the Canadian Open’s all-time money list, is back for his ninth consecutive appearance and 17th overall. … In all, the lineup features 10 of the top 30 in the current FedExCup rankings. … Corey Conners, winner at the Valero Texas Open, joins fellow PGA TOUR winners Adam Hadwin and Mackenzie Hughes among 10 Canadian pros seeking to win their national Open. Pat Fletcher was the last to accomplish that back in 1954. … Former Masters champion Mike Weir, who nearly ended Canada’s dry spell when he lost a playoff to Vijay Singh in 2004, returns for his 28th Canadian Open.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
STORYLINES: The RBC Canadian Open makes its earliest start in history, getting breathing room after 12 years in a tough July slot between the Open Championship and a World Golf Championships event. This marks its first June date since 1989. … Koepka tees it up for the first time since his PGA Championship win at Bethpage Black. The Florida native has a share of 18th and a missed cut in his two previous Canadian appearances. … McIlroy tees it up for the first time in Canada, another byproduct of his new scheduling focus on TOUR events through the end of the FedExCup Playoffs. … Johnson was just the second man among the Canadian Open’s past nine winners to bring home a 54-hole lead. Brandt Snedeker also defied the trend in 2013. … The date change now slots the RBC Canadian Open as the first of the “Triple Crown” events alongside the U.S. Open and Open Championship. Just two men have swept all three – Lee Trevino in 1971 and Tiger Woods in 2000.
COURSE: Hamilton Golf & CC, 6,966 yards, par 70. Home to one of the oldest and most respected clubs in Canada, the Harry S. Colt design opened in 1915 and will host its sixth RBC Canadian Open. Located along the edge of the Niagara Encarpment [cq], Colt’s parkland design features superb routing and a variety of interesting holes that keep the layout challenging despite its lack of modern length. This marks the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Open’s first visit to Hamilton G&CC, when the lineup featured both Francis Ouimet and Bobby Jones but J. Douglas Edgar lapped the field by 16 shots – still a PGA TOUR record. Hamilton also staged the 1930 Canadian Open before a 73-year hiatus from the venue. Six Canadian Amateurs also have been played at Hamilton.
For those visiting Ontario, must-play courses include Flamborough Hills GC (Hamilton, Ontario) and Indian Wells GC (Burlington, Ontario). Book your reservations via TeeOff.com.
72-HOLE RECORD: 263, Johnny Palmer (1952 at St. Charles CC), Scott Piercy (2012 at Hamilton G&CC), Tim Clark (2014 at Royal Montreal GC).
18-HOLE RECORD: 60, Carl Pettersson (3rd round, 2010 at St. George’s G&CC). Hamilton G&CC record: 62, Scott Piercy (1st round, 2012), Tim Clark (2nd round, 2012).
LAST YEAR: Johnson rebounded from his first missed cut in 13 months with aplomb, pulling away from an early Sunday logjam with a 6-under-par 66 to break Tiger Woods’ record for lowest Canadian Open score at Glen Abbey. A two-hour lightning delay did little to slow Johnson, who finished at 23-under 265 to better Woods’ memorable win in near-darkness in 2000. He also became the first man since Woods (2005-09) to notch at least three wins in three consecutive seasons. Johnson made just three bogeys over his final 54 holes, shooting 66-65-66 to finish three shots clear of Whee Kim and Byeong Hun An. That came after Johnson made an early Open Championship departure, shooting 6-over par in two days at Carnoustie. Kim and An carded final-round 69s after starting their days tied with Johnson. Keegan Bradley was another shot back after a week in which he carded five eagles – first to do that since 2011.
HOW TO FOLLOW
TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (featured groups). Saturday-Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (featured groups), 3-6 p.m. (featured holes). International subscribers (via GOLF.tv): Thursday-Friday, 11:00 to 22:00 GMT. Saturday-Sunday, 12:30 to 22:00.
RADIO: Thursday-Friday, noon-6 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com).