07/20/2015

Three of the four major championships in 2015 will never come back. That’s sad and I’ve been in about a 36 hour funk about it. It’s what we peak for, what we marvel and what, as golf fans, we hype our golf viewing lives around. Any golf is great, but major championships are what we really, truly remember. Majors. Majors. Majors.

It’s been an amazing major championship season. Majors!

And now, for the second straight week, the best players in the world will not be competing in the United States of America (aside from last week’s Barbasol Championship competitors). The best will fly from St. Andrews to Canada, to Oakville, Ontario and Glen Abbey– the home of the 2015 RBC Canadian Open.

The RBC Canadian Open will return to its home. More on that later.

Once we move on from the Open Championship (and you read Zach Johnson’s win below by clicking on the image) we can envelope ourselves into the 2015 RBC Canadian Open Preview.

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Read about Zach Johnson’s win

Course

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The event returns to its created home, Glen Abbey Golf Club.

When the course was designed (by Jack Nicklaus) and built in 1976, it was supposed to be the perennial home of the event, Canada’s crown jewel, golf headquarters. It was to be the sanctuary of Canadian golf and as you can see from the map above, even had the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame built on-site. It’s also home to the Canadian Golf Association.

Get your Mike-Weir-player-tees out at Glen Abbey!

The venue has now served as the home to 26 Canadian Opens, the most of any course. But wait, wasn’t this supposed to be the home every year? Let’s see, 2014 (-) 1976 is 39 years. No, they didn’t cancel the other events in favor of outdoor hockey events or moose watching festivals.

They’ve actually been bouncing the event around the country a bit.

In 1980 and 1997, the Royal Montreal Golf Club played host. Since 2002, Angus Glen, Hamilton, St. George’s and Shaughnessy have all hosted events. They’ve all been great. But the Glen Abbey Golf Club has played host to every Canadian Open but 12 since 1976.

So what makes the course so special?

To be honest, from a design standpoint, there’s nothing noteworthy here. It looks great on TV every year, lush, green and smooth.

But the course cannot be found in Golf Digest’s top-30 course rankings in Canada. It finds itself on SCOREGolf.com’s #43 in the top-100. It doesn’t seem to be an extraordinary Canadian golf experience.

The course is kind of divided into two different sections, the tableland hole and the valley holes, as the valley holes sit beneath and offer a bit different playability. From all reports, Glen Abbey really had the opportunity to be much better, but was victimized by the era in which it was built (the 1970s) when moving a lot of land was few as better. It’s not a course anyone hates on Tour, but that isn’t always known as a beaming characteristic.

Take notes over the week and make your own judgements. At the end of the day, it’s a phenomenal golf course, but remember, we’re comparing it against the rest of the courses in Canada and the rest of the PGA Tour slate. It doesn’t seem to stand out at all.

Tour the course here on PGATour.com

News & Notes

  • In 2009, Mark Calcavecchia made 9 straight birdies, setting the PGA Tour record for consecutive “tweet, tweets”
  • This was the site of perhaps the most incredible hole-in-one we’ve seen in years….YEARS

  • Tiger Woods hit his famous shot over the water in this event in 2000. You know the shot:

  • No Canadian has won since 1954 and Pat Fletcher (No Mike Weir, no Moe Norman, no DeLaet, Hearn etc.)
  • Since 1995, all but 5 Canadian Opens have been won by Americans
  • 13 Canadians are in the field this week
  • It is estimated the event brings in $15-20 million in economic boom for the Greater Toronto Area.

Last 5 Champs

2014: Tim Clark (Recap here)

Here was my quote before Tim Clark won last year in the preview:

This year’s host club– Royal Montreal Golf Club– is hosting the RBC Canadian Open for the 10th time in its history as the “oldest golf club on the continent”. A shorter course, the Royal Montreal Golf Club should benefit some of the perennial “small ball players.”

Tim Clark definitely fits that mold.

2013: Brandt Snedeker (Recap here)

Should this win have an “asterisk?” Read more here

2012: Scott Piercy

2011: Sean O’Hair

2010: Carl Pettersson

Full Field

Click here to check out the entire 2015 RBC Canadian Open field.

Two from ‘da Fairway, dare? (Contenders)

Jason Day

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There’s no doubt he was crushed on Sunday (Monday) at the Open. He wants a major and he wants it bad. More so, I know Jason wants to continue piling wins. He may feel as though he’s underachieved in his career so far, but his contention in as many majors as he’s been in is nothing short of extremely impressive. He WILL win.

He also, WILL play well this week. He’s no doubt, among the best players in the entire field and his form was impressive at St. Andrews. His game will transfer nicely this week (if he can battle the jet lag).

He will and he’ll be in relative contention again. Top-10.

Brooks Koepka

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Let’s go with a throwback college photo of the young bomber, check out Koepka in his Florida State.

I already hit on Koepka and his win at the WMPO in February for his first PGA Tour win. With the amount of talent he has with the golf ball, it was no surprise he would win. Perhaps the surprise was how early and now, whether or not he’ll do it again soon or with any regularity.

That’s the thing about golf. The more you play well, the more the expectations continue to heap and pile. That’s the fear with heaping so much pressure on this phenomenal crop of young talent (McIlroy, Spieth, Koepka, Uihlein, etc).

I really like Koepka to play well here this week. He may have been the sneakiest top-10 in the Open Championship last week, backdooring some special stuff over the weekend. I see his strengths and strong play parlaying into more success in Canada this week.

I’ve got him pegged for a T6 this week.

One From ol’ Rough, eh? (Sleeper)

Pat Perez

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Aside from being hilarious on Twitter (below), Perez has been compiling some great golf on Tour. No missed cuts since March and a few really solid finishes has Perez as a guy I like for a breakout this week and another run at top-10. He was a top-10 here in 2007.

The Man with the Hardware

Matt Kuchar

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We haven’t heard much from Kuch man, but I’ve got him back in the winners circle this week. Why? Well, isn’t he about good for a win every year on Tour? KOOOCH!

A few close calls early in the season have been followed by some moderate (terrible for Matt) play. Glimmers at both major championships as well as a T26 at the Memorial mean his game isn’t disappeared or awful. He’ll find his groove.

And Kuchar LOVES it north of the border. Last year, he was a T4. In 2013, he was a T2 behind Sneds. Going back to 2010, he was another T4.

No PGA Tour season is the same without a Matt Kuchar win, is it? I say he gets on this week.