Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Canadian Open Returns to Glen Abbey

I'd really like to add a weekly column to this site, sort of like a "This Week in Golf" type of deal but I'm not going to kid anyone - I write way too infrequently to keep a promise like that.

With that said, perhaps it won't be so tough to comment when one of the major golf tours visit a course I've played in the past.

This week, the PGA Tour heads to Canada for our national open and it is being played at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ontario, just a half hour from Toronto.

The famous par five closing hole at Glen Abbey

I believe this is the 26th time that "The Abbey" has hosted the Canadian Open and the RCGA usually makes a killing when it hosts the tournament there. The course can accommodate extremely large galleries and has all the infrastructure and space needed to host an event of this stature, something that can't necessarily be said about classic courses like Hamilton G&CC, St. George's or Shaughnessy out in British Columbia.

The field for this year's event is stronger than normal and that's a reflection on the great job RBC Bank has done since stepping up as the title sponsor a few years back. A good percentage of the top 25 players in the world will be playing this week and it's no coincidence that the majority of them are part of "Team RBC", including Ernie Els, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell, Hunter Mahan, Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker. Still, it's great to see so many quality players coming over to Canada, especially in light of the fact that a major championship was just played last week.

A lot of pressure will be on the 19 Canadians teeing it up at Glen Abbey starting tomorrow. Graham DeLaet and David Hearn are both in top form heading into the event, with DeLaet playing for a potential spot on the International side in the upcoming President's Cup while Hearn recently finished 2nd at the John Deere Classic, losing in a three-man playoff to young Jordan Spieth. I think both could contend on a course like Glen Abbey, which rewards good shotmakers due to the small greens. Mike Weir, as always, will be the sentimental favourite but this course has never been kind to him so it will be a stretch to say he'll contend. Brad Fritsch, who is having a very solid rookie season on the PGA Tour and the Web.com Tour's Adam Hadwin will both have the chance to contend as well.

Feel free to check out my profile of Glen Abbey if you want to know a bit more about one of Canada's most famous golf courses...for better or worse!

Now on the Tee Course Profile: Glen Abbey Golf Club



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