Where: Hamilton Golf and Country Club, Ancaster, Ontario
Par/Yards: 35-35—70/6,985 yards
2011 champion: Sean O’Hair
Purse: $5,200,000/$918,000 (winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
A look at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open
At 29 years old, Sean O’Hair came from three strokes behind in the final round with a 2-under 68 at Shaughnessy G&CC in Vancouver to force a sudden-death playoff with Kris Blanks.
A bogey on the first extra hole was good enough for O’Hair to claim the title, his fourth on the PGA TOUR.
Kris Blanks’ runner-up finish last year at Shaughnessy matched his career-best finish in 73 PGA TOUR starts (2010 Puerto Rico Open). The finish in Canada moved him from No. 116 to 54th, netting him a spot into the first two Playoffs events, The Barclays (T58) and Deutsche Bank Championship (MC).
John Daly’s T9 finish at last year’s RBC Canadian Open was his first top-10 since 2005, when he lost in a playoff to Tiger Woods at the World Golf Championships-American Express Championship.
Last year’s RBC Canadian Open marked a return to Shaugnessy G&CC for just the third time in the event’s storied history, dating to 1919 (2005/Mark Calcavecchia and 1966/Don Massengale).
More on Sean O’Hair and the RBC Canadian Open
With O’Hair’s win at Shaughnessy, he vaulted from No. 147 to 43rd in FedExCup standings, affording him the opportunity to make it through the first three Playoffs events, The Barclays (MC), Deutsche Bank Championship (T25) and BMW Championship (T37).
Last year’s start at the RBC Canadian Open was O’Hair’s sixth consecutive start north of the border, where he finished third in 2006 (Hamilton G&CC) and 2008 (Glen Abbey GC).
O’Hair is certain to defend this year’s title with good vibes, as well as confidence. The event returns to Hamilton G&CC for the first time since 2006, when O’Hair played in Canada’s first national open, finishing third. O’Hair fired four rounds in the 60s, the only time he has done so in six starts in Canada, and finished two strokes behind Jim Furyk at 12-under.
A glance at the field with just four weeks (five events) remaining in the PGA TOUR Regular Season:
12 players in the top 30 in the FedExCup standings:
4 Hunter Mahan
6 Matt Kuchar
7 Webb Simpson
14 Kyle Stanley
17 John Huh
18 Jim Furyk
19 Bo Van Pelt
25 Ben Curtis
26 Brandt Snedeker
28 Charlie Wi
29 Robert Garrigus
30 Kevin Na
Five past champions of the RBC Canadian Open: Sean O’Hair (2011), Nathan Green (2009), Chez Reavie (2008), Jim Furyk (2006-2007) and Vijay Singh (2004).
2006-2007 RBC Canadian Open champion Jim Furyk is poised to make his 10th start at this year’s RBC Canadian Open. His first of two wins came at Hamilton G&CC in 2006. Furyk is one of just five players to successfully defend his RBC Canadian Open title. The others: J. Douglas Edgar (1919-1920), Leo Diegel (1924-1925, 1928-1929), Sam Snead (1940-1941) and Jim Ferrier (1950-1951).
World Golf Hall of Fame member and last week’s British Open Ernie Els is scheduled to make his fourth start in Canada. Prior to last year (T17), Els had not played at the RBC Canadian Open since 1998 (MC). In his first start, he finished T20. The 2012 RBC Canadian Open is certain to be a special one for Els, as the Els for Autism Golf Challenge will be contested on September 4 at nearby Devil’s Pulpit. Spear¬headed by Els, the Challenge is a nationwide amateur series consisting of 30 tournaments across the Canada, the U.S. and U.K. through September. The grand finale will be held in Las Vegas October 19-20. For more information, log on to e4agolf.com.
Another World Golf Hall of Fame member, 34-time PGA TOUR winner Vijay Singh will make his 11 start in the event. Singh, the 2004 RBC Canadian Open winner, also has top-10 finishes in 2002 (T6), 2003 (T6), 2005 (T7) and finished solo-second in his last start at the event in 2007. The RBC Canadian Open was last contested at Hamilton in 2006, Singh finished T35.
There are seven major championship winners in this year’s RBC Canadian Open field; Ernie Els (1994, 1997 U.S. Open, 2004, 2012 British Open), Vijay Singh (1998 PGA Championship, 2000 Masters), Retief Goosen (2001, 2004 U.S. Open), Trevor Immelman (2008 Masters), Charl Schwartzel (2011 Masters), David Duval (2001 British Open) and Ben Curtis (2003 British Open).
Canadians expected to participate: Stephen Ames, Ray Couture (A), Graeme DeLaet, Greg Doherty, Brad Fritsch, Michael Giglic , Adam Hadwin, David Hearn, Matt Hill, MacKenzie Hughes (A), Brian McCann, Matt McQuillan, Corey Renfrew, Andrew Parr, Albin Troy (A), Mike Weir, Eugene Wong.
Miscellaneous RBC Canadian Open notes
Since 2000, just two of the 11 different winners of the RBC Canadian Open have made the title their first on the PGA TOUR – Nathan Green (2009) and Chez Reavie (2008).
Last year, 16 different players in their 20s claimed 18 PGA TOUR victories, with Sean O’Hair being the 11th at 29 years, 13 days when he won in Canada. At the Greenbrier Classic three weeks ago, Ted Potter, Jr. became this year’s 10th different winner in his 20s to claim a TOUR title.
Past winners at Hamilton G&CC: 2006/Jim Furyk (266/-14), 2003/Bob Tway (272/-8), 1930/Tommy Armour (277/-3) and the first RBC Canadian Open in 1919, won by J. Douglas Edgar (278/-2).
Past champions of the RBC Canadian Open include Tiger Woods (2000), Nick Price (1994), Greg Norman (1984, 1992), Lee Trevino (1971, 1977, 1979), Arnold Palmer (1955), Byron Nelson (1945) and Sam Snead (1938, 1940, 1941).
Since its 1919 inception, only 15 players have won the RBC Canadian Open more than once.
Players scheduled to compete in the 2012 RBC Canadian Open with the more than five PGA TOUR wins; Vijay Singh (34), Ernie Els (18), Jim Furyk (16), Stuart Appleby (9), Retief Goosen (7) and Rory Sabbatini (6).
Since 2008, The RBC Canadian Open has donated more than $4 million to various charities and community programs. The RBC Canadian Open welcomed the Mike Weir Foundation as the National Charity Partner. The Mike Weir Foundation is committed to the advancement of physical, educational and emotional welfare of kids in Canada.