So we've crossed the pond again, and are back on the good side. You know, the side where we have left-hand drive cars, where we chip potatoes and call them fries and where we slice potatoes and call them chips. The western hemisphere. But it's Canada. And that's kinda English. And kinda French. So... where was I going with this?
The Tour resumes its late summer schedule with the RBC Canadian Open. It's a national championship, but definitely third fiddle to the US Open and this past week's Open Championship. However, it's been played for well over 100 years so it's no redshirt freshman. Since they told me that Canada is a big country with lots of golf courses, the tournament has moved around over the years, but seems to have found a home at Glen Abbey just outside Toronto. They've played it here 27 times, and it probably doesn't hurt that this course is Jack Nicklaus' first solo design job, opened in 1977. The course is medium length at 7,200 yards, but fairly tight. That won't keep the pros from going low, but the fact that some of the greens are Poa annua grass and others are bent grass... well, we might hear a few peeps here and there about that fact (a bad winter led to the change to bent, and the others are scheduled for a makeover next year).
15 players who made the cut at last week's Open Championship decided to play this week, so they have jet lag and should automatically be counted out. Or not. Who knows? Brandt Snedeker, a past champion and sponsored by the tournament sponsor to boot, had to withdraw with a bad hip. Anchor Down indeed!!! And Ollie Schneiderjans, of Georgia Tech All-American fame, will make his pro debut this week. He had a good showing at St. Andrews and decided to turn pro. I wish him lots of time to see his Yellow Jackets on The ACC Television Football Network produced by the Fox Golf team (coming to a dark web near you).
You know who is playing? Four former Bulldogs, that's who. Here's who to root for this week, with Official World Golf Ranking and FedEx Cup ranking in parentheses:
Hudson Swafford (263,98): Swafford is hanging in there, even with a slighly injured leg. He won't qualify for any of the big money tourneys, but he looks set for the first leg or two of the Playoffs come September.
Bubba Watson (3,3): Missed the cut last week, and the US Open and Open Championship are his only missed cuts of the year. He should do well this week, especially considering many of the world's best are skipping this tournament thanks to the Monday finish in Scotland.
Brian Harman (74,65): He's been steady and a couple of top 25s lately have moved his ranking much higher. He's been playing good and is on at least one "watch list" this week.
Erik Compton (126,119): Unfortunately Erik is on no one's watch list, as he's been creeping down the rankings. His Friday scoring average has improved from earlier in the season, but his Thursday average has failed him. He needs a solid week to solidify his standing for the post season.
I can't seem to find definitive TV coverage but it should be typical for this middle-of-the-road tournament on the schedule. I imagine Golf Channel will have Thu/Fri coverage between 4-7pm ET, and Sat/Sun from 1-2:30pm ET. And CBS will pick up the Sat/Sun coverage from 3-6pm ET.
If you have feedback or questions about last week's major, The Open Championship, or about this week, be sure to drop them in the comments below. But above all.... GO 'DAWGS!!!!