Next week it’s the U.S. Open. This week it’s the Canadian Open.
The RBC Canadian Open returns to the PGA Tour schedule following a two-year absence due to the country’s draconian COVID-19 policies.
Rory McIlroy returns to defend his 2019 title. The Northern Irishman will be joined by the season’s three big winners: Cameron Smith (PLAYERS), Scottie Scheffler (Masters) and Justin Thomas (PGA).
Other top-25 ranked names include Sam Burns, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tony Finau, Tyrrell Hatton and Shane Lowry.
Below, are more details to help you get primed for the 2022 edition of the RBC Canadian Open.
2022 RBC Canadian Open Primer
PGA Tour At-a-Glance
Tournament: RBC Canadian Open
Dates: July 26-29, 2018
Where: Oakville, Ontario
Course: St. George’s
Distance: Par 70, 7014 yards
Architect: Stanley Thompson
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $1,566,000
Winner’s Pts: 500/48 (FEC/OWGR)
Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy
Top-25 Ranked: McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, Sam Burns, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tony Finau, Tyrrell Hatton and Shane Lowry
How to Follow the Canadian Open
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RBC Canadian Open History
One of the longest-running tournaments on the PGA Tour, the Canadian Open first debuted in 1904 at the Royal Montreal Golf Club in Dorval, Quebec. An Englishman by the name of Jack Oke claimed victory at the inaugural edition with a score of 16-over-par.
Canadian-born players captured seven of the first 10 Canadian Open trophies, but since World War I, only one native Canuck, Pat Fletcher (1954), has made his way to the winner’s circle. Americans have won 72 of the Opens, with countrymen of England and Australia compiling eight wins apiece.
A tournament that was long considered a fifth major, and part of “the Triple Crown” (Canada, U.S., British), the Canadian Open annually drew elite fields until it was moved on the 1988 PGA Tour schedule and its field strength dropped off significantly.
Notable winners include Tommy Armour, Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Bobby Locke, Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper, Lee Trevino, Greg Norman, Nick Price, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Rory McIlroy.
Trevino, a three-time winner, is the only player in history to win the national open championship of the United States (US Open), Canada (Canadian Open), Britain (British Open), and Mexico (Mexico Open). In 1971, the “Merry Mex” won what was then considered the triple crown, scoring victories at the U.S. Open, Canadian Open and British Open in a span of 19 days.
American Leo Diegel holds the tournament record for victories, recording four in a six year span from 1924 to 1929.
The Canadian Open has traditionally rotated between courses, with Glen Abbey Golf Course hosting the most often (30 editions). This will mark the sixth time the Open has been contested at St. George’s, most recently in 2010.
As with most old courses, players will have to contend with short layout, offering peaks and valleys and plenty of uneven lies. In short, it’s not your typical pro-style wide-open tour track.
HISTORY: Recent Winners
2021: No Tournament (COVID)
2020: No Tournament (COVID)
2019: Rory McIlroy (-22)
2018: Dustin Johnson (-23)
2017: Jhonattan Vegas (-21)
2016: Jhonattan Vegas (-12)
2015: Jason Day (-17)
HISTORY: Tournament Names
2008-22: RBC Canadian Open
2006-07: Canadian Open
1994-2005: Bell Canadian Open
1904-93: Canadian Open
HISTORY: Tournament Records
Score: Rory McIlroy, 258 (2019)
To Par: Johnny Palmer, -25 (1952)
4 – Leo Diegel (1924-25, 1928-29)
3 – Tommy Armour (1927, 1930, 1934)
3 – Sam Snead (1938, 1940-41)
3 – Lee Trevino (1971, 1977, 1979)
RBC Canadian Open Field
After a two-year absence on the schedule, Rory McIlroy finally gets to defend his 2019 title. Co-headlining will be season’s two major winners: World No.1 Scottie Scheffler (Master) and No.6 Justin Thomas (PGA).
McIlroy’s 2019 win occurred at Glen Abbey so the home field advantage is out the door. The Northern Irishman enters in solid form, though, with three top-10 finishes in his last four starts, including a pair of top-5s.
After winning the PGA Championship, a tired JT fulfilled his commitment to the Colonial but after a missed-cut, the two-time major winner didn’t seem too disappointed. The Alabama alum crosses the northern border rested and playing with house money the rest of the way so look out. Thomas finished T20 in his only Canadian Open appearance (2019).
The event’s final headliner, Scottie Scheffler, makes his debut and enters in tip-top form. The world No.1 comes into Canada off a playoff loss to Sam Burns at Colonial. In his last nine starts the 25-year-old Texan has finished in the top 10 an incredible six times (or 67% of the time), including four wins and a runner up.
If Rory, JT and Scheffler are the three headliners, Cam Smith and Sam Burns are impressive supporting stars. Smith, ranked No.3 in the world, owns two wins on the season, including golf’s fifth major, the PLAYERS Championship, while Burns (world No.9) has racked up three wins on the season, highlighted by an overtime win at Colonial.
Matt Fitzpatrick is one of the best players in the world to have never won on the PGA Tour. The 26-year-old Englishman enters off a missed-cut at the Memorial but before that had reeled off two straight top-5 finishes, including a T5 at the PGA Championship.
After a slow start to the season, Tony Finau appears on the verge of righting the ship with two top-5 finishes (T2, T4) in his last four starts. In three career starts in Canada, Finau has made the cut each time, with a T5 (2017) his best showing.
Another top-25 player in the field is Tyrrell Hatton, who’ll be making his Canadian Open debut this week as world No.24.
The fiery Englishman enters off a T13 at the PGA. He’ll be joined by Ryder Cup teammate Shane Lowry who is the last top-25 ranked player in the field at St. George’s.
The Irishman, who sits No.25 in the world, is playing the best golf of his career. In his last eight starts on the PGA Tour, Lowry has posted three top-3 finishes and three other top-25s – a T35 was his worst result.
A Canadian golfer hasn’t won the country’s national championship since 1954, when late great Pat Fletcher won by four shots at Point Grey. The top Canadian hopefuls this year include Corey Conners (No.31), Mackenzie Hughes (77) and Adam Hadwin (108). Canadians who are a bit longer shots: Adam Svensson (184), Taylor Pendrith (236) and Nick Taylor (237).
Top-5 Betting Favorites
1. Scottie Scheffler 8/1
2. Rory McIlroy 9/1
3. Justin Thomas 10/1
4. Cameron Smith 12/1
5. Sam Burns 14/1
Full Field & Odds
Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images