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RBC Canadian Open preview: Expect a tough test

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By Stan Kosinski

GolfWRX Contributor

The PGA Tour heads north of the border this week to Ancaster, Ontario, Canada for the 108th RBC Canadian Open held this year at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

The field of 156 players representing a total of 18 countries, which include 2011 Champion Sean O’Hair, 2012 Open Champion Ernie Els, 2012 U.S. Open Champion Webb Simpson, 2012 Players Champion Matt Kuchar, and two-time RBC Canadian Open Champion Jim Furyk. Joining these notables will be a total of 23 Canadian players.

Three Canadian amatuers, Rob Couture, Mackenzie Hughes and Albin Choi, will be joined by homegrown professionals Stephen Ames, Graham DaLeat, Greg Dougherty, Brad Fritsch, Michael Gligic, Adam Hadwin, David Hearn, Matt Hill, Brian McCann, Matt McQuillan, Andrew Parr, Cory Renfrew, Christopher Ross, Nick Taylor, Mike Weir, and Eugene Wong.

Four Canadians earned Monday Qualifier spots to join their countrymen.  David Markle carded a 5-under 66 to become the low qualifier, and Jon Mills, Victor Ciesielski, and Ben Ferguson bested a 52-player field in the final qualifier at Heron Point Golf Links to be eligible to play for their national title.  But the Canadians don’e have history on their side if they hope to win their country’s championship this year. A Canadian hasn’t won the event since Pat Fletcher hoisted his country’s trophy in 1954.

Hamilton Golf and Country Club is a par 70 that measures 6966 yards from the Championship tees. It carries a course rating of 74.1 and a slope of 136. The original West/South Course will host the championship, and was originally designed by H.S. (Harry) Colt and was established in 1894.  The course has held four previous Canadian Opens in 1919,1930,2003 and 2006.

In 2003, the course received rave reviews from both players and fans as it returned to the course after a 70 year absence. Bob Tway recorded his eighth win in a three-hole playoff over fellow American Brad Faxon. The tournament again returned to Hamilton Golf and Country Club just three years later and saw Jim Furyk post a final round of 5-under to win by one stroke over Bart Bryant. Furyk began that day two strokes behind third round leader Justin Rose, but climbed into the lead on the back nine with the help of a hot putter.

Players this year should also have high praise for this course, which features rolling, tree-lined fairways and slight elevation changes to well guarded greens. Only three of the 12 par 4s measure under 400 yards.  The 5th hole is a true risk/reward hole, measuring 317 yards.  It is an uphill dogleg right with a plateaued green that is one of the course’s most difficult to putt.  The other two short par 4s include the 392-yard 10th and 388-yard 12th, both of which feature elevation changes and tight fairways to well guarded greens. There are only two par fives on the course, the 542-yard 4th and the 550-yard 17th and should offer plenty of birdie, if not eagle, opportunities.  There are four par 3 holes on the course, the shortest measuring 188 yards (No. 16) and the longest at 236 yards (No. 13).

The real challenge of the course will be to navigate the long par fours, the longest of which is No. 11 at 481 yards. It is a dogleg left hole from an elevated tee to a fairway 60 feet below, and will prevent all but the longest of hitters from taking the shortcut over trees.  From there an uphill fairway shot awaits to a green that falls from back to front.  A tough hole for sure, but it is only one out of many that await the players vying for the 2012 RBC Canadian Open.

Click here for more discussion about the RBC Canadian Open in the “Tour Talk” forum.

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10 interesting photos from Wednesday at the Valero Texas Open

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Welcome to 10 Interesting Photos (10IP? No? OK). It’s the final day of tune up ahead of the Valero Texas Open, which is, fun fact, the third longest-running (non major) tournament on the PGA Tour.

We got an in-hand look at The Tank, K.J. Choi’s weaponry, as well a four general galleries and some of the coolest custom stamped wedges you’ll see, c/o JT Poston.

Let’s take a look at the photos!

First up, some more love-em-or-hate-em Jordans from Keegan Bradley

Amid a pretty standard bag, an impressive Pingman putter cover

JT Poston, AKA, The Postman’s, 60 degree, ladies and gentlemen

Vintage X Hot sighting!

Kevin Chappell with the coveted Miura and Fourteen combo

K.J. Choi’s putter shaft! (AMI Stability?)

Scott Piercy remains the king of lead tape on Tour

K>J. Choi is gaming Ping G400 irons

And look at the face on (one of) his Ping putter(s)

Keith Mitchell’s Mizuno “MIZ” pom-pom headcover, though

 

Check out all our photos from Wednesday the 2018 Valero Texas Open below!

Wednesday’s Photos

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 Valero Texas Open

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course), which plays as a par-72 measuring 7,435 yards for the event.

Sergio Garcia acted as a consultant to Greg Norman for the course’s 2010 design, and he’ll play in the event for the first time in seven years. Joining Garcia in the field are a number of the game’s top players, including Wesley Bryan, Keegan Bradley, Kevin Chappell, Luke Donald, Harris English, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen, J.B. Holmes, Billy Horschel, Charley Hoffman, Beau Hossler, Zach Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar, Pat Perez, Adam Scott, Brandt Snedeker, Jimmy Walker and more.

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Last year, Chappell holed an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th to win by one stroke over Brooks Koepka to capture his first ever PGA Tour victory.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Valero Texas Open below!

Wednesday’s Photos

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos in our forums

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10 interesting photos from Tuesday at the Valero Texas Open

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In yesterday’s edition of “Interesting Photos” from the Valero Texas Open, we brought you giant cowboy boots. Unfortunately, we don’t have any further gargantuan footwear for your perusal today.

We do, however, have some singular sightings and cool in-hand shots as the gents prepare to take on the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio. Check ’em out below.

Gotta love Chris Stroud’s “Houston Strong” stamping

New Bettinardi putter-covering devices

Fourteen’s new woods feature some seriously shallow faces

Better put that club on ice!

Watch where you’re putting that thing! Probably not a good time to mention this looks like a drill to avoid rocking toward the ball (aka humping it) during the swing…

Some pretty sweet Circle T bag tags. Is the bag for tour use only, or just the tag? Hmm.

Trying the old backwards shot, it looks like

Geoff Ogilvy’s drool-worthy early run Scotty Cameron Napa

Fine-looking Piretti sole

And finally, “Flow Goals: Kevin Na Edition”

Check out all our photos from Tuesday at the 2018 Valero Texas Open below!

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the photos in our forums

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