Canadian Open exemptions extend celebratory feel

Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas has received an exemption into the RBC Canadian Open.

Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas has received an exemption into the RBC Canadian Open.

IAN HUTCHINSON, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:22 PM ET

Happy belated Canada Day. Hopefully, you’ve got Monday off and national pride continues for an extra day.

That national feeling continues at Hamilton Golf and Country Club on Tuesday, when as many as eight home boys will officially receive exemptions into the RBC Canadian Open in a few weeks.

Some have already been nailed down, including 2011 Canadian Amateur champ Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas and Mid-Amateur champion Rob Couture of Trenton.

Also, Mississauga’s Greg Doherty topped regional qualifying last week in Hamilton to earn his direct ticket. Another Mississaugan, Brian McCann, will play after finishing on top of the PGA of Canada’s player rankings.

On Tuesday, I see the top three Canadians on the Web.com (formerly Nationwide) Tour getting their tickets punched into the Open. That would include Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., and Richard Scott of Kingsville.

All were in the top 50 on last week’s money list with Fritsch leading the way in 33rd spot. Hadwin (40th) was low amateur at the Open the past two years, including a magnificent T4 last year, and Scott (48th) is a three-time Canadian Amateur champ.

Scott was due for a vault up the money list after finishing solo third at the United Leasing Championship on Sunday, when he was just one shot off the winning score.

The other guy who will surely receive an exemption is North Vancouver’s Eugene Wong, who recently turned pro after an outstanding collegiate career at Oregon, which made it to the NCAA semifinals this year.

A graduate of the national team program, Wong won the Jack Nicklaus Award and was a Pac 12 player of the year.

UNFAIR CONDEMNATION

A suffragette became insufferable in these pages last week, getting on a soapbox to condemn the national media for not covering the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in a “meaningful” way.

What interest does a Calgary media outlet have in a tournament played in Waterloo, Ont., unless one of its players is contending? Would L.A. media outlets be interested in a tournament in Rochester, N.Y.?

Does a tournament in Ontario resonate any more with somebody in Edmonton than one played in Arkansas?

If it was about inequality of coverage between men’s and women’s golf, explain then why the Montreal Championship, a Champions Tour event played the same weekend, wasn’t covered in a “meaningful” way across Canada.

Tournament organizers got what they wanted with the regional feel of the LPGA event. In the weeks leading up to that tournament, I made some admittedly snide remarks here about the lack of publicity/marketing done outside of Waterloo Region.

A perfect example might be a visit by LPGA Tour commissioner Michael Whan to Waterloo in January. While there were stories in the local media, tournament organizers failed to inform the media in nearby Toronto that Whan would be in town.

The media/fans outside of Waterloo had little information about the tournament until the final few weeks leading up to it. It still got good crowds and its regional feel was exactly what organizers wanted.

If it isn’t what they wanted, then they got what they deserved.

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

With his third win of the season on Sunday, all at prestigious events, Tiger Woods is now the leading candidate for Player of the Year ... Even without a U.S. Open set-up, Congressional had a lot more bite than when Rory McIlroy won the 2011 Open at 16 under ... Still can’t figure out how Woods committed to that shot on 12 on Sunday, knowing his nine iron was about to hit the tree. It did and another Tiger moment took place with a standout result ... More exemptions are on deck for the Canadian Open. Two players from the top of the Canadian Tour’s Order of Merit will be named in mid-July and there’s still Monday qualifying.


Videos

Photos