Black big booster of Canadian Open

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:14 AM ET

Rod Black calls the Canadian Open one of Canada's greatest sporting events and he's got a feeling a homegrown talent might finally win the big prize again.

Black, the Winnipeg born and raised broadcaster who now works for CTV and TSN, will be in Ancaster, Ont., next week calling the PGA Tour event and the anticipation is building.

"I've been doing it for 16 years or something and to me, it's like the Grey Cup, the Stanley Cup or the Brier. It's one of our most important domestic championships and it's awesome," said Black, who was in town for his 10th annual Rod Black "Keep Them in School" Charity Golf Tournament at Elmhurst Golf & Country Club. "It's our championship and it's a chance for us to show the world that we have golfers here. I love the fact we have the exemptions for all the young players here. It gives a chance for all the young players like Rob McMillan's, James Lepp's, all of those kids a chance to play with the big boys. It's our Masters. And what I like about it is that it's almost always an exciting finish."

Perhaps Mike Weir is due to provide one of those dramatic moments this time around.

"I just think that Mike Weir's game is coming around at the right time. Everybody has kind of wondered 'what is wrong with Mike Weir' and he would honestly say it hasn't been where it should be the last few years. It's been little things but he's never got it all together," said Black. "At the PGA Championship, that's as good as I've seen him play. He'll win again. That's the way it works. And what a perfect place (Hamilton) to do it. It's not a 1A or major field. There's no Mickelson and no Tiger.

"He almost did it in 2004 (when Vijay Singh came back to beat him) and he knows it. That took a lot out of him psychologically. He's still been Canada's favourite son out on the golf course and this course sets up perfect for him. He's got to play like Tiger. Everybody thinks Tiger goes for it but he's the most conservative player out there."

Black isn't a fan of the RCGA moving the date of the Canadian Open next year but doesn't think the tournament itself will ever be in trouble.

"It's a September Classic. All the majors had been done, it's before the Ryder Cup and that's always why it was called the fifth major," said Black, who believes the Open should rotate between four courses, Glen Abbey, Hamilton, Royal Montreal and a venue out west like Vancouver. "But the Canadian Open will never, ever die."

Black says coming home remains special and that it's great to see the tournament growing.

"I'm lucky I get to go to some of these big events and those are nice, but it's not like being back home," he said. "This is a nice tournament. Everybody has a good time and loves to play. It's great to see them here and help raise money."


Photos