Daly, DiMarco take a pass on Open

KEN FIDLIN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:19 AM ET

ANCASTER -- Tuesday of Canadian Open week is the one day of the year when you could excuse Bill Paul for refusing to answer his phone.

The news is never good.

True to form, yesterday yielded more than its share of disappointment for the Royal Canadian Golf Association and Paul, its tournament director.

Short on star power to begin with, a couple of big names came off the marquee yesterday when John Daly and Chris DiMarco phoned in their regrets and pulled out of the tournament. Lesser-lights Ben Crane and Vance Veazy also withdrew.

Relatively speaking, though, it wasn't Paul's worst Canadian Open Tuesday.

"In 2003 when we came here, I had 35 withdrawals," Paul said.

NOT MANY WITHDRAWALS

"This week, we didn't have any until Sunday and it looks like it's not going to be many."

Daly backed off because of continuing gastro-intestinal problems that forced him to withdraw from a tournament in Germany. DiMarco did not offer an excuse.

Even after heavy rains on the weekend, Hamilton Golf and Country Club is in excellent condition and appears to be ready to put the field of 156 to a stiff test.

"In 2003," Canadian Mike Weir said, "leading up to it people were saying the course was short and everybody was going to shoot 25-under and when it was all said and done, it was eight-under-par. It has a lot of character, this golf course.

"I played nine holes today and it's a little damp out there. It's not running on the fairways.

"The course is going to play longer than the 6,800 yards and it certainly feels a lot longer than 6,800 yards."


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