Turnberry troupe off to Abbey

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

Stuck in the shadow of the British Open has been no small headache for the Royal Canadian Golf Association and its annual task of putting together a credible Canadian Open field.

But the cup half full is that several players who made an impact in Scotland the past four days are scheduled to tee it up at Glen Abbey this week for the 100th playing of the national championship.

Included in that group are the three men who finished tied for fifth at the conclusion of yesterday's third major at beautiful Turnberry.

Englishman Luke Donald, Aussie Mathew Goggin and South African Retief Goosen all finished at even-par 280, two strokes behind Tom Watson and the man who beat him in the four-hole playoff, Stewart Cink.

Goggin, who was paired with Watson for the final round, had the best chance among that trio to join the playoff before bogeying three of his final five holes.

Two strokes behind them in a tie for 13th were American Jeff Overton and Colombian, Camilo Villegas who also are scheduled to tee it up in Oakville when the tournament begins on Thursday.

A handful of other players who received some prominent airtime over the weekend are also destined for the Abbey, which will play host to the Canadian Open for the 25th time.

John Daly, who was hard to miss in his neon garb at Turnberry is on his way, as his Steve Marino, who was paired with Watson in Saturday's third round before fading from contention. Marino was prominent at the Oakville course a year ago, finishing in a tie for third, four strokes behind winner Chez Reavie.

Most of those players were scheduled to take a plane chartered by the RCGA that was scheduled to leave soon after the conclusion of yesterday's final round in Scotland. At last count, more than 20 were supposed to be on the flight that was to arrive at Hamilton last night.

Tournament week begins officially today at the Abbey with the inaugural playing of the Mike Weir Charity Classic. NBA great Michael Jordan heads a list of celebrities that also includes entertainers Kevin Costner, George Lopez, Tom Cochrane and athletes such as Martin Brodeur, Joe Thornton, Rick Nash and Paul Coffey.

The celebrity event is a noon shotgun start but the course will be open for practice rounds for others in the Open field beginning at 7 a.m.


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