Some go and some come

DAVE FULLER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:11 AM ET

Two-time Canadian Open winner Jim Furyk dropped out of the Open at the last minute. His wife decided she wanted to celebrate her 40th birthday in Scotland, and if you’re married, you know how that goes.

“In a field of 156, you’re always going to have things that come up — personal issues. On the flipside, on the plane back to Toronto — totally unexpected — were Trevor Immelman, Paul Azinger , Rocco Mediate — so you get some pleasant surprises at the end of the day,” said Golf Canada’s executive director, Scott Simmons.

Former U.S. Open champ David Duval was also a last-minute addition.

Meanwhile, Ricky Fowler, whose wardrobe resembles a neon sign, withdrew in order to compete in the Scandanavian Masters in Stockholm. Apparently lots of appearance money was involved.

Bubba Watson, whose father is not well, and Anthony Kim, who’s still recovering from thumb surgery, will not play at St. George’s.

Still, Mike Weir and Stephen Ames and Graham DeLaet and the rest of the Canadian contingent will be hard-pressed again, to win on home sod.

The last Canadian to triumph at the Open was Pat Fletcher in 1954.

Ames and Chris Baryla tied for eighth at last year’s Open at rain-soaked Glen Abbey, collecting $123,000 each. Weir was top Canadian in ’08, tying for fifth ($182,500)

Weir, of course, finished a razor-close second in ’04 ($426,000), eliminated by Vijay Singh on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff.

Not a single Canadian made the cut in 1995 and ’78, both those Opens played at Glen Abbey.

“There’s pressure every year for all of us,” Weir said Monday, during his annual charity golf tournament at the Open. “It’s exciting to try to win this championship every year. It’s important to us.”

Weir, whose last win on Tour was the fall of 2007 (Frys.com Open), finished sixth at the Bob Hope Classic earlier this year — his best performance in 2010. He missed the cut at last week’s British Open, a victim of particularly harsh winds when he was on the course.

“My game’s a lot better than where it was a month ago,” he said. “I kind of got caught on the bad side of the draw last week (at St. Andrews), but I felt good, I played well and hit the ball well.

“I have to sharpen up the short game because I was off for three weeks before the British Open so that’s what I’ll be spending most of my (practice) time out there doing.”

Weir has only played St. George’s once before “so I’m in the same boat as everyone else,” he said.

“No one’s seen the course that much so it’s important to play today and in the Pro-Am on Wednesday and get a feel for it.”


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