Americans making great Canadian moments

Anthony Kim of the U.S. loses his driver after hitting a ball on the sixth hole during the Canadian...

Anthony Kim of the U.S. loses his driver after hitting a ball on the sixth hole during the Canadian Open Golf Tournament at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, British Columbia July 21, 2011. (REUTERS/Ben Nelms)

IAN HUTCHINSON, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:17 AM ET

What caused Mike Weir to hurt his elbow and withdraw from the RBC Canadian Open on Friday was not the rough at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club, but his knack for finding it so often over the first-plus round.

"I couldn't open a bottle of water this morning after hitting those shots out of the rough," said Weir, who wasn't about to blame the golf course for aggravating an injury that forced him to shut down last season early.

"It's great. It's a wonderful setup, but I think (it's) all the ball beating I've been doing lately. I've been hitting a lot of golf balls and practicing hard," he said.

As Weir fades into the sunset on this national open, the sun is supposed to come out for the weekend, with temperatures between 23 and 25 C.

That should get the fairways running faster, meaning more trips to the rough for those who made the cut, though the greens were already running faster on Friday. That could mean the kind words by Weir may be replaced by those not suitable for family reading from other players.

If you wanted to illustrate what this Canadian Open is all about, look no further than Ernie Els and Anthony Kim going rough to rough, then putting it into the cabbage behind the green in successive groups on the 10th hole on Friday. Els double bogeyed the par-4 and Kim recorded a bogey.

Oddly enough, both were quite gentlemanly about their fates, but the air might turn a deeper shade of blue this weekend as this continues. We'll see if the love affair with Shaughnessy goes on if it starts biting even harder.

In the meantime, the United States Golf Association might want to take notes on what's happening in Vancouver to help ease its collective high blood pressure caused by its worry that equipment is making golf courses obsolete due to the power game so prevalent nowadays.

As a result, new restrictions have been placed on clubs and golf balls have come under scrutiny, even when fitness may have as much to do with it as equipment, but the USGA knows it can't mess with a players' DNA.

Despite the USGA's fears, Shaughnessy is standing up to the power-hitters in style, certainly better at this point than Congressional did at the U.S. Open. The club is celebrating its 100th anniversary, but opened in its current location in 1960 with a redesign from Doug Carrick in 2003.

It's a classic that's standing the test of time by muzzling the big guns and, in many cases, taking driver out of their hands in favour of three woods. That's allowed somebody like 46-year-old Lee Janzen, not known for his massive drives, to be just one shot off the lead.

Shotmaking is what's going to win the Open and that's just what the governing bodies of the game always wanted. It might be time for them to look beyond a player's golf bag for the answer.

CAMPBELL COMFY

Co-leader Chad Campbell's four tour victories include some prestigious titles with Bay Hill and the Tour Championship among them, but he hasn't won since 2007. This season was hardly inspiring either until his T5 at last week's British Open and he's looking like one of the few who's comfortable at Shaughnessy ...Defending champ Carl Pettersson didn't make the cut after finishing eight over...It wasn't even worth watching the TSN/Golf Channel television coverage, with so much going on in the hours after it signed off, including nice runs by Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., and Brantford's David Hearn, who are two shots off the lead....Couldn't help thinking that John Daly, with his red and white maple leaf drawers, could have looked even more Canadian if he had worn a starched collar and a Don Cherry tie, but if you want to recall an American for a great Canadian moment, Woody Austin's the man after he fell into a pond during the 2007 Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal and became forever known as "Aquaman." Canadian fans followed Austin around chanting "Marco," followed by "Polo." Daly is at one over and Austin at three over.

OUTSIDE SHAUGHNESSY

Mark Calcavecchia, the last guy to win the Open at Shaughnessy in 2005, is making a fine showing elsewhere. Calcavecchia leads the Senior British Open at seven-under along with fellow American Lee Rinker and Rod Spittle of Niagara Falls. Spittle was five under on Friday to move to the top of the leaderboard. Victoria's Jim Rutledge is tied for 43rd at two over......A tour that currently has 24 events on its schedule has decided to go with a fifth major, one that means LPGA Tour players will have to cross the Atlantic twice starting in 2013 to play the Evian. That eliminates any chance for the CN Canadian Women's Open to land major status, even if its $2.25-million purse is more than the Kraft Nabisco Championship's $2-million prize and is renowned as one of the best events on tour by players. Wonder if commissioner Mike Whan will show up next month to answer that one, which he didn't do when the tour's new event in Waterloo was introduced last month.


Videos

Photos