“It weighs 35 pounds, except when you’re lifting it,” is an ode to the hoisting of the Stanley Cup but is also speaks to the difficulty of winning any championship and the ease of hoisting the hardware thereafter.
Trophies are a longstanding symbolic representation of achievement and the history that lives within them is no less. What makes them special are their unique characteristics and designs that represent the championship they stand for, and the RBC Canadian Open Trophy is no exception – every part of Canada is represented on the silverware symbolizing the National Open.
The RBC Canadian Open is the third oldest continuously running tournament on the PGA TOUR and, accordingly, has a rich history of hardware to show for. From the inaugural winner in 1904 to the latest champion in 2019, golf’s legacy is imprinted all over the Canadian Open trophies shelved in the archives of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame at Glen Abbey Golf Course in Oakville, Ont.
Here are 11 facts about the RBC Canadian Open Trophy for your next trivia night:
1. The first time a trophy was awarded to the winner of the Canadian Open was in 1920. In the years prior and starting with the first tournament in 1904, the RCGA (commonly known as Golf Canada) awarded the winner with a gold medal.
2. At one point, the trophy came in the form of a one-of-a-kind soapstone carving.
3. U.K. native James Douglas Edgar would be the first recipient of the trophy (what was then called The Rivermead Challenge Cup) in 1920. He received $300 in prize money for the first-place finish. In comparison, the winner’s share for the 2022 RBC Canadian Open is $1.57 million.
4. The current trophy in use was made in 1994 in Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia by a silversmith. The trophy consists of three parts: the lid, the bowl, and the base.
5. If you look closely, a map of Canada is engraved on the lid of the trophy. The flags from the provinces and territories are also represented along the lip of the bowl.
6. The base of the trophy is made of Canadian maple with silver bands to accommodate the engraved names. In 2015, an additional tier was added to accommodate the newest generation of champions. There are 86 different names (110 total) engraved into the current trophy.
7. The name that appears the most on the trophy is Leo Diegel who won the championship a record four times. Tommy Armour, Sam Snead and Lee Travino are each represented three times.
8. The Canadian Open was cancelled from 1915-1918 because of World War I, 1943-1944 for World War II, and 2020-2021 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. For these eight occasions the trophy reads “No Championship”.
9. The tournament winner receives a miniature version of the trophy to take home and keep.
10. The trophy is the only silverware to be presented in Canada at a PGA TOUR event this year with the RBC Canadian Open being the sole PGA TOUR stop north of the border.
11. Though it may feel as light as feathers after a 72-hole victory on the PGA TOUR, the RBC Canadian Open Trophy weighs in at 22 pounds (10 kilograms).
THE CANADIAN OPEN GOLD MEDAL (1904 – 1919)
THE SEAGRAM GOLD CUP (1936 – 1970)
THE DU MAURIER TROPHY (1971 – 1993)
RBC CANADIAN OPEN TROPHY (1994 – current)