PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – The PGA TOUR has announced its 2022-23 FedExCup Season schedule of 47 tournaments, featuring 44 Regular Season events and three FedExCup Playoffs events, culminating with the crowning of the 2023 FedExCup champion at the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, August 21-27.
As announced on June 22, qualification criteria for the FedExCup Playoffs have been revised starting in 2023, with just 70 players earning a start in the first Playoffs event, the FedEx St. Jude Championship, followed by 50 players advancing to the BMW Championship, with the TOUR Championship field remaining at 30 players.
Next season’s schedule includes record prize money and eight invitationals spread throughout with players competing for elevated purses ranging from $15 to $25 million. The bonus pools totaling $145 million include $75 million for the FedExCup, $20 million for the Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10 and $50 million for the Player Impact Program.
“We’ve heard from our fans and the overwhelming sentiment was that they wanted more consequences for both the FedExCup Regular Season and the Playoffs, and to further strengthen events that traditionally feature top players competing head-to-head,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “We feel strongly we’ve accomplished all of these objectives and more, creating a cadence of compelling drama for every tournament throughout the season. Each week has its own identity and purpose, and we’re set up for an exciting 2022-23 campaign as we transition into a calendar season in 2024 that will include a number of new and innovative competitive aspects in the fall.”
The 70 players who qualify for the first Playoffs event will be fully exempt for the following season as the TOUR transitions to a calendar-year season beginning in 2024 with the core portion of the FedExCup contested from January to August. Following the core FedExCup season, official PGA TOUR events will be conducted in the fall, where all players with status for the 2022-23 FedExCup Season will be eligible to compete. Those outside of the top-70 will compete for FedExCup points in a compelling, consequential final stretch to secure status for 2024.
Following the fall events, the TOUR will introduce a series of international events that include the top-50 players from the final FedExCup Points list, the top performers in the fall and additional eligibility as part of a limited-field, no-cut format. Further details on the fall events and the global series are expected to be announced later this year.
Rory McIlroy defends RBC Canadian Open title
RBC Canadian Open
Rory McIlroy won the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday and gave the PGA Tour a strong response to the start of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational, closing with an 8-under 62 to win a wild race to the finish with Justin Thomas and Tony Finau.
McIlroy had his first title defense on the PGA Tour, even if he had to wait for it. He won golf’s fourth-oldest national open in 2019 at HamiltonGolf& Country Club, only for the the COVID-19 pandemic to cancel the next two editions.
Thomas pushed him to the end at St. George’s Golf & Country Club, and the tournament effectively ended on the 17th hole. McIlroy and Thomas were tied and in the rough. McIlroy hit a wedge that rolled out to tap-in range, while Thomas missed a 10-foot par putt, a two-shot swing. Thomas closed with a pair of bogeys and still shot 64.
McIlroy finished at 19-under 261 for a two-stroke victory.
Finau holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 64 to finish second alone.
Thomas was third at 14 under. Justin Rose matched the tournament- and course-record with a 60 _ with three eagles and three bogeys _ to tie for fourth with Sam Burns (65) at 14 under.
McIlroy won for the second time this season and 21st on the PGA Tour.
Rose was 11 under with three holes to play. He bogeyed the 16th, hit to 2 feet on 17 for birdie, then went over the green on 18 and missed an 18-foot par putt. Carl Pettersson also shot 60 at St. George’s in his 2010 victory.
ETOBICOKE, ONTARIO - JUNE 12: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot on the 18th hole during the final round of the RBC Canadian Open at St. George's Golf and Country Club on June 12, 2022 in Etobicoke, Ontario. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
RBC Canadian Open
St George’s Golf & Country Club is hosting the 2022 RBC Canadian Open for the sixth time in its 111 year history (1933, 1949, 1960, 1968 and 2010). After 1093 days and two years of cancellations due to the global pandemic, the world’s best golfers returned to Canada for the National Open.
The anticipation leading up to the this year’s tournament has been second to none and the turnout speaks for itself.
“It’s unbelievable, the atmosphere out there today was, I mean I can’t remember the last time I played in an atmosphere like that. It was really special,” said Rory McIlroy following his third round performance.
With the use of drone technology, Golf Canada captured dynamic and innovative views inside the clubhouse and on the grounds overlooking the 18th hole at St. George’s.
McIlroy, Finau lead after 54 holes, and more from the RBC Canadian Open
Photo Bernard Brault, Golf Canada
Saturday June 11th, 2022
RBC CANADIAN OPEN
RBC Canadian Open
Toronto (June 11, 2022) – Cloudy skies threatened rain at the RBC Canadian Open today, but the sunshine prevailed as the world’s top golfers teed it up at St. George’s Golf & Country Club.
FINAU, MCILROY LEAD HEADING INTO FINAL ROUND AT RBC CANADIAN OPEN
Nick Taylor and Corey Conners were on the move on moving day at the RBC Canadian Open. The Canadian duo fired rounds of three-under par 67 and four-under par 66, respectively, to climb into the top-20 heading into Sunday’s final round.
I’m probably not going to do much leaderboard watching, just keep my head down,” said Taylor.” I’ll see tonight what the lead is and have an idea of probably where I want to get to. But it’s such a jam-packed leaderboard and there’s a stretch of holes where you can really get after it. So, if I’m kind of hanging around through 8 then I think I have a decent chance.”
Tony Finau and Rory McIlroy sit atop the leaderboard at 11-under par after 54 holes at St. George’s Golf & Country Club. Finau’s eight-under par 62 was the low-score of the day and lowest round at the National Open since McIlroy’s 61 in the final round of the 2019 RBC Canadian Open. The Salt Lake City, Utah native tallied three birdies and an eagle through a four-hole (nos. 8 to 11) stretch to catapult up the leaderboard.
McIlroy continued his bid to successfully defend his RBC Canadian Open title with a five-under par 65 to grab a share of the lead. The 33-year-old is looking to become the first player to win a PGA TOUR event (non-major) back-to-back at two different courses since Jim Furyk, who won in 2006 at Hamilton G&CC and then defended his title at Angus Glen Golf Course (North) in 2007.
Justin Thomas, Sam Burns, Wyndham Clark and Alex Smalley sit at nine-under par, two shots back of the leaders, at nine-under par, entering the final round. Thomas’ seven-under par 63 matched his lowest round on the PGA TOUR this season since the second of the Farmers Insurance Open. Burns will be vying for his second win on TOUR in in just a two-week span after winning the Charles Schwab Challenge on May 29.
Final round tee times will run from 10:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. with threesomes off the first and ninth tees. The expected finish time is 6:00 p.m., with the trophy presentation to follow. For the full list of pairing click here.
Number of times a leader went on to win (1945-present) after 54 Holes – 51 times
Last to defend the RBC Canadian Open title successfully – Jhonattan Vegas, 2017
Left-handed champions/Champions gauchers Bob Charles, 1968
Lowest Canadian score, 54 Holes – Adam Hadwin (65-66-67) Hamilton G&CC, Hamilton ON, 2019
Last winner who won the Open on his first try- Rory McIlroy, 2019.
Last player to win a PGA TOUR event (non-major) back-to-back at two different courses was Jim Furyk, who won in 2006 at Hamilton G&CC and then defended his title at Angus Glen Golf Course (North) in 2007.
PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THE GOLF CANADA FOUNDATION 50/50 RAFFLE IN SUPPORT OF FIRST TEE – CANADA
From Wednesday afternoon through Sunday week, Golf Canada Foundation will be selling 50/50 tickets on-site at the RBC Canadian Open & CP Women’s Open tournaments. The draw will take place Sunday evening, with the winning number announced here on the Foundation website and across social media channels. Proceeds from the raffle in support of the First Tee – Canada, the official beneficiary of the RBC Canadian Open, will benefit junior golf initiatives and help to grow the game in Ontario and across the nation. Click here for more information.
Experience the RBC Canadian Open like never before by downloading the Golf Canada Mobile App on your iOS or Android device. Essential features include a live map, mobile ordering, leaderboard & pairings, tickets, breaking news and special events. Plus, use the Golf Canada Mobile App to enhance your experience while playing! Find golf courses, track your game, set up matches against friends, access GPS yardages and more. Click here to download.
THE OPEN QUALIFYING
The 2022 RBC Canadian Open is also part of The Open Championship Qualifying Series. The top-2 finishers at the RBC Canadian Open (not otherwise exempt) earn a spot in the field of The 150th Open Championship, July 10-17, 2022, at St Andrews in Fife, Scotland.
Wyndham Clark maintains one-stroke lead heading into weekend at RBC Canadian Open
RBC Canadian Open
TORONTO, Ont. – The second round of the RBC Canadian Open saw sunny skies as players took to St. George’s Golf & Country Club to compete in the 111th playing of the historic tournament.
SECOND ROUND RECAP Aaron Cockerill climbed 23 spots up the leaderboard Friday with a 2-under par 68 in the second round of the 2022 RBC Canadian Open. The 30-year-old from Stony Mountain, Man., holed three birdies and only one bogey for a share of the low-Canadian score of the day with Nick Taylor and Adam Svensson. He sits in a tie for 20th on the leaderboard, five strokes back of the leader in his first ever PGA TOUR event.
“Had a decent amount of buddies out there and they were having some fun. It was fun to make a few birdies for them and hole a few putts and [I’m] happy with the day,” said Cockerill. “We get decent crowds on the European Tour but being a local and having that local support is awesome. I’m sure they will be out in full force tomorrow, so looking forward to it.”
Wyndham Clark followed up a first-round seven-under 63 with an even-par 70 to maintain a one-stroke lead heading into the weekend at St George’s Golf & Country Club. The Denver, Colorado, native is searching for his first win on the PGA TOUR. Eight of 31 second-round leaders have gone on to win the tournament this season.
Alex Smalley, Keith Mitchell, Matt Fitzpatrick and defending champion Rory McIlroy are positioned in a four-way tie for second. Of that group, Smalley and Mitchell were the low scorers with a pair of three-under par 67s. McIlroy fired a two-under par 68, while Fitzpatrick came in with an even-par 70.
Cameron Smith made the biggest splash on the leaderboard, jumping 76 spots with a five-under par 65, highlighted by a hole-out for eagle on the par-4 fifth hole at St George’s. Austin Cook carded the low round of the day, a six-under 64 and sits T6.
70 players (including six Canadians) made the cut (+1) and have advanced to the weekend rounds with third round action kicking off at 7:55 a.m.
RBC COMMUNITY JR GOLF On Wednesday at the RBC Canadian Open, Harold Varner III surprised a youth group from the Boys and Girls Club of Peel. The event, hosted by First Tee – Canada and RBC Community Junior Golf, featured a behind-the-scenes tour of the RBC Canadian Open, swings on the golf simulator, and a pizza party with HV3. To find out more, click here.
PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THE GOLF CANADA FOUNDATION 50/50 RAFFLE IN SUPPORT OF FIRST TEE – CANADA From Wednesday afternoon through Sunday of tournament week, Golf Canada Foundation will be selling 50/50 tickets on-site at the RBC Canadian Open & CP Women’s Open tournaments. The draw will take place Sunday evening, with the winning number announced here on the Foundation website and across social media channels. Proceeds from the raffle in support of the First Tee – Canada, the official beneficiary of the RBC Canadian Open, will benefit junior golf initiatives and help to grow the game in Ontario and across the nation. Click here for more information.
CGSA RECOGNIZES ST. GEORGE’S GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB SUPERINTENDENT Ian McQueen, superintendent at St. George’s Golf and Country Club was presented with a commemorative plaque by Pierre Vezeau, president of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA), in recognition of his efforts in preparing the golf course for the RBC Canadian Open. This is McQueen’s first national tournament. He has been a CGSA member since 2004 and has 18 years of experience as a superintendent, six of those at St. George’s which remains in the top 5 in Score Golf’s top 100. Click here for the full transcript.
HOMEGROWN TALENT TO KICK OFF MUSIC CELEBRATION ON FRIDAY AT THE SIRIUSXM STAGE A new partnership among Golf Canada, SiriusXM and RBC this year showcases home-grown artists and offers even more music. For 2022, the RBCxMusic Concert Series returns with an incredible line-up. Hip-hop icon Flo Rida headlines tonight with Canadian rapper SonReal in the warm-up slot.
Prior to SonReal’s performance on Friday, Toronto-based R&B singer-songwriter Pisceze—part of the First Up with RBCxMusic program—performs on the RBCxMusic Concert Series mainstage. Getting a chance to warm up the crowd at the SiriusXM Stage is Omega Mighty, sister of Polaris Prize and Juno-winner Haviah Mighty. On Saturday, indie-rock band The Man Who, and 22-year-old rising pop star Ari Hicks each get a set. Hicks most recent single “Sucker,” was released a month ago and she recently had the opportunity to co-write a song over Zoom with Rob Thomas [Matchbox Twenty]. The song, entitled “Shut Up and Look Pretty,” which Hicks says is “really savage,” comes out in a couple of weeks. Click here for more information.
RBCxMUSIC CONCERT SERIES PREPARES TO TURN UP THE VOLUME The RBCxMusic Concert Series returns to the RBC Canadian Open with an incredible line-up. Hip-hop icon Flo Rida headlines Friday night with Canadian rapper SonReal in the warm-up slot. On Saturday, three-time Grammy award winners Maroon 5 take the stage. Both concerts take place on the nearby athletic field of Toronto’s Richview Collegiate Institute. Tickets for Saturday are sold out, but a limited inventory of tickets are available for Friday. Purchase here.
MOBILE APP EXPERIENCE Experience the RBC Canadian Open like never before by downloading the Golf Canada Mobile App on your iOS or Android device. Essential features include a live map, mobile ordering, leaderboard & pairings, tickets, breaking news and special events. Plus, use the Golf Canada Mobile App to enhance your experience while playing! Find golf courses, track your game, set up matches against friends, access GPS yardages and more. Click here to download.
THE OPEN QUALIFYING The 2022 RBC Canadian Open is also part of The Open Championship Qualifying Series. The top-2 finishers at the RBC Canadian Open (not otherwise exempt) earn a spot in the field of The 150th Open Championship, July 10-17, 2022, at St Andrews in Fife, Scotland.
Team RBC Ambassador Harold Varner III surprises youth at RBC Canadian Open
RBC, Canadian Open, St Geoges Golf Club
RBC Canadian Open
TORONTO, June 9, 2022 — In celebration of RBC Community Junior Golf, an initiative designed to build greater diversity and inclusivity in the sport, RBC and Golf Canada invited young people from the Boys and Girls Club of Peel for a unique experience at the RBC Canadian Open where they met PGA TOUR golfer and Team RBC Ambassador, Harold Varner III. On the Wednesday of tournament week, youth were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the tournament and had the opportunity to explore how to get involved in First Tee – Canada and Youth on Course programming this summer.
“I’ve always been passionate about introducing young people to golf, and it’s really special to give back during my first RBC Canadian Open on Team RBC,” said Harold Varner III. “Interacting with the group, today and seeing how excited they were to learn more about the sport, only ignited that passion more. I’m proud to be a part of RBC Community Junior Golf, which is providing greater access to the sport to young people in underrepresented communities across Canada.”
In partnership with Golf Canada, RBC Community Junior Golf will enable affordable access to the sport through the implementation of First Tee – Canada programming and Youth on Course’s $5 green fees at municipal or publicly accessible golf courses. By 2023, RBC Community Junior Golf is expected to engage more than 10,000 young people.
“Today, we got a glimpse into the positive impact sport can have on youth,” said Shannon Cole, Vice President, Brand Marketing, RBC. “It was incredible to witness firsthand and we are excited to engage with young people across Canada through First Tee – Canada and Youth on Course programming this summer and beyond.”
Earlier this year, RBC Community Junior Golf welcomed the first wave of golf courses offering First Tee – Canada and Youth on Course. The initial courses selected based on accessibility to local public transit as well as proximity to community centres, with an intentional focus on regional and diverse representation.
“We are fortunate to share with RBC the common goal of advocating for youth and diversifying the game of golf. It was inspiring and rewarding to see our collaborative efforts come to life and witness firsthand the positive impact we can make in our community through sport,” said Kevin Blue, Chief Sport Officer, Golf Canada. “With RBC Community Junior Golf’s support, First Tee – Canada and Youth on Course will have success much like this event, providing youth with opportunities they may not have otherwise experienced.”
RBC Community Junior Golf Locations:
Blomidon Golf and Country Club – Corner Brook, NL
Cedar Hill Golf Course – Victoria, BC
Chedoke Golf Club – Hamilton, ON
Club de Golf Municipal Dallaire – Rouyn-Noranda, QC
Club de Golf Les Rivières – Trois-Rivières, QC
Humber Valley Golf Course – Etobicoke, ON
Legends on the Niagara – Niagara, ON
Mill River Golf Course – Woodstock, PEI
Peel Village Golf Course – Brampton, ON
Tam O’Shanter Golf Course – Scarborough, ON
Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation Golf
Fraserview Golf Course – Vancouver, BC
Queen Elizabeth Park Pitch and Putt – Vancouver, BC
Walter Gretzky Municipal Golf Course – Brantford, ON
Whitewater Golf Club – Thunder Bay, ON
RBC Community Junior Golf participating facilities will work with community centres or schools in their local area to register youth participants ages five to 18 years. For more details, visit the RBC Community Junior Golf website: https://www.golfcanada.ca/rbcjrgolf.
Ian McQueen honoured at the RBC Canadian Open
Photo Bernard Brault, Golf Canada
Friday June 10th, 2022
RBC CANADIAN OPEN
Ian McQueen’s extraordinary ability to manicure a championship caliber golf course is on display, and the culmination of this achievement has not gone unnoticed.
The St. George’s Golf and Country Club superintendent was hosting his first PGA TOUR event, and his member association was on hand to present him with a commemorative plaque.
McQueen is an 18-year member of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) whose reputation for ensuring the fair and consistent management of golf courses precedes him, and this award puts a stamp on his accomplishments.
“It means a lot,” he said. “It’s been a goal of mine to be at St. George’s, and come back to Toronto where I grew up and host a national event like this.”
The year marked the 111th RBC Canadian Open, aged only behind The Open Championship and the U.S. Open among national championships, and by nature presents challenges with rooted expectations.
Tasked with maintaining St. George’s member satisfaction, and meeting the Open’s planning objectives, under the cloud of a pandemic, required strong leadership and the buy-in of his team. More remarkably, he ensured that St. George’s remains ranked among the top-five facilities in the country.
“Delaying it for a couple years actually gave us a great run through spring to make sure we had everything in place (for the tournament),” he said. “It was a challenge, but something that we accepted, and I think we accomplished as a team.”
Before arriving at St. George’s, McQueen honed his craft between public, semi-private and private golf clubs.
His previous club, The Club at Bond Head, has a long-standing reputation that praises its stunning views, challenging holes, and well-maintained grounds. It is also known for being tournament ready by May.
The key difference with managing St. George’s is the added support of private membership that helps him achieve the course conditions that fit his ideal vision.
“When you get to a private club like St. George’s, the support from the membership, board, and club allows you to achieve (the) goals and conditions that you want to produce on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
The challenges involved with managing a golf course in Canada’s climate also presents an unpredictability that is near impossible to gauge, and one that McQueen has consistently managed to handle.
“Managing turf conditions to the standard that we want takes into consideration all of the weather inputs; the uncontrollable that we can’t control makes it difficult,” he said. “I have a great staff of about 45 people, who you couldn’t do without — without them we would never get it to what it is today.”
Hughes leads Canadian contingent after round one at RBC Canadian Open
RBC Canadian Open
TORONTO, Ont. – Mackenzie Hughes had a solid start at St. George’s Golf and Country Club, shooting a four-under par 66 after the opening round of action.
“It feels great. The excitement and the buzz seem to be here and I know after three years of not playing the tournament, everyone’s pretty excited about it, so we share that same feeling,” said Hughes.
“It’s a different week for us because we don’t get to feel, I don’t do press every week on PGA TOUR, so it’s kind of neat, I kind of relish the opportunity to do it and hopefully have a great week and get the fans behind me on Sunday.”
The Dundas, Ont., native, who was paired with fellow Canadians Adam Hadwin (-1) and Mike Weir (+2), is T5 alongside Rory McIlroy, Lee Hodges, Tony Finau, Patrick Rodgers and Jonas Blixt.
Leader Wyndham Clark boarded the birdie train in the early stages of his opening round at the 2022 RBC Canadian Open and rode it all the way to the top of the leaderboard.
The Denver, Colorado native experienced few speedbumps along the way, carding a seven-under par 63 to claim the outright lead after Thursday’s highly anticipated opening round at St George’s Golf & Country Club.
Clark, who started his day on the back nine, poured in five birdies on his opening nine holes and added a pair coming in, in a bogey-free first round effort – one he felt he deserved.
“I just had the putts fall,” said Clark. “That’s all I felt I’ve needed all year was just a little jump start like this where I see some putts and it’s okay, I’m doing the right things, and I’m finally getting rewarded for all the hard work.”
This is Clark’s third appearance at the RBC Canadian Open. He missed the cut in each of his previous two showings. The 28-year-old says he hopes the momentum from round one snowballs further into the week and beyond.
“I’ve been trending in the right direction, and today it all kind of came together,” said Clark. “I’m really hoping that we keep going this week with that and leading into next week at the U.S. Open and for the rest of the summer. My game feels good.”
Matthew Fitzpatrick also jumped out to a quick start at the National Open, registering a six-under par 64 for sole position of second place. Fitzpatrick was firing on all cylinders out of the gate, notching four birdies in as many holes to start his round and steadied the ship the rest of the way.
“Growing up, I’ve always been kind of more of a straighter player and solid putter,” said the Englishman. “To me round here, it’s just about giving myself plenty of chances to get shots off the fairway to give myself chances for birdie. Today I did that well.”
Doug Ghim and Harold Varner III rounded out the top-three with a pair of five-under par performances at St George’s.
“If you’re hitting it in the fairways and you’re attacking the greens, you can post a low one. But if you’re just a yard off, you’re scrambling for par very quickly,” said Ghim. “I put the ball in play for most of the day and hit a lot of greens. Felt pretty dialed on the greens too, so that always helps.”
“Obviously every week you go on the PGA TOUR, you want to play well, but playing well in front of the home fans and your friends and family, it’s hard to describe how good that feels. So when you’re out there and you’re making birdies and having a good round, it just feels that much better,” said Hughes.
Second round tee times are scheduled to begin at 6:40 a.m. For the full list of Friday’s pairings, click here.
See below for an all-Canadian leaderboard.
Jared Du Toit
A.J. Ewart (a)
Johnny Travale (a)
Homegrown talent to kick off music celebration on Friday at the SiriusXM stage
RBC Canadian Open
1,093 days. That’s how long it’s been since the world’s best golfers set foot on Canadian soil. Golf fans have waited patiently for the PGA Tour’s return. This week, at St. George’s Golf & Country Club, not only is “Our Open” back after two years of cancellations due to the pandemic, but so is live music with the return of the popular RBCxMusic Concert Series.
“We introduced the RBCxMusic Concert Series in 2019 with the idea to create an unforgettable experience for both golf and music fans,” comments Mary DePaoli, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, RBC. “The result was our most successful RBC Canadian Open to date.”
For 2022, the RBCxMusic Concert Series returns with an incredible line-up. Hip-hop icon Flo Rida headlines Friday night with Canadian rapper SonReal in the warm-up slot. On Saturday, three-time Grammy award winners Maroon 5 take the stage. Both concerts take place on the nearby athletic field of Toronto’s Richview Collegiate Institute.
A new partnership among Golf Canada, SiriusXM and RBC this year showcases home-grown artists and offers even more music. “Shining the spotlight on Canadian talent is incredibly important to SiriusXM Canada and something we do through our service every day,” says Paul Cunningham, SVP, Sales & Marketing, SiriusXM Canada. “Our new partnership with Golf Canada allows us to bring music and sport together, which elevates any entertainment experience. That intersection really highlights what SiriusXM is all about. We offer the best in both of these categories – from golf and every other major league sport, to music from every genre and decade – and much more.”
Prior to SonReal’s performance on Friday, Toronto-based R&B singer-songwriter Pisceze—part of the First Up with RBCxMusic program—performs on the RBCxMusic Concert Series mainstage. Getting a chance to warm up the crowd at the SiriusXM Stage is Omega Mighty, sister of Polaris Prize and Juno-winner Haviah Mighty. On Saturday, indie-rock band The Man Who, and 22-year-old rising pop star Ari Hicks each get a set. Hicks most recent single “Sucker,” was released a month ago and she recently had the opportunity to co-write a song over Zoom with Rob Thomas [Matchbox Twenty]. The song, entitled “Shut Up and Look Pretty,” which Hicks says is “really savage,” comes out in a couple of weeks. The Toronto artist is grateful for RBC and the opportunity to be part of the 2022 RBC Canadian Open.
“It’s probably the biggest performance of my career so far,” Hicks says, taking a short break from finalizing her set list and rehearsing. “When I told my dad, who is a huge golf fan, he just looked at me and said, ‘The RBC Canadian Open! You know how big that is?’
“It is incredible to receive this opportunity,” she adds. “As an independent artist you need all the help you can get.”
The pandemic hit artists hard, especially independents. With shutdowns due to COVID-19, and no gigs scheduled, one of their main sources of income was taken away overnight. This was the impetus for launching the First Up with RBCxMusic program.
“Despite the pause in live music, RBC’s commitment to supporting emerging artists remained strong,” explains Shannon Cole, Vice President of Brand Marketing, RBC. “First Up with RBCxMusic was developed to showcase and elevate emerging musicians and recording artists from across Canada.”
For 2022, nearly 20 artists were welcomed as Featured Artists to benefit from live performance opportunities like the ones offered to Hicks and Pisceze during the 2022 RBC Canadian Open. Since its inception in May 2020, First Upwith RBCxMusic has supported more than 150 artists across a varied array of genres and backgrounds that reflect Canada’s eclectic cultural mosaic. Another program participant and 2020 First Up alumni (Jessia) opens for Maroon 5 on Saturday night of the RBC Canadian Open. Jessia is known for her viral song “I’m not Pretty,” which has 101,400,000+ plays on Spotify and a remixed version with popular American singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha.
Long live live music … and golf.
Crowd supports Weir, Hughes, and Hadwin bright and early at Canadian Open
ETOBICOKE, ON - JUNE 08: Mackenzie Hughes of Canada signs autographs for spectators from the 16th tee box during the pro-am prior to the RBC Canadian Open at St. George's Golf and Country Club on June 8, 2022 in Etobicoke, Ontario. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Mike Weir didn’t expect to have much of a gallery on a rainy Thursday morning at St. George’s Golf and Country Club.
But there were dozens of fans waiting for him and fellow Canadians Mackenzie Hughes and Adam Hadwin at the 10th tee as play began in the first round of the RBC Canadian Open. Weir said he appreciated the support from a crowd that swelled to hundreds by the time he’d played all 18 holes.
“Especially at 7 in the morning when it’s raining, it’s nice to see so many people here early,” said Weir. “When you get some momentum, you can feed off the crowd.”
The 52-year-old Weir, from Brights Grove, Ont., shot a 2-over 72. He has the second most professional golf wins for any Canadian with eight, second only to Brooke Henderson.
Hughes, from Dundas, Ont., was the low Canadian on the morning. He finished his round tied with Americans Tony Finau and Lee Hodges as well as defending champion Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland. Hughes said it was “awesome” to have such a large crowd following the trio around the course and attributed it to Weir’s enduring popularity.
“Everyone was out early even though we were off at 7 a.m.,” said Hughes. “I thought there wouldn’t be too many people out that early with the weather. It was fantastic and I felt it all the way around.”
Hadwin, from Abbotsford, B.C., shot a 1-under 69. He said that having the crowd spurred the group on to a strong start. He had a pair of birdies in the group’s first six holes and Weir had two to start the day.
“There was a lot of fun there those first four or five holes. We were all playing pretty well and making birdies,” said Hadwin. “So we got into a nice rhythm as a group.
“Obviously, two great guys that I’m very familiar with, so it was a very comfortable pairing today.”
The Canadian Open is the third oldest continually running national golf championship in the world, behind only the British and U.S. Opens. But the event hasn’t been held since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
St. George’s in Toronto’s west end was originally scheduled to host in 2020 but it was cancelled twice as travel and health regulations were insurmountable hurdles to getting out a competitive PGA Tour field.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, at least to Weir. He said Canadian players and fans alike were eager to see the Canadian Open held again.
“It’s been a couple years since we’ve been playing. I think everybody’s excited to see all the guys and see the players,” said Weir, who will be grouped with Hughes and Hadwin again on Friday.
“It was great to see the crowd support, and we’re going to have a great day tomorrow. It should be even better tomorrow.”
One member of the crowd was Lorie Kane, who is in Canada’s Golf Hall of Fame with Weir following her four wins on the LPGA Tour. The Charlottetown native said she was pleased to see such a large turnout supporting the Canadians.
Nick Taylor, also from Abbotsford, had an even par 70 in the first round.
Top ranked Canadian Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., was tied with Jared du Toit of Kimberley, B.C., after 1-over 71 rounds. Myles Creighton of Digby, N.S., was a shot back of them.
Max Sekulic of Rycroft, Alta., shot a 5 over, Callum Davison of Duncan, B.C., had a 6 over, and amateur Brendan Leonard of Cambridge, Ont., was 8 over.
Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., Calgary’s Wes Heffernan, Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., Vancouver’s Stuart Macdonald, Aaron Cockerill of Stony Mountain, Man., amateur A.J. Ewart of Coquitlam, B.C., amateur Johnny Travale of Hamilton, Toronto’s Albin Choi and David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., went out in the afternoon wave.
Michael Gligic of Burlington, Ont., withdrew midway through the morning wave.