RBC Canadian Open to be included in Open Qualifying Series for 149th Open Championship

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HAMILTON, ONTARIO - JUNE 09: Adam Hadwin of Canada poses for a photo after qualifying for The Open Championship during The Open Qualifying Series, part of the RBC Canadian Open at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club on June 9, 2019 in Hamilton, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

 ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND – The road to The 149th Open at Royal St George’s will stop in Canada once again, as the 2020 RBC Canadian at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto will be among 16 events in 11 countries to make up The Open Qualifying Series for 2020. 

A minimum of 46 places in The Open are available through the Series, which provides golfers with opportunities to qualify at events around the world on the PGA TOUR, the European Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Asian Tour, the Korean Tour, the Japan Golf Tour and the Sunshine Tour. 

Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said, “We have agreed an exciting schedule of events with our colleagues at the leading professional tours around the world and we will look forward to finding out which golfers qualify for Royal St George’s. 

“We know there is real excitement among fans at the prospect of The Open returning to Royal St George’s which will undoubtedly spur on players to qualify to compete over the famous Kent links come July next year.” 

The RBC Canadian Open will offer up three qualifying places, while the last qualifying place will be confirmed at the John Deere Classic on the eve of The 149th Open. 


Rory McIlroy named 2019 PGA TOUR Player of the Year

Rory McIlroy
RBC Canadian Open: Hamilton: June 3rd: Day Three of the RBC Canadian Open. Pro-Am Tournament. Rory McIlroy

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – The PGA TOUR announced today that Rory McIlroy has been named the 2019 PGA TOUR Player of the Year as voted by the TOUR’s membership for the 2018-19 season. McIlroy will receive the Jack Nicklaus Award for winning PGA TOUR Player of the Year for the third time in his career (2012, 2014, 2019).

Sungjae Im was voted 2019 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year and will receive the Arnold Palmer Award, renamed in 2019 as a tribute to its namesake’s influence on countless young players and a fitting honor for its recipients, who will shape the game and the PGA TOUR for generations to come.

PGA TOUR members who played at least 15 official FedExCup events during the 2018-19 season were eligible to vote. The balloting process ended on September 6.

McIlroy, 30, of Holywood, Northern Ireland, won the FedExCup for the second time (2016, 2019), becoming just the second player to win the season-long race multiple times (Tiger Woods), and the first player to win THE PLAYERS Championship and the FedExCup in the same season. With three wins on the season (THE PLAYERS, RBC Canadian Open, TOUR Championship), McIlroy matched Brooks Koepka for the most on TOUR, and marked the third time he collected three or more victories in a single season. McIlroy also won the Byron Nelson Award for Adjusted Scoring Average (69.057) for the third time in his career and led the PGA TOUR in Top-10s (14) and Strokes Gained: Total (2.551).

“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, my congratulations to Rory McIlroy on being voted the 2019 PGA TOUR Player of the Year by the TOUR’s membership,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “While there are a number of honors one can receive in this game, PGA TOUR Player of the Year has to be among the most satisfying as it comes directly from his peers. Rory’s season was a model of consistency punctuated by milestone victories and ultimately the FedExCup in Atlanta.”

After one start in the fall of 2018 (World Golf Championships/HSBC Champions), McIlroy opened the 2019 calendar year with top-sixes in his first five starts before winning THE PLAYERS for his 15th career PGA TOUR victory. He became only the third player to win THE PLAYERS, a major, the FedExCup and a World Golf Championships event in a career, joining Tiger Woods and Henrik Stenson.

Six starts later, McIlroy made his tournament debut at the RBC Canadian Open, where he set the tournament record and won by seven shots, the largest winning margin of the season.

Three of McIlroy’s 14 top-10 finishes came at World Golf Championships events: Mexico Championship/2, Dell Technologies Match Play/T9 and FedEx St. Jude Invitational/T4.

McIlroy ended the PGA TOUR Regular Season at No. 2 in the FedExCup standings, claiming second place in the inaugural Wyndham Rewards Top 10, a $10 million bonus pool split among the top-10 finishers in the FedExCup Regular Season.

McIlroy entered the TOUR Championship at No. 5 in the FedExCup standings, beginning the FedExCup Playoffs finale at 5-under, based on the new FedExCup Starting Strokes system. With rounds of 66-67-68-66, McIlroy won the TOUR Championship and hoisted the FedExCup for the second time in his career.

McIlroy was selected for the honor over (alphabetically) Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar and Xander Schauffele.

Im, a 21-year-old native of Jeju, South Korea, was the only rookie to advance to the TOUR Championship and finished the season tied for 19th in the FedExCup standings. With his Rookie of the Year honors, Im joins Stewart Cink (1996-97) as the only players to be named the Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year and PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year in consecutive seasons.

For the season, Im made 26 cuts in 35 starts, becoming the first rookie in the FedExCup era to play 35 or more events. He recorded seven top-10s, highlighted by three top-fives, with his best finish of the season coming at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, where he tied for third.

“Congratulations to Sungjae on being voted 2019 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year,” said Monahan. “His ‘Ironman’ season was remarkably consistent from start-to-finish, and his fellow players raved about his all-around game throughout the year. Like so many Korn Ferry Tour graduates, he arrived on the PGA TOUR prepared to compete with the world’s best, and his season was a reflection of a maturity beyond his 21 years.”

Im was selected for the honor over (alphabetically) Cameron Champ, Adam Long, Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff.


Levelwear and Golf Canada announce significant partnership extension

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PHOTO BERNARD BRAULT, Golf Canada CP Canadian Open LPGA Magna Golf Club Wednesday August 21th, 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP PRO AM Laurence Applebaum Level Wear

Aurora, Ont. (Golf Canada) – Golf Canada and LEVELWEAR today announced an agreement that will see LEVELWEAR extend their official apparel partnership with the National Sport Federation for golf through 2022.

The multi-year extension will continue LEVELWEAR’s support as Official Headwear and Apparel provider across a multitude of Golf Canada properties and championships. The LEVELWEAR brand will continue as the official headwear and apparel as well as the official volunteer uniform for several of Golf Canada’s properties including the RBC Canadian Open, the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, Canadian Amateur Golf Championships and the World Junior Girls Championship. The partnership will also extend across Golf Canada’s digital network of web, social and golfer engagement platforms.

“LEVELWEAR has become one of our most engaged partners and we are pleased to extend their meaningful commitment to Canadian golf across so many foundational pillars of our organization,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “The LEVELWEAR brand represents the highest quality performance for both serious and recreational golfers. Our robust partnership touches many levels of Canadian golf, from amateur to professional, and we are excited to continue working with their talented team.”

For LEVELWEAR, extending and deepening their brand alignment with Golf Canada was a natural evolution to grow a partnership that began in 2017.

“We are proud to be extending our partnership with Golf Canada and their many world-class golf programs, championships and golfer engagement platforms,” said LEVELWEAR President & CEO Hilton Ngo . “Supporting  golf at all levels in Canada is a key priority and our collaboration with Golf Canada has done a tremendous job in elevating our brand with Canadian golfers nationally.”

2019 2020

PGA TOUR announces expanded schedule of 49 events for 2019-20 Season

2020 RBC Canadian Open

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – The PGA TOUR today announced an expanded 2019-20 Season schedule of 49 FedExCup tournaments, featuring a dramatically changed opening segment and several late-season adjustments to accommodate the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The schedule reflects a net increase of three tournaments over the current season. Eleven of the 46 Regular Season events will be conducted in the opening portion of the schedule between September-November. This segment includes two new tournaments in The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP in Japan and the Bermuda Championship, plus the return of A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier and the Houston Open following one-year absences due to their transition from 2018 mid-season dates.

The RBC Canadian Open will be held from June 8-14 at the historic St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto, Ont. The return to St. George’s will mark the sixth time that the celebrated Stanley Thompson classic course has played host to Canada’s National Men’s Open Championship, most recently in 2010. Islington Golf Club, also a Stanley Thompson design, will proudly play host to the tournament practice facility for both years of the event’s return to the city of Toronto, as it did in 2010.

Later in the season, the TOUR will have an open week during the men’s Olympic competition (week of July 27-August 2) before resuming with the Wyndham Championship and three FedExCup Playoffs events. Several changes also have been made leading up to the Olympics, most notably: the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit moving one month earlier to late May; and the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and Barracuda Championship shifting from late July to the first week of the month, exchanging dates with the 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota.

“After a very successful first year with our new schedule, we are thrilled to expand the number of events to 49 while maintaining a great flow from start-to-finish, allowing our fans to better engage and follow the TOUR throughout the season,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “For the second year, we’re excited about kicking off the Season of Championships with THE PLAYERS in March, bookended by the FedExCup Playoffs in August, and the return of the Olympics in that window. As for the early-season portion of the schedule, our players grasp the importance of a strong start in the Race for the FedExCup and this has translated into growth and momentum for the events played in the fall.”

With the PGA TOUR season now ending in August at the TOUR Championship, the 2019-20 season will open the week of September 9-15 with A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier. The Sanderson Farms Championship follows with its first-ever standalone date (September 16-22), before the TOUR moves on to the Safeway Open, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and Houston Open.

The TOUR then embarks on a three-tournament Asian swing, beginning October 14-20 with THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES at Jeju Island, Korea. The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP debuts at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba Prefecture October 21-27, followed by the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China, the week of October 28-November 3, which also marks the debut of the Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Club in Southampton.

Following a week off, the TOUR continues the 2019 segment at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (November 11-17) before concluding with The RSM Classic. While that marks the end of FedExCup competition until the first week of January 2020, the 13thPresidents Cup returns to The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia the week of December 9-15. It was there that the International Team claimed its lone victory over the U.S. Team in 1998.

Once the TOUR resumes in January in Hawaii, the scheduling sequence remains unchanged from the current season until the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s move from the last week of June to May 25-31. The next four weeks remain the same before the move of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and Barracuda Championship to June-29-July 5 and the 3M Open to July 20-26, the week before the Olympic competition.

Following the Olympic Games, the Regular Season wraps up at the Wyndham Championship (August 3-9), where not only the FedExCup Playoffs field will be finalized, but the added drama of the season-long Wyndham Rewards Top 10 will be determined. Introduced this season, the $10 million competition caps the Regular Season by rewarding the 10 leaders in FedExCup points, with $2 million going to the winner.

Due to the off week for the Olympics, the FedExCup Playoffs will begin one week later and conclude the final week of August: THE NORTHERN TRUST August 10-16; BMW Championship August 17-23; and the TOUR Championship August 24-30.

The FedExCup Playoffs wrap up the Season of Championships, which begins with THE PLAYERS Championship (March 9-15) and continues through the Masters Tournament (April 6-12); PGA Championship (May 11-17); U.S. Open (June 15-21); and The Open Championship (July 13-19).

Several new or familiar venues are included during this stretch, beginning with the PGA Championship visiting TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, the U.S. Open returning to Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, and The Open Championship going to Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England.

Additionally, THE NORTHERN TRUST will be held for the first time in the Boston market at TPC Boston in Norton, Massachusetts, while the BMW Championship will visit Olympia Fields Country Club in suburban Chicago.


Rory McIlroy wins 2019 RBC Canadian Open

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HAMILTON, Ont.  — Using a loonie as his ball marker, Rory McIlroy fired a final round 9-under par 61 to win Canada’s National Open Championship, the RBC Canadian Open in his first appearance.

McIlroy’s 22-under-par 258 is the lowest 72-hole score ever carded at the RBC Canadian Open. The previous record of 263 was held by Johnny Palmer (1952), Scott Piercy (2012) and Tim Clark (2014). His final round 61 is also the best final round at the 110-year-old event, breaking the record of 62 held by Andy Bean (1983).

The 30-year-old entered Sunday’s final round sharing the lead with Americans Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson. He started his round by lipping-out a chip for eagle on the first hole, en route to birding four of his first five holes. With the win the Northern Irishman claimed his 16th PGA TOUR title.

“It’s been a while since I played like this and sort of put my foot down, but it was so nice to do it today,” said McIlroy. “I’m very proud of what I’ve done today. Hopefully this sets up well for the rest of the year, too.”

McIlroy becomes only the sixth player to win the career Triple Crown, having won the U.S. Open in 2011 and The Open Championship in 2014. He joins an exclusive club that includes Tommy Armour, Walter Hagen, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Tiger Woods.

“The reception from the Canadian crowds have been incredible this week,” added McIlroy. “They couldn’t have been any better. They’ve been so welcoming all week. I can’t wait to come back next year.”

McIlroy is the first golfer to win the RBC Canadian Open on his first attempt since Chez Reavie in 2008 and the first European to capture the title since Sweden’s Carl Pettersson in 2010.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry and American Web Simpson finished tied for second at 15-under par 265 for the tournament. Americans Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker finished tied for 4th at 13-under.

Adam Hadwin fired an even-par 70 in the final round, finishing as the low Canadian at 12-under par 268 on the tournament. Hadwin was awarded the Rivermead Cup for the fourth time of his career as low Canadian.

“The crowd was amazing all week,” said Hadwin. “That reception coming up 18 was something special. I pictured it with being a few more [strokes] under earlier in the week, but they were amazing. I’m just disappointed I couldn’t get it done in front of them.”

By virtue of his sixth-place finish, Hadwin qualifies for the 2019 Open Championship being held July 14-21 at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland. Also earning an exemption in the 2019 Open Championship was Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell. New for 2019, the RBC Canadian Open is included in The Open Qualifying Series. Up to three players who are not already exempt earned places in the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush

The 2020 Golf_Canada_Network_Leaderboard_BigBox is being held at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto from June 8 to 14.

Click here to view the full leaderboard for the 2019 RBC Canadian Open.


McIlroy, Simpson and Kuchar lead heading into final round of RBC Canadian Open

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HAMILTON, Ont.  — Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson sit in a three-way tie for the lead at 13-under par heading into the final round of the 2019 RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.

McIlroy catapulted to the top of the leaderboard with a 6-under 64. He was bogey free, while knocking in six birdies and says he has been enjoying the atmosphere during his first visit to Canada’s National Open Golf Championship.

“It’s probably the best atmosphere I’ve played in in a long time,” said McIlroy. “The Canadian fans really come out and support this event. That 13th hole there [The Rink] is pretty cool. I think what they’ve been able to do here is right on the limit of fun, but still in keeping with the traditions of the game, so I think it’s been awesome. I’ve had a wonderful reception from everyone and just excited to get to play in front of them again tomorrow.”

Kuchar started the day with a share of the lead and remained steady, shooting 1-under-par 69 Saturday. Currently sitting No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings, Kuchar was atop the leaderboard for most of the day, but a bogey on No. 15 pulled him back into a tie with McIlroy and Simpson.

”It was a tough day out there,” said Kuchar. “It took a lot of good scoring to stay in the position I’m in. The support out here has been fantastic. The crowds have been great. The energy has been great. The Rink is completely unique.”

Simpson had a bogey-free 67 that helped him grab a share of the lead with 18 holes remaining.

Canadian Adam Hadwin is one-shot back, sitting T4 after moving day. A bogey on No. 2 made for an unfavourable start, but Hadwin clawed his way back into contention with three back-nine birdies. He is tied with Shane Lowry and Brandt Snedeker, a stroke behind the leaders at -12.

“I certainly got a lot more out of this round,” added Hadwin. “I really struggled with that left-to-right wind off the tee – couldn’t really figure it out. I’m just proud of the way I battled today. You know you have to go out and shoot a low one tomorrow.”

Mackenzie Hughes enjoyed his third straight round in the 60s – a 1-under par 69 – that dropped him one-spot into a share of 8th.

Nick Taylor started the day tied for third but carded a 73 to slip into a tie for 9th.

The final round of the 2019 RBC Canadian Open tees off at 8:25 a.m. on Sunday, June 9. Pairings and tee times and be found here.


Four Canadians sit within top 10 thru 36-holes of 2019 RBC Canadian Open

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HAMILTON, Ont.  —  Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., as well as Ben Silverman of Thornhill, Ont., and Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., all sit within the top 10 after two-rounds of the 2019 RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.

Taylor carded a second-round 65 Friday and finds himself tied for third with 2013 RBC Canadian Open champion Brandt Snedeker at 11-under par. His 5-under par performance included three birdies on his final four holes.

“I felt good, to be honest,” said Taylor. “Early on, I was hitting good shots, but putts weren’t dropping. Then I hit four great shots on the last two holes. It was nice to make that putt on the last hole.”

Snedeker matched the lowest single-round score ever at the RBC Canadian Open by carding a 10-under par 60. Carl Pettersson shot 60 in 2010 at St. George’s Golf & Country Club.

“I didn’t really think about it until I got to the 17th tee,” said Snedeker, whose scor of 60 is also a new Hamilton Golf and Country Club course record. “I was hitting the ball so well off the tee and making so many putts. It was one of those rounds where everything comes together.”

Hadwin holds sole possession of 6th at 9-under. Hughes and Silverman share 7th spot at 8-under.

Silverman handed in a scorecard of 9-under-par 61 Friday, which is the lowest round ever recorded by a Canadian at Canada’s National Open Golf Championship.

“It’s great, it’s where I want to be,” added Silverman. “I was hitting fairways and it’s almost impossible to score around here if you’re missing fairways. “

Americans Scott Brown and Matt Kuchar both shot 7-under to finish the day as co-leaders at 12-under.

The shot of the day belonged to Kramer Hickok. The Austin, Tex., native made an albatross on No. 4 – only the fourth albatross in RBC Canadian Open history and the first since Guy Hill in 1996 at Glen Abbey Golf Club. This was the sixth albatross on the PGA TOUR this season.

Toronto’s Richard Jung was tied for 33rd at 4-under and Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., was tied for 55th at 2-under.

The third-round of the RBC Canadian Open gets underway at 8:25 am, while the final pairing tees off at 2:10 pm. Tee times for the third round can be found here.


Martin Ebert to lead Golf Course Improvement Plan at Hamilton Golf & Country Club

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HAMILTON, Ont. – Mackenzie & Ebert Ltd. will lead a significant golf course improvement plan to the historic Harry S. Colt layout at Hamilton Golf & Country Club starting in the fall of 2019.

Noted English Golf Course Architect, Martin Ebert, a partner in the firm, will oversee the re-investment in the course assets to all 27 holes as the club modernizes its bunkers, greens and irrigation system over a two-year period.

“When Harry Colt visited Hamilton G&CC in the spring of 1914 he developed the brilliant layout that you see before you today, but he never returned during construction or to see the finished project,” says Ebert, who was first hired as HGCC’s consulting architect in 2014. “As part of the renewal of the golf course assets, our goal is to strengthen the character and original design philosophy of this wonderful Colt masterpiece for members and all golfers to enjoy.”

The club has an original set of hand sketched Colt drawings that have been used as a guideline for the changes and will draw on Mackenzie & Ebert’s vast knowledge of other Colt courses to fine-tune the holes. The firm currently advise seven of the 10 current Open Championship venues including Royal Portrush, which will host The Open later this summer.

“The improvements that will be implemented acknowledge that the course is a private members’ facility for the vast majority of life and the adjustments are designed to enhance the overall member experience,” says Ebert. “We would also like to create a fitting test for the finest players when they come to compete at the Canadian Open and other championships.”

Important to the membership and the project is the commitment by the club to keep 18 holes open for play at all times through the use of temporary greens. One of the championship nines will close in September, while the other 18 holes will remain open throughout the fall. Construction will progress continuously through the remaining nines and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2021 to allow for grown-in. The RBC Canadian Open is slated to return to HGCC in 2023.

The Golf Course Improvement Plan is the No. 1 priority within the club’s Long-Range Master Plan – Vision 2030 – the document will be finalized and presented to the membership later this year. As part of the Golf Course Improvement Plan, a 30-year-old irrigation system will be replaced with leading edge technology. The Poa Anna turf greens will be converted to Bentgrass and constructed to modern standards with multiple pin placement opportunities. The bunkers will be constructed using the latest techniques and in the spirit of the original Colt design with adjustments for today’s modern era.

Rhod Trainor will retire as the Superintendent at the end of 2019. He will stay on as a consultant as Project Manager throughout 2020 and focus on implementing the Golf Course Improvement Plan immediately after the RBC Canadian Open. Associate Golf Course Superintendent, Jordan Kitchen has been named Interim Superintendent. He will be responsible for day-to-day golf course and turf maintenance through the end of 2020.

“We believe this approach is in the best interest of the club and in the best interest of the project. Team continuity and course knowledge throughout the project is key for its success as well as for member and guest experience over the next 18 months,” says Sean McDonough, Club President.


Keegan Bradley leads by one after opening round of 2019 RBC Canadian Open

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HAMILTON, Ont. — American Keegan Bradley carded a scorching 63 to grab sole possession of the lead at 7-under par following a sunny and warm opening-round of the 2019 RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club.

Bradley tallied five consecutive birdies from holes 7 through 10 to catapult up the leaderboard. Additional birdies on holes 13 and 17, to go along with a bogey-free round put him in the lead.

“That was probably my best streak of the year if not maybe ever,” said Bradley, a four-time PGA TOUR winner, including the 2011 PGA Championship. “I felt so comfortable and dialed in. Sometimes you can get a little anxious when you’re playing really well, but I felt very calm the whole day.”

This is Bradley’s fourth appearance at the RBC Canadian Open. His best finish came in 2018 where he tied for fourth.

“This is a really great course, I’ve never played it,” said Bradley. “Every time I come to play in Canada, I always love the courses we play. This one is really great. Today, I was in complete control of my ball. And then when you couple that with feeling good on the greens, that’s when a 63 or a good, nice round happens.”

Abbotsford, B.C., native Nick Taylor also got hot during his first round. Four straight birdies on holes No. 1 through 4 (after a 10th hole start) moved the Canadian into a tie for second at 6-under par 64.

“I really haven’t had a lot of success at the RBC Canadian Open,” said Taylor. “I think I probably put a little too much pressure on myself. This year has been consistent. It’s small things I have been working on. Last week, just a slight bit different routine to line up and be more consistent with my alignment. Obviously, it was great today.”

Taylor, Shane Lowry, Sungjae Im, Erik van Rooyen and Roberto Castro sit one-back of Bradley at 6-under.

Taylor has never finished better than T53 at the RBC Canadian Open, but the 2014 Sanderson Farms champion currently leads the 26 Canadians in the field. He is paired with fellow Canucks David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., and Mike Weir of Bright’s Grove, Ont., for the first two rounds.

“Usually we don’t get those crowds that early,” said Taylor. “The Canadian fans that are here are so great. It’s been fun.”

Adam Hadwin, also of Abbotsford, B.C., finds himself T6 at 5-under. Hadwin’s bogey-free opening round of 66 is the lowest of his career at the RBC Canadian Open.

“It’s a really great start to the week, really solid golf,” said Hadwin. “Only missed a couple of greens. I’m coming away feeling pretty confident that I may have left a couple out there.”

Mackenzie Hughes of nearby Dundas, Ont., is also in the hunt. The hometown favourite was inches from getting an ace on No. 16 and was at 6-under walking up to the 18th tee box. His tee shot found the bunker and Hughes hit the bunker’s lip trying to reach the green in two. He went on to make a double-bogey six to finish T15 at 4-under.

“It was really fun, but I kind of spoiled it there at the end,” said Hughes. “I was 6-under through 17 and it was pretty stress-free for the most part. All-in-all it’s a great day score-wise, just not the way I wanted to finish. I have to get over it now, there’s three rounds of golf to be played.”

Hughes sits tied with fellow Canadians Hearn and Toronto’s Drew Nesbitt, who also carded 66s.

Second-round tee times begin at 7:00 a.m. Friday.


World’s best ready to take on Hamilton Golf & Country Club for 2019 RBC Canadian Open

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HAMILTON, Ont.  —  The 110th playing of Canada’s National Men’s Open Championship gets underway Thursday with 156 of the world’s best golfers, including 26 Canadians and world No. 1 Brooks Koepka, set to compete for the 2019 RBC Canadian Open Trophy and the champion’s share of the $7.6 million (US) purse.

Koepka, a four-time major champion and winner of the 2019 PGA Championship, is competing at Canada’s National Open Championship for the second consecutive year.

“It’s a good golf course, it’s definitely going to be a good test,” said Koepka. “It’s always a good tournament here. The rough’s up. You’ve got to hit the fairways, and these greens are quite slopey, so you’ve really got to control your spin.”

Rory McIlroy will be teeing off at the RBC Canadian Open for the first time in his career, and says he is excited to compete in Canada.

“I’ve heard a lot of great things about Hamilton,” said McIlroy. “I remember watching a little bit back in 2012, and then I’ve spoken to Brad Faxon a little bit, and he had a chance here back in ‘03, and he really raved about the golf course.”

While Koepka and McIlroy have three RBC Canadian Open appearances between the two of them, Dustin Johnson is no stranger to Canada’s National Men’s Open Championship. This year will be the defending champion’s seventh RBC Canadian Open, and he experienced Hamilton Golf & Country Club for the first time during Wednesday’s Pro-Am.

“I like the golf course. You need to hit it in the fairway,” said Johnson. “The rough’s pretty deep, but it’s not overly long. It’s kind of an old school course. But I like it so far, what I’ve seen.”

For information is available at rbccanadianopen.com.