Open to a Canadian Winner

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 5, 2006, 4:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)The Tiger Woods winning streak is alive; though, he won't be extending it at this week's Canadian Open.
Woods, who has won each of his last five events, won this tournament in 2000, a stirring one-shot triumph over Grant Waite at Glen Abbey Golf Club. It completed an Open slam for Woods that season, one in which he won the U.S., British, and Canadian Opens.
Mike Weir
Mike Weir will try and become the first Canadian to win this event since 1954.
Woods returned the following year to try and defend his title, tied for 23rd, and hasnt since been back.
He's not participating this year, and he's not the only past champion absent. Hal Sutton, the 1999 winner; Scott Verplank, the 2001 winner; and John Rollins, the 2002 winner, have all joined Woods this week on the sideline.
But this event is not lacking for talent.
Jim Furyk is the highest ranked player in this week's field at third in the world. He is joined by fellow U.S. Ryder Cup teammates Stewart Cink, Zach Johnson and Vaughn Taylor.
Vijay Singh, the 2004 champion, is also in attendance, as is defending champion Mark Calcavecchia. Singh is coming off a runner-up finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship. He may well be the favorite this week to capture his second Canadian Open title and his second win on TOUR this season.
The Canadian Open is the second oldest stop on the PGA TOUR and the third oldest championship in all of professional golf. First played in 1904, this will be the 97th edition of the tournament.
Its been 52 years, since Pat Fletcher in 1954, that a native won this National Open. That drought, however, could end this year.
Here are the top 5 contenders -- outside of Singh -- for the 06 title, led by Canadas favorite golfing son.
Mike Weir
Weir almost took home top honors in 2004, only to fall in a playoff to Singh. Weir missed the cut the first nine times he played this event, but has missed only one cut over the last six years. That came last season at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club. This years event is back at Hamilton G&CC, where he finished 10th in 2003. Weir is seeking his first win on the PGA TOUR since 2004. He played well two starts ago at the PGA Championship, where he was one back after 54 holes, but closed in 1-over 73 to finish sixth.
Stewart Cink
It will be interesting to see if Cink has stopped kicking himself over losing the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational two weeks ago. Cink had Woods dead to rights in their playoff, but missed a pair of very makeable putts that would have won it for him. Now, Cink heads north of the border still in search of his first TOUR win since he prevailed at Firestone in 2004. This will be his first start here since that same season, when he tied for fourth. He made the cut in both of his other appearances.
Tom Pernice, Jr.
Pernice has never had much success in this tournament, having missed the cut seven times in 11 career starts. Thats the bad news. The good news is that the tournament has returned to the site of his lone top-10. Pernice tied for third in 2003 at Hamilton G&CC. More good news: each of the last three winners of this event has been in their 40s. Pernice turned 47 this Tuesday.
Brad Faxon
Faxon lost in a playoff to Bob Tway the last time Hamilton G&CC hosted this event in 2003. This will be his first start in this event since then. He also has a couple of other top-10s in this tournament. This site will be much welcomed in Faxon's eyes. He is still seeking his first top-10 of the season.
Bob Estes
Estes had a great chance two weeks ago at the Reno-Tahoe Open to earn his first TOUR title since 2002, but finished one shot back of Will MacKenzie. He gets a chance to redeem himself this week. Estes has played this tournament 10 times and has three top-10s. He was runner-up in 2001, and finished tied for 14th the last time the event was contested at Hamilton.
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  • Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

    Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

    Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

    By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

    SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

    Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

    ''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

    But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

    In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

    ''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

    Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

    The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

    ''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

    NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

    Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

    Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

    "He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

    The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

    Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

    "I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

    Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

    "From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

    "And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

    "There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."

    Move over Lydia, a new Ko is coming to LPGA

    By Randall MellNovember 22, 2017, 5:11 pm

    Another gifted young South Korean will be joining the LPGA ranks next year.

    Jin Young Ko, the Korean LPGA Tour star, informed the American-based LPGA on Sunday night that she will be taking up membership next year. Ko earned the right by winning the LPGA’s KEB Hana Bank Championship as a nonmember in South Korea in October.

    Ko, 22, no relation to Lydia Ko, first burst on to the international spotlight with her run into contention at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago. She led there through 54 holes, with Inbee Park overtaking her in the final round to win.

    With 10 KLPGA Tour titles, three in each of the last two seasons, Ko has risen to No. 19 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings.

    Ko told Sunday afternoon that she was struggling over the decision, with a Monday deadline looming.

    “It’s a difficult decision to leave home,” Ko said after the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, when she was still undecided. “The travelling far away, on my own, the loneliness, that’s what is difficult.”

    Ko will be the favorite to win the LPGA’s Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award next year. South Koreans have won that award the last three years. Sung Hyun Park won it this year, In Gee Chun last year and Sei Young Kim in 2015. South Korean-born players have won the last four, with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko winning it in 2014. Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand when she was 6.

    Ko released this statement through the LPGA on Wednesday: 

    "It has been my dream since I was young to play on the LPGA Tour and I look forward to testing myself against the best players on a worldwide stage. I know it is going to be tough but making a first win as an LPGA member and winning the Rolex Rookie of the Year award would be two of the biggest goals I would like to achieve next year."