'I feel good about the way I'm hitting the ball. I feel I'm going to have a good week,' said Singh, still working on his putting stroke more than 10 hours after he arrived at the hilly, tree-lined Hamilton Golf and Country Club course.
'I've been battling against myself,' said Singh, who missed the cuts in the British Open and PGA Championship. 'The whole season has been difficult. I'm not playing badly, but I'm not playing the way I want.'
Singh won the 2004 Canadian Open at Glen Abbey in nearby Oakville, beating Canadian star Mike Weir on the third hole of a playoff.
'Different week. Different year,' Singh said.
The three-time major champion tied for sixth three years ago on the Harry S. Colt-designed Hamilton course, overcoming an opening 75 with rounds of 67, 65 and 68.
'It's very demanding off the tee,' Singh said after his rain-interrupted pro-am round Wednesday on the 6,983-yard, par-70 layout. 'You have to put the ball in the fairway. Hitting the fairways is the key.'
The course is similar to the Westchester Country Club, the New York City-area layout where Singh has won three times -- the last in June to snap a 21-event winless streak. With that title, he pushed his PGA Tour victory total to 29 and tied Sam Snead's tour record for wins over 40 with 17.
When the PGA Tour returned to the Hamilton course in 2003 after a 73-year absence, Bob Tway beat Brad Faxon with a bogey on the third hole of a playoff after they finished regulation at 8 under.
'This course has a lot of character,' Weir said. 'I think you can see a lot of how a golf course can defend itself not by just adding length but by strategic bunkering, difficult greens, difficult pin positions and some rough.'
The picturesque course on the rim of the Niagara Escarpment also was the site of the 1919 and 1930 tournaments. In 1930, Tommy Armour beat Leo Diegel in a 36-hole playoff. The Silver Scot's grandson, Tommy Armour III, is in the field this year.
U.S. Ryder Cup players Jim Furyk, Vaughn Taylor, Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink are in the field two weeks before the matches against Europe in Ireland.
Furyk, second on the money list and No. 3 in the world rankings, is making his first appearance in the tournament since 1999 at Glen Abbey.
'Guys who played here in '03 really raved about it, so it was a course that I really wanted to play,' Furyk said. 'I love the old traditional golf courses where you have to work the ball of the tee.'
South Africa's Trevor Immelman also is in the field. He's the last player to beat Woods, edging him by two strokes in the Western Open for his first PGA Tour title.
'I'm really excited to be here,' Immelman said. 'This is an incredible golf course. It would be great if we could play more courses like this one.'
Woods, the 2000 winner at Glen Abbey, is skipping the tournament for the fifth straight year.
John Daly and Ryder Cup player Chris DiMarco withdrew Tuesday. Daly has a gastrointestinal virus that also forced him to pull out of a European tour event last week in Germany. DiMarco didn't cite a reason for withdrawing.