Scott Verplank silenced critics by winning last years edition. Three weeks after being the first rookie selected to the Ryder Cup, he made a couple of lengthy birdie putts coming home to win his fourth tour title.
For the third straight year the tournament has a different home. Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario played host to Tiger Woods 2000 victory. Verplank then won at Royal Montreal. This years champion will be crowned at Angus Glen Golf Club, outside of Toronto.
Next year, the Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, Ontario is proposed to be the tournament site. The club last hosted the National Open in 1930.
David Morland IV finished tied for fifth a year ago. It was the best finish by a Canadian-born player in this event since Dave Barr tied for fourth in 1988.
There hasnt been a Canadian-born winner since Pat Fletcher in 1954.
Mike Weir is usually the nations best bet to end the homeland drought, but hes never fared well in the Open. The lefthander missed nine consecutive cuts in this tournament before finishing 70th in 2000. Last year, he improved to a tie for 34th.
While Weir has yet to win on tour this season, countryman Ian Leggatt captured the Tucson Open. The 36-year-old from Cambridge, Ontario has played in eight Canadian Opens. He has five missed cuts, two finishes outside the top-70 and a tie for 18th last year.
Verplanks three-shot win a year ago tied for the largest margin of victory since 1977. Over the past 12 years, 10 of the events have been decided by a single shot or in a playoff.
This is the second week in a row the tour has stopped in Canada. Gene Sauers would have been the seventh alternate for the Bell Canadian, but thanks to his win at the Air Canada Championship, he won't have to worry about getting into fields for the next two years.
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