A Tradition Like No Other - At Least on This Tour


ONTARIO -- When The Golf Channel's coverage of the Samsung Canadian PGA Championship commences on Thursday, take a good look at the competitive expressions given by those in the field.
The Canadian PGA Championship has something that no other Buy.Com sanctioned event has. That's right, NONE.
It has tradition. This event dates back to 1912, making this week's edition the 86th running of this storied tournament. It is the second oldest professional golf championship in Canada. Only the Canadian Open is older - dating back to 1904.
Those in the field this week have amassed a total of 23 PGA Tour titles. Yet, with all due respect to the likes of Guy Boros, Trevor Dodds, Mike Heinen and Nolan Henke, the names on the P.D. Ross Trophy are far more noteworthy.
The late great George Knudson, who died of cancer in 1989, won this tournament five times from 1964-1977. Arnold Palmer put his name on the trophy as well. So too did Canadian legend Moe Norman and other American greats Lee Trevino, Raymond Floyd and Lanny Wadkins.
To continue the great tradition, Samsung Electronics Canada has extended its title sponsorship of the event into this its fifth season. And the Canadian PGA has done its part, officially signing on to keep the tournament as an event on the Buy.Com Tour through 2006.
Simply stated, this is an event that every player would love to add to his resume. I spoke to a few players on Wednesday about that very idea, and each of them began to rattle off the same names that appear on the trophy.
'It's a national title,' said Canadian David Morland IV. 'No matter if you're from Canada or the United States or any other country, just to win a national title adds to the nostalgia of the event.'
Morland is right. He may have lost his PGA Tour exempt status, but he's hardly complaining about this week's opportunity. And neither is Hank Kuehne, Steve Scott or Jeff Quinney. Each of them is glad to be here on the merits of their top five position on the Canadian Tour's Order of Merit (money ranking).
So as you watch this week, realize that those players I've just mentioned have plenty to play for - certainly more than just the $81,000 first place check and the chance to get closer to the coveted top 15. They are playing for the right to add their name to tradition.
And who, for goodness sakes, wouldn't want to be able to say, 'I just won the same tournament that Arnold Palmer, Moe Norman and Lee Trevino won!'