A total of 156 golfers will take on the 7000-yard, par-72 Swan-e-set Bay Resort course in suburban Vancouver. The Greater Vancouver Classic is the first of four consecutive stops in Western Canada, with events in Victoria, Edmonton and Winnipeg to follow. Tournaments in Montreal and Toronto later this summer will close out the 16-event 2002 schedule.
Last year, American Steve Scott prevailed in a marathon six-man playoff at Point Grey GC to win the TELUS Vancouver Open for his first pro triumph. Scott, who also won the season-opening Texas Classic this past March, is back this week to defend his title. The 1996 U.S. Amateur runner-up currently sits third on the Canadian Tours Order of Merit. Hank Kuehne is second on the money list and will also be looking to make up ground on earnings leader Jeff Quinney. Quinney, the 2000 U.S. Amateur Champion, will not be in the starting field this week.
Derek Gillespie and Rob McMillan are the top Canadians on the money rankings (fouth and fifth respectively). Gillespie won the Myrtle Beach Barefoot Championship in May, just one week after McMillan captured the Barefoot Classic. It marked the first time since 1997 that Canadians had won back-to-back Tour events.
Recent winners of this event include Scott, McMillan (2000), Kenneth Staton (1999), Ian Hutchings (1998) and current PGA Tour player Mike Weir (1997).