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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    Ball headed O.B., Stone (68) gets huge break

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 19, 2018, 2:14 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brandon Stone knew it when he hit it.

    “I knew I hit it out of bounds,” the South African said following his opening round in the 147th Open Championship.

    Stone’s second shot on the par-4 18th, from the left fescue, was pulled into the grandstands, which are marked as O.B. But instead of settling in with the crowd, the ball ricocheted back towards the green and nearly onto the putting surface.

    Stone made his par and walked away with a 3-under 68, two shots off the early lead.

    “I really didn’t put a good swing on it, bad contact and it just came out way left,” Stone said. “I feel so sorry for the person I managed to catch on the forehead there, but got a lucky break.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “When you get breaks like that you know you’re going to have good weeks.”

    It’s been more than just good luck recently for Stone. He shot 60 in the final round – missing a 9-foot birdie putt for the first 59 in European Tour history – to win last week’s Scottish Open. It was his third career win on the circuit and first since 2016. It was also just his first top-10 of the season.

    “A testament to a different mental approach and probably the change in putter,” said Stone, who added that he switched to a new Ping Anser blade model last week.

    “I’ve been putting, probably, the best I have in my entire life.”

    This marks Stone’s sixth start in a major championship, with his best finish a tie for 35th in last year’s U.S. Open. He has a missed cut and a T-70 in two prior Open Championships.

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    Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated,” taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

    Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor. Kang made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

    Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

    “I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

    Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

    “I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

    Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

    “No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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    Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

    Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

    “We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

    “I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

    Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

    “Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

    The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

    “We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.