Skip to main content

Tiger Jack and Others Have Canadian Influence

MONTREAL -- The cheers will be loud for mild-mannered Mike Weir as the Presidents Cup gets underway at Royal Montreal, but the 2003 Masters champ isnt the only person on center stage with close ties to Canadian fans. Heres a look at some of the players and captains who have made a positive impact over the years:
Jack Nicklaus:
It may come as a surprise to American golf fans that Nicklaus is a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. The Golden Bear designed Glen Abbey Golf Club just outside of Toronto, which became the unofficial home of the Canadian Open for years. Nicklaus also endeared himself to Canadian golf fans through his regular participation in the Canadian Open, a tournament he never won, but finished as runner-up on seven occasions.
Jim Furyk:
The winner of the last two Canadian Opens has been a vocal supporter of the tournament through its tough times, including its placing right behind the British Open, and has earned a warm reception in Montreal. Ive been treated real well. Different area, different province, but I still feel a lot of people are very positive today and mentioned me winning both events, said Furyk. 'I support those two tournaments and appreciate it very much and Ill try to continue and come back and play in Canada quite a bit and show my thanks.
Obviously, they will be rooting for the other team this week and I know that, but I still feel a lot of support and appreciate it.'
Steve Stricker:
The red-hot Stricker spent several years in the early 90s on the Canadian Tour, where he won the 1990 Victoria Open and 1993 Canadian PGA Championship. Those were some of the best times in my professional career, when (wife) Nicki was caddying for me on a regular basis for four summers, said Stricker. We traveled across the country of Canada. We started off doing it by car and then, we started doing it by airplane because some of the stretches were long.
I hear a lot of people out in the crowd talk about a couple of places where Ive won up here and it brings back a lot of good memories.
The people here are much the same as where I grew up in Wisconsin, good Midwest values and a lot of nice people.
Tiger Woods:
The worlds No. 1 player has disappointed Canadian fans by not showing up to play the Canadian Open, but he did pull off one of the most memorable moments in all of golf at the 2000 Open at Glen Abbey. It was there that Woods fired a 6-iron out of the bunker, over the pond on the 18th hole to win his first and only Canadian Open in a year in which he also won the British Open and U.S. Open. He was presented with the Triple Crown for winning all three national Opens. Canadian fans just wish he would take the same attitude as Furyk.
Gary Player:
Even when he isnt promoting the Presidents Cup in Montreal, the Black Knight loves to talk about his days barnstorming across Canada. I had the privilege of playing with Stan Leonard, who was a wonderful golfer, a Canadian for those who didnt know him, and I did an extensive tour of Canada many, many years ago.
Email your thoughts to Ian Hutchinson
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Presidents Cup
    Toronto Sun Editor's Note: Ian Hutchinson is golf columnist for the Toronto Sun and senior writer for Pro Shop Magazine, a Canadian golf trade publication, and Canadian Golfer Magazine. He is also a frequent contributor to Golf Scene and Golf Canada Magazine, the official magazine of the Royal Canadian Golf Association.