Homegrown golfers and some of the biggest names in the sport are stepping forward for the upcoming RBC Canadian Open.
The first 15 Canadians, including 10 tournament exemptions, confirmed last week for the 2015 RBC Canadian Open, which is taking place at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont., from July 20-26.
Leading the Canadian contingent at Glen Abbey will be Weyburn, Sask., native Graham DeLaet, fresh off a fourth-place finish this past weekend at the Travelers Championship. The finish moved DeLaet to No. 78 on the World Golf Ranking and secured his spot in the field for The Open Championship at St. Andrews.
“This is our Open and we’re proud to have these 15 deserving Canadians compete in the 106th playing of Canada’s National Men’s Open Championship,” said RBC Canadian Open Tournament Director Brent McLaughlin. “The depth of talent in Canadian golf has never been stronger and I’m sure each of them will feel the tremendous wave of Canadian pride and support from golf fans across the country.”
The 15 Canadian players will look to become the first Canadian to capture the national title since Pat Fletcher claimed victory in 1954.
Golf Canada has also granted a tournament exemption to Web.com Tour player Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Ont. who will make his eighth appearance in Canada’s National Open Championship.
Additional tournament exemptions were given to Team Canada Young Pro Squad members Corey Connors of Listowel, Ont., Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., as well as National Amateur Squad members Austin Connelly of Irving, Texas and Blair Hamilton of Burlington, Ont.
Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont., won the 2014 Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur title to earn his exemption into the 2015 RBC Canadian Open. Leading into tournament week, Rank and Connelly are representing Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games golf competition, July at Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont.
Joining DeLaet will be fellow Canadian PGA Tour players David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., Abbottsford, B.C., natives Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor; Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C. and Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., who will be making his 25th appearance in Canada’s National Men’s Open Championship.
PGA of Canada professional Billy Walsh of Markham, Ont., earned his way into the 2015 RBC Canadian Open field as the No. 1-ranked player on the PGA of Canada Player Rankings presented by RBC.
Earlier, former Team Canada member Richard Jung of Toronto shot a course-record, 10-under 62 at Rattlesnake Pointe Golf Club to top the 144-player field to earn an exemption through the RBC Canadian Open Ontario Regional Qualifier.
The Canadians confirmed for Glen Abbey will join a field of PGA Tour and international stars that includes World No. 3 Bubba Watson, World No. 5 Jim Furyk, World No. 8 Jason Day, World No. 13 J.B. Holmes, World No. 16 Matt Kuchar, World No. 17 Chris Kirk, World No. 22 Brooks Koepka, World No. 26 Brandt Snedeker, World No. 30 Ryan Palmer, World No. 40 Hunter Mahan, World No. 48 Graeme McDowell, World No. 65 Luke Donald, and World Golf Hall of Fame member Ernie Els.