It’s never easy being the first event right after a Major, but the RBC Canadian Open is doing mighty fine for itself, sporting a field of 17 Major winners and two members of the FedExCup standings top 10.
In addition, the last five winners of the tournament, including 2013 champion Brandt Snedeker are in the fold at the Royal Montreal Golf Club’s Blue Course, which is 7,090 yards in length and sports a par of 70.
It’s been a staggering 60 years since a Canadian won the event, that being Pat Fletcher in 1954. Prior to Fletcher’s victory, it had been 40 years since a native had won the field.
Eighteen Canucks are in the field this year, and the one with the best chance to break the drought is Graham DeLaet, who tees off at 1:05 p.m. with Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk in one of the biggest featured trios of the day.
The 31-year-old DeLaet has had his struggles this year, but is still ranked 38th in the world. He has missed the cut at all three Majors to date this season, but finished tied for second at the Farmers Insurance Open and the Waste Management Open in back to back weeks earlier in the season.
Other groups to watch on Thursday are the trio of Ernie Els, Stewart Cink and Justin Leonard kicking off on the back nine at 7:50 a.m.; Snedeker, Dustin Johnson and Hunter Mahan 10 minutes later; Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald and Mike Weir at 1:15 p.m. on the front nine; and Charl Schwartzel, Stuart Appleby and Vijay Singh at the same time on the back nine.