I have to give credit to the RCGA and new Executive Director Scott Simmions, they have done a great job improving the RBC Canadian Open. To start, the partnering with Mike Weir on his Charity Classic on Monday of Open week was a great move. Weir used his own celebrity status to bring a number of notable celebrities and sports figures from Kevin Costner to Michael Jordan to Joe Thorton to Glen Abbey for the event. Monday is usually a particularly boring day for spectators, but this pro-am event made the week leap off to a great start. There was also the typical Wednesday Pro-Am, with Pengrowth’s sponsorship, and it was also a great day for the RBC Canadian Open. The Pengrowth Concert Series at the 19th Hole was another fun spectator event offered on Thursday to Saturday nights this year. Featuring Kevin Costner and Modern West, Tom Cochran and Bachman Cummings over the three days, spectators received a nice added bonus following the golf each day. Finally, the golf tournament which, while still not the best of fields with no one in the top 10 in the World Rankings playing, was still a very strong field and featured a number of great Canadian players in large part due to the generosity of sponsors exemptions dolled out by the RCGA.
However, for all the great improvements and changes made to encourage better players to participate, the weather may be the real undoing of the RBC Canadian Open. Unfortunately it is the one thing tournament organizers do not have any control over. Some players were heard commenting “welcome to Canada”, while others like John Daly were posting negative feedback on Twitter about being sent back on a course he called “un-playable”. Hopefully all the great things that have been done to provide a premier tour event won’t be undone by the five (with the Monday finish) soggy days at Glen Abbey this year. Let’s hope the players memories are short when the plan their 2010 schedules. If only the tournament had been in Vancouver this year, the players could only have complained about how hot and sunny it was!