The Canadian Open: Golf’s 29th Major & 59s Growing On Trees

And You Thought John Deere Was A Slow Week…..

It’s actually a nice regular season tour event, but who’s paying attention? The field is pretty good, the course yields low scores, and ol’ Jimmy Nantz might even show up to call a few shots this weekend on CBS. However, the golf world will mostly snooze right through it because of where it falls on the calendar. Unfortunately for the land of mayo and maple syrup, their home country’s open falls a week after the British Open, sandwiched before next week’s WGC event at Firestone and is followed by the PGA Championship. Any of the big names playing in the great north this week likely played at the British and will play 4 straight weeks once they’re done at the PGA. They’ll be just about fried when the Fed Ex Cup playoffs start. But fear not, they’ll survive and keep playing for a millions dollars or more at each stop.

The 36 hole leaders went pretty deep on Friday to jump up the board. John Merrick, already a winner on tour this year – yeah, I know you already fucking forgot that, didn’t you. No shit, he won the Northern Trust at Riviera – shot 62  in Canada on Friday. Mahan trumped him by following up his first round 67 with a 64. Not too shabby boys. The scoring is aided by Glen Abbey’s 5 par 5s, they’re just too easy for guys that are this good. You need evidence? Bubba is right there lurking on the leaderboard for the weekend. He really hasn’t played that well this year, but give Bubs 5 chances on par 5s for four days and he’ll make up ground on any field he’s in.

Lost Status

One hundred years ago, ok….maybe 50, this thing was considered a pretty big deal. Don’t believe me, let Wikipedia teach you something today…..

“As a national open, and especially as the most accessible non-U.S. national open for American golfers, the event had a special status in the era before the professional tour system became dominant in golf. In the interwar years it was sometimes considered the third most prestigious tournament in the sport, after The Open Championship and the U.S. Open. This previous status was noted in the media in 2000, when Tiger Woods became the first man to win The Triple Crown (all three Opens in the same season) since Lee Trevino in 1971. In the decades preceding the tournament’s move to an undesirable September date in 1988, the Canadian Open was often unofficially referred to as the fifth major. Due to the PGA Tour‘s unfavorable scheduling, this special status has largely dissipated, but the Canadian Open remains a well-regarded fixture on the PGA Tour.

A limited number of entries are allocated to players of the Canadian Tour; however, prize money won at the Canadian Open does not count towards the Canadian Tour money list.

Celebrated golfers who have won the tournament include: Walter HagenTommy ArmourSam SneadByron NelsonBobby LockeArnold Palmer,Lee TrevinoGreg Norman and Tiger Woods. The Canadian Open is regarded as the most prestigious tournament never won by the great Jack Nicklaus, a seven-time runner-up. Leo Diegel has the most titles with four.”

I told you. Now, does this mean Tiger has 15 majors while Jack still only has 18? Get the fuck out of year. Of course it doesn’t. Life moves on and things evolve. The Western Open and the Met Open used to be a big deal too, but the golf world out grows things just like anything else in life.

Schwartzel-tross

Charl Schwartzel has had an interesting couple of weeks. He broke his 6 iron at the British in round one, went low in round two to get into contention, then fucked the weekend to fall out of any action the viewers saw on ESPN save his 448 yard drive that went over the back of the 12th green at Muirfield. I was a little surprised to see him in the field this week in Canada, but when I did I figured he’d have a chance to win and wanted to pick him in my pool (then realized I already used him and took Luke Donald who promptly missed the cut).

Chest Hair Charl played pretty shitty and was over par on Thursday in danger of missing the cut. He doubled his 2nd hole this morning in his round and looked to be out of it. Schwartzel finished his opening (back) nine strong and then dunked his 2nd shot on the par 5 second hole at Glen Abbey. That’s a nice little turn around. You’d think in today’s 24 hour media cycle with cameras and cell phones everywhere there would be a video of it to put on the internet. Nope, not a fucking chance. Who’s filming a guy on the cut line playing on the front nine early Friday morning? In Canada, apparently no one. Is this just a rumor that it happened? That depends on if you believe PGATour.com’s ShotTracker.

Screenshot_2013-07-26-20-13-33

Click on the pic above and you’ll see that ShotTracker does confirm Charl made a deuce on the par 5. His 176 yard shot that went in was struck by a 9 iron.

59 Season

Sub 60 rounds are now a regular occurrence for Web.com and other mini tour players this month. Today it was Russell Knox carding the magic number during the second round of the Boise Open.

Per Golfweek.com:

“A 29 on his back nine Friday (Hillcrest CC’s par-36 front) keyed the charge. Knox’s 59 is the fifth in Web.com Tour history, as Will Wilcox added the fourth at the Utah Championship two weeks ago; Notah Begay III, Doug Dunakey and Jason Gore own the other three.

Oh by the way, at 14 under par, Knox holds the Boise lead by a stroke over Hunter Haas, Jamie Lovemark and Bronson La’Cassie as the second round continues.”

That’s a great round for Knox, but I’m going to take a big shit on it. He’s a tour pro playing a 6,600 yard golf course. The Web.com Tour might be considered a minor league, but it is probably the 3rd best tour in the world and many of the players on it choose to play it over the European Tour. These guys have no business playing a course that short.

Will Wilcox’s 59 two weeks ago is more impressive to me as he did it while fighting to win the damn event on Sunday. He needed every shot just to get into the playoff that week.

These 59s are nothing in comparison to what Jesse Massie did in Kentucky recently. Massie plays on the Carolina Tour, was a collegiate golfer, and is merely trying to get an opportunity to play for a living most weeks. He went out for a casual round with his buddies when a funny thing happened. He made 14 birdies, and eagle, and 3 pars to shoot 56!!!!! His 56 included a penalty stroke he took when his tee shot embed itself into a tree that was planted as a 150 yard marker just off the fairway.

Behind 21 putts and 17 greens in regulation, Jesse Massie recorded an improbable 56 at the Glenmary Country Club in Louisville, Ky., believed to be a world record on a par-72 course.

Massie’s 16 under round is being considered a world record that ties a 55 shot on a par 71 course by an Oklahoma mini-tour-pro just last year.

These 50 something scores seem to come in bunches, and only in July. Remember just a few years ago when Paul Goydos hit the number at the John Deere only to be followed up by Stuart Appleby at Greenbrier a few weeks later. Maybe we’ll see one on the big tour in Canada this week. Glen Abbey is vulnerable enough to let that happen, but don’t hold your breath.

Ad Wizards

Rickie Bieber…..errrrrrrrr Justin Fowler, fuck…..whatever……you know who I mean – isn’t playing this week in Canada. That’s probably dumb of him considering the course sets up well for him and he might actually contend there (because he hasn’t anywhere else). Isn’t Beiber from Canada too??? Ok, I’ll drop it.

While I was on vacation ESPN dropped another brilliant “This Is Sportscenter” ad on us and it featured young Mr. Fowler and his need for a morning cup of Joe. It’s very well done, so take a look below if you haven’t seen it and enjoy some Canadian golf and a lazy July weekend.

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