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RBC Canadian Open

07/24/14, Thursday

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.

07/25/14, Friday

A pair of Americans, one a 47-year-old who was the last man into the tournament field, lead the RBC Canadian Open after one round.

But it’s the player Canadian amateur Taylor Pendrith, a stroke back and tied for third, that turned plenty of heads on Thursday at the Blue Course of the Royal Montreal.

Born in Richmond Hill, Ontario, the 23-year-old Pendrith finished 69th at the NCAA Championships this past spring while playing for Kent State University.

He’s only the second player in that school’s history to play in the NCAA Championships all four years of his career.

Pendrith came out red hot on Thursday, with four birdies in his first eight holes to tie American Kyle Stanley for third.

No Canadian has one this tournament in 50 years, and only two Canucks have won it since 1914.

Tim Petrovic, the aforementioned 47-year-old, got the final spot in the field, and turned it into a day one 6-under 64, complete with an eagle on No. 12. Petrovic last won a PGA title in 2005.

He’s tied with Michael Putnam, who had six birdies in a bogey-free round.

A whopping 11 players are tied for fifth at 4-under, including South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel.

Canada’s top-ranked player, Graham Delaet, is in a huge logjam tied for 44th place at 1-under with the likes of Vijay Singh, Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker.


Top qualification to be atop the leader board after two rounds of the RBC Canadian Open?

Remember being alive in the 1970s.

American Jim Furyk, a two-time champion at the tournament, tied the club record at the Royal Montreal with a 7-under 63, allowing him to shoot up the leader board to tie fellow American Tim Petrovic at 10-under.

Furyk is 44 years old; Petrovic is 47.

After missing the cut at his last five events, Petrovic has fired rounds of 64 and 66 in Montreal.

Furyk wasn’t the only player to tie the course record on Friday; favorite son Graham Delaet did likewise to rise from 44th to a tie for third with Kyle Stanley at 8-under.

Furyk’s 63 consisted of seven birdies, including four straight from No. 11 to 15.

Delaet had two bogeys, but nine birdies, including eight between No. 6 and No. 17.

Petrovic could have kept the lead all to himself, but he bogeyed No. 18, his first of the tournament.

Also enjoying a hot second round was England’s Graeme McDowell, who shot a 5-under 65 to jump from 32nd to tied for fifth.

Matt Kuchar also shot a 5-under to soar from 44th to a tie for ninth.

Plenty of players went in the opposite direction on Friday as well. Day One co-leader Michael Putnam shot an even par 70 to fall from first to tied for ninth.

Canadian amateur Taylor Pendrith struggled far worse, shooting a 5-over 75 after his 5-under 65 on Thursday, falling from tied for third to tied for 63rd.

Pendrith barely made the cut, which was set at even par.

07/27/14, Sunday

The way he plays north of the border, you’d never guess Jim Furyk is no Canadian, but a guy born in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

The 44-year-old American who last won on the PGA Tour in 2010 fired a 5-under 65 to drop to 15-under for the tournament, taking a three-stroke lead into Sunday’s final round.

Only two players are within five strokes of Furyk headed to Sunday: South Africa’s Tim Clark, who shot a day’s best 64 to rise from ninth to second.

He’s currently at 12-under; while American Kyle Stanley is at 10-under following a 68 on Saturday.

The Day One co-leaders have vanished down the leader board. Michael Putnam, who shot a 64 on Thursday, has followed that up with a 70 and a 69 to drop back to ninth, while 47-year-old Tim Petrovic, who entered the day tied with Furyk for first, fell apart and shot a 2-over 72 to drop to 8-under.

Furyk played his second straight bogey-free round, and has only had one for the entire tournament, that coming on the third hole of the first round.

Furyk previously won this tournament in 2006 and 2007.

Clark set his tone early with a birdie on No. 1 and an eagle on No. 2. The US’ Jamie Lovemark is fourth at 9-under, followed by a tie of Petrovic, and fellow Americans Joe Durant and Scott Brown, and Canada’s Graham Delaet.

After tying the course record with a 63 on Friday, Delaet missed a golden opportunity to move up even higher as he was plagued by four bogeys that took the wind out of his eagle 3 on No. 12.

Tournament Recap

The only man with a legitimate chance to catch Jim Furyk headed into the final round of the Canadian Open did just that on Sunday at the Royal Montreal.

South Africa’s Tim Clark shot a 5-under 65 and won the tournament with a 6-foot par putt on No. 18 to win the tournament by a single stroke.

It’s the first win on the PGA Tour for Clark since the 2010 Players Championship.

Furyk, who last won at the 2010 Tour Championship, added to his bizarre stat of being 0 for 7 since then when leading a tournament after 54 holes.

Furyk missed a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 18 that gave Clark the opening, and he took advantage of it, finishing at 17-under, which tied the tournament record.

Clark was down three strokes to start the round and fell to four back when he bogeyed the first hole.

But he made up for it and hit the turn at even par before rattling off five birdies on his final eight holes for the victory.

American Justin Hicks wound up third at 13-under thanks to his final-round 64. Matt Kuchar and Michael Putnam tied for fourth along with Spain’s Gonzalo Fdez-Castano at 11-under.

With the win, Clark  earns $1.026 million and 500 FedEx Cup points.

Canada’s Graham Delaet wound up tied for seventh at 10-under. Canadian Taylor Pendrith, the only amateur to make the cut, wound up tied for 43rd at 3-under, along with Tim Petrovic, who was the co-leader after two rounds, but shot 7-over the rest of the way.

Tournament Feature

The victory slipped away in the final hole for Jim Furyk at the Canadian Open on Sunday, but his impressive finish left him the chance for bigger fish to fry.

Furyk rose nine spots in the latest FedExCup standings from 14th to fifth, having now finished in the top 10 of seven tournaments this year.

Furyk has 1,680 FedExCup points, 10 ahead of No. 6 Jordan Spieth.

Matt Kuchar, who finished tied for fourth at the Canadian Open, moved from fourth to third, with 1,855 points.

Jimmy Walker continues to lead the field with 2,364 points, followed by Bubba Watson’s 2,135.

Tournament winner Tim Clark of South Africa rose from 85th to 27th.

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