Fresh off his unlikely victory at the British Open last week, Ernie Els looks for the rare Open double at the RBC Canadian Open in Ontario.
Els had originally joked during his Claret Jug acceptance speech last week that he would “blow off” traveling to Canada for this week’s event, but the South African ultimately kept his commitment to the tournament and personal sponsor RBC after a visit to London to see his family following his second Claret Jug win.
Dan Quinn will step in this week to reliever part-time looper Ricci Roberts, who was alongside Els for his come-from-behind victory at Lytham last week. Quinn, a former NHL player, won a golf tournament of his own last week in defeating former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien for the American Century Championship – a celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe.
Defending champion Sean O’Hair is playing fairly well this season, a completely different story from a year ago at Shaughnessy G&CC in British Columbia. O’Hair fared well at this year’s host, Hamilton Golf and Country Club, the last time it hosted this championship. He finished T-3 here in 2006.
Another name to watch is Scott Stallings, who quietly won last weekend’s B-List tournament, the True South Classic, while most of the world’s bigger names competed in England. The 27-year old won at Annandale CC by two shots, aided by 64 in each of the middle rounds.
Other top names in the field this week include 36-hole British Open leader Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk, and Hunter Mahan.