There they were, a couple of names any tournament would be proud to display on its marquee, at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, on Monday.
Alas, the names were Michael Jordan and Kevin Costner, who were there to participate in the Mike Weir Charity Classic that has become an official part of the RBC Canadian Open festivities. What does it say about the standing of a national championship when one of its pro-am fields has bigger draws (with the exception of favorite son Mike Weir) than the tournament itself?
This is the 100th playing of the Canadian Open, a tournament as long on history as it is now short of stature, one consigned to the outback on the PGA Tour schedule, in the shadow of a major championship. It has only five of the top-25 ranked players in the world, Camilo Villegas the highest among them at 13th. Even Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh, who have won three of the past five Canadian Opens, aren't entered.
In Commissioner Tim Finchem's preseason appeal for players to add a tournament or two to their historical schedules, the Canadian Open ought to have warranted considerable consideration. Regrettably it wasn't.
-- John Strege