The RBC Canadian Open was back for the first time since 2019. It was canceled the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Returning to St George’s Golf and Country Club for the fifth time, this was the first time that the Stanley Thompson-designed course put on the event in over a decade. Hosting some of golf’s biggest names, world no. 1 Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Smith, Justin Thomas, and Sam Burns were all in the field. Looking to knock off the defending champion in Rory Mcilroy, the Northern Ireland native was able to outshine them all with a final round 62. He became just the fourth player all-time to win the tournament two times in a row. Here are five takeaways from the PGA’s return north of the border.
Money Can Only Buy So Much
We are just 24 hours removed from the end of the inaugural LIV Golf event in London. World number 126 Charl Schwartzel became the first Greg Norman run tour winner. The PGA provided a resounding response all weekend long. Back in Canada for the first time in two years, it was able to take the upper hand on its newfound competitor by displaying the star power and depth of golfers that makes it truly special. Fans were able to celebrate the return of their national open. The event featured roars and chants for players all weekend long. Highlighted by a gathering around the 18th green on Sunday afternoon, the tour proved to golf fans everywhere that it still reigns supreme.
Corey Conners Headlines a Strong Weekend for Canadians
Beginning his final round in 19th place, Conners was one of the hottest players on the course all day on Sunday. The Listowel, Ontario native, fired an opening nine 31. Finishing his day with six birdies and an eagle, he carded a 60 to move up 13 spots into sixth. This led the current world number 31 to earn the Rivermead Cup as the lowest Canadian. Rounding out the crop of hometown players, British Columbia’s Adam Svensson fired back-to-back rounds of 67 to finish six under par and in a tie for 21st. Meanwhile, after a disappointing 75 on Friday, Mackenize Hughes was able to get back into red figures after rolling in three birdie putts during his final nine holes to close out the tournament.
Justin Rose Dashes up the Leaderboard
Rose put together one of the finest performances of his 24-year pro career during his final round. Heading into Sunday seven shots back of the leaders, the 41-year-old made an epic charge up the leaderboard. The former world number one holed out from the fairway on number one. He also picked up a stroke on the par-four fifth. This led to an opening nine 30. The one-time U.S. Open Champion would finish with three eagles and seven birdies. Ultimately bogeying 18, the Johannesburg, South Africa native settled for a 60. Rose narrowly missed out on becoming the 13th player all-time to shoot a round in the 50s and the first since Scheffler at the Northern Trust Open in 2020.
Matthew Fitzpatrick and Tony Finau Close yet again
Still, in search of his first victory on Tour, Fitzpatrick will be left kicking himself after this weekend. Sitting all alone at ten under par on Friday afternoon, the 27-year-old had just birdied the 11th hole. However, the 2015 British Master’s champion was unable to close strong heading into the weekend. He would double-bogey 14 and bogey his final three holes to head into Saturday one back of the lead held by Wyndham Clark. Playing in the final pairing after shooting 62 in his penultimate round, the story will once again be oh so close for Finau. He opened Sunday in a tie for the lead with Mcilroy. The Salt Lake City, Utah native carded six birdies to finish in solo second at 17 under, just two strokes back.
Mcilroy Retains his Crown
Mcilroy was able to step up when the PGA needed him the most. The Northern Ireland native picked up his second consecutive victory at the Canadian Open by carding four straight rounds in the 60s. This was his 21st victory all-time, one more than LIV Golf CEO in Norman. With massive crowds around him all afternoon long on Sunday, the 33-year-old opened his day up with a 26-foot putt for his first birdie of the day. Although, after bogeying the rink hole on number 16, the current ninth-ranked player in the world would head to the second last hole, all tied up with Justin Thomas. He was able to stave off the charge by his good friend. Mcilroy closed out the tournament with back-to-back birdies to give him ten on the day and the trophy.
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