Did you hear that over the weekend? Audible or not, movement was afoot in the Canadian men’s professional golf scene.
It was inevitable, of course. As has happened over the years there is always a new generation of Canadian golf professionals that come along and become the face of the game in this country.
Most recently the “go-to” guys have been Stephen Ames and Mike Weir. Weir, as many are familiar, is struggling with health and swing issues and as of this morning had dropped to 501 in the Official World Golf Rankings making him, yes, you are reading it right, just the 8th highest ranked Canadian golfer in the world.
Weir spent the weekend out of action at the RBC Canadian Open, just as did Stephen Ames who missed the cut in Vancouver as opposed to Weir’s withdrawal due to injury. Ames is far from in the same boat as Weir as ar as current struggles, but at age 47 though, you have to think that most of his best PGA Tour golf is in his rear-view mirror just as it might be for Weir. For now though, Ames remains the top-ranked Canadian golfer in the world at 206 on the big list while Weir continues to free fall.
Just back of Ames, and only slightly at 214 in the World Golf Rankings, is Adam Hadwin who golf media have been familiar with for some time but regular Canadian golf fans got their first real taste of at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open. Hadwin had hopes raised over the weekend that he might be the “one” to break the Canadian winner drought at our national open and despite the fact that he was not able to do so, the 23 year-old gained massive exposure for his talents and also earned a chance to play the PGA Tour again this week at The Greenbrier.
Besides Hadwin and Ames the players that have gained the most World Ranking points this year so far are David Hearn, Matt McQuillan, Roger Sloan, Danny Sahl, Dustin Risdon, Jon Mills and Brad Fritsch. Not household names, for sure, but with McQuillan, Hearn, Risdon and Fritsch all making the weekend at Shaughnessy, along with Hadwin, it might be just a matter of time before people emotionally let go of Weir and Ames and finally embrace the next great Canadian golf hopes.
People seem to keep looking for these players, the next leaders among Canadian pro golfers, wondering who will be the next as our country’s golf heroes.
I don’t think you need to wait any longer.
They are already here.
People just need to recognize them as such and let the inevitable happen.