This week’s RBC Canadian Open will have a strong Canadian presence.
Two more Canadians made the final field on Monday thanks to the Monday Final Qualifier at Heron Point Golf Links in Ancaster, Ontario where Drew Nesbitt of Shanty Bay, Ontario and Riley Wheeldon of Comox, British Columbia advanced. Two Americans – Lee McCoy and Jhared Hack, both of Florida, earned the other two spots available.
“I feel lucky as a Canadian that I get to play in our National Championship,” added Wheeldon. “It’s great to be one round away and know that you have that opportunity to get into that tournament.”
With the addition of Nesbitt (who is making his PGA TOUR debut) and Wheeldon, the Canadian contingent set to play at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario has swollen to an impressive seventeen.
Leading the way for the Canadians will be the entire list of those currently playing the PGA TOUR full-time including Adam Hadwin (Abbotsford, B.C.) and Mackenzie Hughes (Dundas, Ont.) who each have won on the big tour this season. They will be joined by fellow PGA TOUR members Graham DeLaet, (Weyburn, Sask.), David Hearn (Brantford, Ont.), Nick Taylor (Abbotsford, B.C.), and Brad Fritsch, (Manotick, Ont.).
Eight-time PGA TOUR winner and 2003 Masters Champion Mike Weir (Brights Grove, Ont.) will also continue his quest for a National Open.
Other Canadian professionals in the field will be: Jared du Toit (Calgary, Alta.), Bryn Parry (Vancouver, B.C.), Matt Hill (Brights Grove, Ont.), Ryan Williams (Surrey, B.C.), Riley Wheeldon (Comox, B.C.), Drew Nesbitt (Shanty Bay, Ont.), and Daniel Kim, (Toronto, Ont.).
Three Canadian amateurs are also in the field. It is a strong trio of powerful players including Hugo Bernard of Mont St-Hilaire, Quebec who is coming off a tie for 7th on the Mackenzie Tour, Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ontario for qualified last week for the United States Amateur Championship, and long-hitting Austin James of Bath, Ontario. It is the first PGA TOUR appearance for James, the brother of LPGA member Augusta James. He’ll get the full TOUR treatment with his locker located right next to World No. 1 ranked player Dustin Johnson.