Chalk it up to British Open fatigue. Ernie Els, who won the prestigious Claret Jug just last weekend, fired an opening round 72 at RBC Canadian Open yesterday and is tied for 99th.
“It’s good to be back in Canada,” said Els, who arrived in Canada on Tuesday, following the win at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. “This golf tournament goes back a long time, you know. I played five holes yesterday. So you know, I just want to be fresh mentally and physically.”
Well, maybe not quite so fresh.
But we’re just happy Els, currently ranked No. 15 in the world, has graced us with his presence along with a lot of other PGA Tour stars. It does help that the purse is now a healthy $5.2 million for this year’s event at Hamilton Golf and Country Club. But, falling right after the British Open, our national event was long deemed optional by some of the brighter lights on the tour.
We’re also happy that the rain – often an enemy of this event – has decided to abate for the time being.
Golfers are back out on the course now, chasing leader Scott Piercy, who fired a 10-under 62 yesterday. Among them are Canadians Adam Hadwin (who fired an opening round of 66) and Graham DeLaet (69).
>> Live Leaderboard