The RBC Canadian Open returned to Glen Abbey for the 29th time this week, but the question is, how many more pro golf tournaments will grace its fairways?
Glen Abbey, located in Oakville, Ont., and the regular home of the Canadian Open since the mid-1970s, is under threat of being developed by owner Clublink Corp, run by real estate mogul Rai Sahi.
While the city of Oakville fights to keep the course from being turned into condos and swimming pools, Golf Canada, which runs the RBC Canadian Open, is searching for a new potential home for the tournament.
Many PGA Tour pros have a personal attachment to the course, which was designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Brantford, Ont.’s David Hearn has been coming to the course since he was a child, first as a spectator at the tournament, and more recently as a player. He nearly won at Glen Abbey in 2015.
“For me, I have a sentimental take on Glen Abbey, but I understand how cities expand,” Hearn says. “Would I like to see Glen Abbey there for a long time? I would. But I can see both sides of it. I’ve always enjoyed the course because it was where I went to watch pro golf as a kid. I always thought it would be amazing to play in the Canadian Open at the Abbey.”
WATCH: The uniquely Canadian feature coming to the RBC Canadian Open
Graham DeLaet, from Weyburn, Sask., hasn’t had a great deal of success at the Abbey, but recognizes that it works well for the tournament. Glen Abbey is known for its “stadium golf” approach, which provides great sightlines for spectators, which benefits the Canadians they cheer on, says DeLaet.
“Glen Abbey has a great atmosphere for spectators and it’s easy for me to feed off the fan’s energy,” he says.
Where should the tournament go from here? Hearn says he’s always enjoyed when the event has moved to other courses, whether in Montreal or Vancouver.
Who to watch at the RBC Canadian Open
“When it moves on, there will be new memories created,” he says. “We’ll move to a new venue and the competition will be great. Whenever we’ve moved away from Glen Abbey for a year, the tournament has been great. For me, that doesn’t change. I’d like to see a home base for the Canadian Open. I like seeing the great courses around Canada, but for the success of the tournament, finding a home is probably the best bet.”
DeLaet thinks the tournament should represent all of Canada — and feels perhaps a return to British Columbia would benefit the event.
“There are amazing courses there,” he says, adding, “I think it would be nice if the tournament moved around to fully represent being Canada’s national open.”
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Top Canadian News – How many more Canadian Opens for Glen Abbey? – National #News in #Canada