Lot of holes be­fore fu­ture site of Cana­dian Open is set

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - GARRY MCKAY

When Golf Canada’s new CEO Lau­rence Applebaum an­nounced dur­ing the RBC Cana­dian Open that the 2018 tour­na­ment would be played at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville there were more than a few eye­brows raised.

It was no sur­prise that they were go­ing back to Glen Abbey next year.

Af­ter all, it will be the 30th time the tour­na­ment has been played at its semi-per­ma­nent home.

What was a sur­prise to some was that they didn’t an­nounce that the 2019 tour­na­ment was go­ing there as well.

That non-an­nounce­ment will, of course, lead to spec­u­la­tion that a deal might be close for it to be played at the Hamil­ton Golf and Coun­try Club on the 100th an­niver­sary of the first time the tour­na­ment was played in An­caster.

No such luck, at least the ‘close’ part.

And you can also put to bed the ru­mour that the stick­ing points are that the ex­ec­u­tive at the Hamil­ton club want two years not one and that they are far apart on the money issue.

“There is ab­so­lutely no truth to that what­so­ever, ab­so­lutely none,” says Golf Canada’s Chief Cham­pi­onship of­fi­cer Bill Paul.

“The mem­bers of the board I’ve been work­ing with have been pos­i­tive but they’ve been on hold while our­selves and RBC get our strate­gic plan to­gether on this event which in­cludes venues but is not just lim­ited to venues.”

Golf Canada sup­pos­edly wants to have its fu­ture per­ma­nent home site fi­nal­ized by this fall. The Town of Vaughan wants it but in­ter­est­ingly Jack Nick­laus, who built Glen Abbey and who ap­par­ently has been tabbed to build Glen Abbey 2.0 was at ClubLink’s Rat­tlesnake Point GC last week with topo­graph­i­cal maps of the 36-hole prop­erty laid out on a ta­ble.

Golf Canada have a new long term deal with RBC to spon­sor the tour­na­ment so they’re go­ing to have a say maybe even a veto on where the tour­na­ment is played on a year-to-year ba­sis.

And then there’s ClubLink. If they are go­ing to build Glen Abbey 2.0 and gut their Rat­tlesnake Point GC to cre­ate an­other spec­ta­tor friendly cham­pi­onship course you can bet the farm they will want a guar­an­tee of how of­ten the Open will be played there.

You also have to fac­tor in how quickly ClubLink wants to, or will be al­lowed to, turn their cur­rent Glen Abbey into a hous­ing and com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment.

And throw in how long it will take for the new course to be built and where do you play the Open if Glen Abbey is closed and the new course isn’t ready yet.

That’s where Hamil­ton could come in.

But don’t for­get, even if the di­rec­tors at the An­caster club strike a deal with Golf Canada there’s no guar­an­tee that the mem­bers would ap­prove it or even that the City of Hamil­ton would go along with what­ever it would be asked to do.

So, you can see there are a lot of ducks for Golf Canada to get in a row be­fore we get any an­swers on the Bay Area’s fu­ture in­volve­ment with the RBC Cana­dian Open. WHOLE-IN-ONE: Nice touch by Macken­zie Hughes of Dun­das who do­nated to the Cana­dian Golf Hall of Fame and Mu­seum the glove he wore in the play­off he won at The RSM Clas­sic for his first ca­reer PGA Tour vic­tory . ... Two golf clubs down near Wel­land, which had both closed, Hunters Pointe and Spar­row Lakes have re­opened. The lat­ter is now called Car­di­nal Lakes. ... Aces in the area in­clude Kelly Suther­land on the 98-yard 17th hole at Wil­low Val­ley with a nine-iron.

Garry McKay is a veteran, award-win­ning golf jour­nal­ist and ex-sports­writer with The Spec. Gar­rym­ckay1@rogers.com

Macken­zie Hughes do­nated the glove he wore to win The RSM Clas­sic to the Cana­dian Golf Hall of Fame.

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