The 2013 RBC Canadian Open offers a nice little respite after the grueling pressure-packed British Open.
How nice? Well, conditions at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ontario were so benign on Saturday that one player shot a 29 on the front nine while flirting with the course record and another tied him with the day’s best score of 63. On the day, 36 players shot in the 60s.
By Sunday, three of America’s best—Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson—were going neck-and-neck until Snedeker, arguably the best putter of the group, took charge.
But the biggest news of the weekend was that of a father-to-be who forsook the glow of a million-dollar purse for that of the birth of his first child.
As always, there were winners and losers north of the border this weekend.
Mahan’s selfless choice of leaving the course while leading after the second day to watch his first child being born pushed him into the lead for Father of Year. (You may remember that Phil Mickelson held that position when he went to his daughter’s graduation the day before the start of the U.S. Open).
Mahan ostensibly gave up a million bucks and a chance at his sixth PGA Tour victory and first of the season.
Depending upon how you look at the definition of a payday, either way, Mahan struck it rich.
Last year’s winner, Piercy never got off the mat, shooting a mediocre one-under-par for the tournament.
Piercy had missed the cut in his last three events and has been dropping steadily in the FedEXCup standings, so this finish won’t be much help.
Hearn finished the lowest among Canadians at four-under, beating out fan favorite Mike Weir (-3) and Roger Sloan (-2).
Hearn, who was Rookie of the Year on the Canadian Tour in 2002, most recently finished in a tie for second with Zach Johnson at the John Deere Classic.
McDowell continued his unusual slide with his poor performance at the RBC, where he missed the cut but did not finish (a little-used rule abbreviated as MDF).
It was probably the best thing for McDowell, who needs to regroup after his 76 in the second round.
McDowell, who won the RBC Heritage earlier in the year, recently missed the cut at The Players Championship and U.S. Open and finished dismally in a tie for 58th at the British Open.
McGirt probably wishes every PGA tournament was played in Canada.
McGirt, who finished in a tie for second at last year’s RBC event, turned right around and fired three rounds under 70 to, you guessed it, finish at three-under and a tie for second.
The journeyman from North Carolina is currently ranked 189th in the world and probably cannot wait until next year’s Canadian Open.
Where have you gone, Luke Donald?
The one-time No. 1 player in the world, who looked like he had kick-started his game again when he finished in a tie for eighth at the U.S. Open, missed the cut at the RBC Open this weekend.
He also missed the cut at the British Open, where he was a favorite yet never got his game going.
Luke has had a very un-Donald-esque season, finishing only three times in the top 10 with no wins.
It will be interesting to see how he performs the remainder of the year.
Another strong finisher was Bohn, who powered the ball throughout the week to finish in the group tied at second.
Bohn, who at one point hit a 7-iron over 200 yards, racked up a very sold four-day total of 275 with his excellent tee-to-green play.
The finish was his highest in over a year for the 21-year veteran.
Mr. Implosion did it again. Coming down the stretch and tied for the lead, Johnson put his first shot into the woods, his second and third in the sand and ended with a triple bogey.
It was his first bogey or worse in 40 holes and it could not have come at a worse time.
Johnson had played great after an opening round of 75, and it looked like he and Snedeker would take the RBC down the wire.
Instead, the long-ball hitter succumbed to what has become a much-unwanted ritual that left him in a four-way tie for second at 13-under-par.
It really wasn’t fair how Snedeker treated Glen Abbey on Saturday, pounding the greens and dropping every conceivable putt for a stellar round of 63 and a 29 on the front nine.
Snedeker took charge on Sunday, using his magical putter to move ahead of the field by three strokes and pick up the win, his second of the season and eighth finish in the top 10.
Snedeker looked every bit the best putter in the field and solidified his place as No. 7 player in world rankings. He is also rapidly moving up the ranks in the FedEXCup.