The Canadian Open is an historic golf tournament which is organised by the Royal Canadian Golf Association. First played in 1904, only the Open Championship and the U.S. Open have continuously been played on the PGA Tour for Longer.
In 2019, this tournament moved to June to become the warm up tournament for the U.S. Open which is played the following week. Although many felt that this sold the Canadian Open a little short, there’s still big names in the field here who are all hoping to sharpen their games ahead of the upcoming major.
Much like other national opens, this event has been played at various locations. The course which has held the most tournaments however is the Royal Montreal Golf Club. This venue is the oldest club in North America and has itself moved over the years. The Royal Montreal Golf Club hosted the very first Canadian Open, which was won by Englishman John Henry Oke.
Many players have won this more than once but the player who has the most victories is American Leo Harvey Diegel who was champion in 1924, 1925, 1928 and 1929. Royal McIlory’s hit a 72-hole record low of 258 here when he won in 2019.
|St. George's Golf and Country Club||Toronto, Ontario||7,025 Yards||$7,600,000|
RBC Canadian Open Recent Winners
|Year||Winner||To Par||Winning Margin||Course|
|2021||Cancelled||-||-||St. George's Golf and Country Club|
|2020||Cancelled||-||-||St. George's Golf and Country Club|
|2019||Rory McIlroy||-22||7 Strokes||Hamilton Golf and Country Club|
|2018||Dustin Johnson||-23||3 Strokes||Glen Abbey Golf Course|
|2017||Jhonattan Vegas||-21||Playoff||Glen Abbey Golf Course|
|2016||Jhonattan Vegas||-12||1 Stroke||Glen Abbey Golf Course|
|2015||Jason Day||-17||1 Stroke||Glen Abbey Golf Course|
|2014||Tim Clark||-17||1 Stroke||Royal Montreal Golf Club|
About the RBC Canadian Open
The Canadian Open is a golf tournament with a rich history, dating all the way back to 1904. The first ever edition of this tournament was won by Englishman John Oke at Royal Montreal Golf Club. The competition, which is conducted by Golf Canada, takes place on the PGA Tour every year. It’s the third oldest running tournament on the Tour behind only The Open Championship and the US Open.
Since 2019, the event was added to the Open Qualifying Series, which allows up to three of the top 10 to qualify for The Open Championship. The Canadian Open has been held at several courses in Canada over the years, mainly in Quebec and Ontario. Glen Abbey Golf Course in Oakville, Ontario has hosted the most Canadian Opens, with 30 to its name.
Over the years, the event has been called the Canadian Open, the Bell Canadian Open and, from 2008 to 2020, the RBC Canadian Open. The last tournament, which was held at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, Ontario in June 2019, was won by Rory McIlroy. In 2021, the tournament will be hosted at the St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Etobicoke, Toronto, Ontario.
Notable Canadian Open Champions
The Canadian Open has become a big tournament on the PGA Tour. There have been plenty of high-profile winners, with the likes of Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer and Jim Furyk lifting the trophy.
Leo Diegel, who was born in Michigan in 1899, remains the record winner of the Canadian Open, with four victories to his name. Diegel was a serial winner in the 1920s, winning the event in 1924, 1925, 1928 and 1929. Tommy Armour, San Snead and Lee Trevino – all Americans – each having achieved three tournament victories.
Three Canadians Tied on Two Apiece
The last home winner of the Canadian Open was Pat Fletcher, who won the tournament way back in 1954. Fletcher beat fellow Canadian Gordie Brydson and American Bill Welch by four strokes. Since then, players from the US have dominated this competition, though there has only been one American winner – Dustin Johnson in 2018 – since Brandt Snedeker’s triumph in 2013.
There have been a staggering 55 American winners, with the US bagging a total of 72 Canadian Open wins. England and Australia are tied second, with Canada in fourth with seven wins from four winners. Three Canadians have two Canadian Open victories to their name: Charles Murray (who was actually born in Nottingham, England), Albert Murray and Karl Keffer.
Canadian Open Winners By Nationality
|USA||72 Wins, 55 Winners|
|England||8 Wins, 6 Winners|
|Australia||8 Wins, 6 Winners|
|Canada||7 Wins, 4 Winners|
|Scotland||3 Wins, 3 Winners|
|South Africa||3 Wins, 3 Winners|
Close, But No Cigar
As mentioned, the Canadian fans have not seen a home winner of their Open since Pat Fletcher’s victory in 1954. However, a couple have gone close since then. In 2004, Mike Weir, who was the best Canada had to offer back then, had a three-stroke lead with eight holes left to go. Unfortunately for him and the Canadian faithful, Vijay Singh was too strong for Weir in a playoff.
It was David Hearn’s time to go close 11 years later in 2015. The Canadian had a two-shot lead in the final round of the tournament, but Jason Day’s excellent finish put paid to Hearn’s hopes. Day went on to win the 2015 Canadian Open, with Bubba Watson finishing runner-up.
Nicklaus’s Canadian Open Hoodoo
The Canadian Open is regarded as the most prestigious tournament never to have been won by the great Jack Nicklaus. The legend won just about everything else golf had to offer, but victory in Canada eluded Nicklaus, who won a staggering 18 major championships during his glittering playing career.
It was not for the want of trying, though, as the Ohio-born star finished runner-up seven times. Nicklaus finished second in Canada in 1965, 1968, 1975, 1976, 1981 (along with Bruce Lietzke and Andy North), 1984 and 1985 (along with Greg Norman). For one reason or another, Nicklaus was never destined to win the Canadian Open.
Jack Nicklaus’s Runner-up Record
|Year||Who Beat Nicklaus?|
|1965||Gene Littler – 1 Stroke|
|1968||Bob Charles – 2 Strokes|
|1975||Tom Weiskopf – Playoff|
|1976||Jerry Pate – 4 Strokes|
|1981||Peter Oosterhuis – 1 Stroke|
|1984||Greg Norman – 2 Strokes|
|1985||Curtis Strange – 2 Strokes|